A generation of free trade-brainwashed politicians are to blame for the flood damage that has just hit Australia's "sunshine state" of Queensland for the second time in two years. As Cyclone Oswald made landfall in north Queensland and was downgraded to a tropical storm, it slowly traveled down the length of the east coast, dumping anywhere from six to ten inches of rain in 24 hours on large areas, with more concentrated deluges of over 2 feet in a day. The rain has caused record flooding in central coastal towns such as Bundaberg, and as far south as the northern New South Wales town of Grafton. Along the coast, the rains were augmented by the ocean storm surge.
This region of Australia is prone to enormous floods, yet virtually nothing has been done to build infrastructure to mitigate them. Queensland has some flood-control dams that were built after the last great La Nina-event flood period, in 1974. Improper operation of one of them, the Wivenhoe Dam near Brisbane, caused the massive flooding of Brisbane two years ago, but this time did its job brilliantly, and held back the flood waters to save Australia's third-largest city. Since the time when the Wivenhoe was constructed, however, Australian politics has been over-run by free market economics and green fascism, so governments no longer make such long-term investments. Also the rebuilding from the 2011 floods has largely been left to "market forces", so some of the victims of the present floods are still homeless and living in sheds after two years!
In 2002, Lyndon LaRouche's Australian co-thinkers, the Citizens Electoral Council, in collaboration with the late engineering professor Lance Endersbee, issued an infrastructure blueprint for Australia titled "The Infrastructure Road to Recovery", which featured 18 grand water infrastructure projects for the nation. The greatest number of these project ideas were for Queensland and northern New South Wales, and covered the very same river systems that are presently in flood: the Dawson Scheme would protect the area around Rockhampton (expected to be flooded by this weekend); the Burnett River Scheme would protect the severely flooded Bundaberg region (a scaled-down version has since been built, but it is far less effective than the original proposed design would have been); and the Clarence River Scheme would mitigate the flooding of Grafton in NSW, as well as inject more water into the Murray-Darling Basin food bowl.
The green-brainwashed Federal Member of Parliament for Grafton recently reacted to the CEC's plan for the Clarence River, and vowed that "not one drop" of the river would be diverted into the Murray-Darling. Her town is now under water.