The Impact of the Floods in Australia

Today is Australia day. Last year I joked whether Australia Day would go ahead because of the tragic events surrounding Doug the baby koala. That’s all we had going on back then! That story was BIG news! But this year the news doesn’t mention koala’s much and we have a real tragedy to recover from on Australia Day.

But Australians are still going to celebrate today and every celebration has now become a charity event, because Australians are partying for the flood relief appeal.

But I promised to tell you about the impact of the floods. So I will.

The impact of the floods.

On Monday I explained how the river rose and one of our main streets was the first to go under. It was also the street that has all of the community shops. How did they go?

Not too good, as you can imagine. I went down to take a look on Sunday and the whole Plaza looks like a building site.

Our local shops

More shops after the floodsIf you take a look at those pictures, I believe the water level would have been around halfway up the shop windows, perhaps a little higher. Behind these shops is a roofed Plaza, it’s where Coles is, there’s a chemists, fruit and veg, the butchers, the post office and much more all inside the Plaza.

All destroyed and all now closed. I would have shown you more pictures of the inside of the Plaza but, bizarrely, they had a couple of security people in there who told me “no photos”.

Why?

They explained “Well, some people have been taking photographs and posting them on Facebook and things like that.”

Oh really? How shocking is that? Of course they’re taking photographs and posting them on Facebook! What century are you living in!

I wasn’t overly surprised by this ridiculous piece of censorship; around here we’ve always known that the owner of this shopping centre is nothing if he is not strange. Anyway….

There are two sides to the destruction of our community’s shops. From a shopper’s point of view, now, if we want fruit and veg, some fresh meat, or medications, a hair cut or if we even just want to post a parcel, it’s now a 30 minute round trip. That’s assuming you have a car.

And from the shop owner’s point of view, it’s much worse. Some of these businesses were people’s lives. The fish and chip shop was taken over by new owners only about six months ago. No doubt that takeover involved a hefty financial investment, not to mention the hard work in maintaining and increasing his customers. All destroyed. He’ll have to start again.

The hairdressers, the place where I get my haircut, well it is called “Robert’s Cuts”, how is the girl who cuts my hair, Camilla, going to make a living now? That was her livelihood. And the butchers? I happen to think this community had one of the best butchers around. The guy who ran it worked darned hard to build his business. It’s destroyed. What’s he going to do?

I could go on, but all I want to say is just take a look at our small little community. The impact of these floods and its affect on everybody’s lives is enormous. Now take that impact and multiply it by 1000 times or more, and then you have an idea of just how much pain Queenslanders and many other Australians are now going through.

But hey! I’m off to party! I think it’s going to be a big party. We’ve got a perfect day for it, it’s hot, 33°C and not a cloud in the sky. It’s billed as a party for the community. It’s taking place in the school fields.

It’s called the “Community Thank You BBQ” and as the flyer says, it’s “An opportunity to share floods stories and thank the countless volunteers in our community that did so much to help our residents, businesses and other organisations in the cleanup.

I’m hoping we will also get the chance to see our local hairdresser, butcher, fruit and veg owners, the chip shop guy and all the rest of the local business people and find out how we can continue to support them.

All these shops are sure to be out of action for possibly four months or so. It’s early days, but there’s talk of Coles temporarily taking over the Scout hut and I’m hoping there’s some way that other tradespeople can continue to run their businesses during the rebuilding period.

Maybe they can sell their stuff out of vans? Maybe the hairdresser could work from anywhere with a chair, a mirror and a pair of scissors? Maybe, maybe.

We will see.

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{ 8 comments… add one }
  • BobinOz January 28, 2011, 4:21 pm | Link

    Wecome to this blog Maria and thanks for the compliment. Good luck with your plans, I hope your qualifications lead to a visa.

    Cheers

    Bob

  • maria January 28, 2011, 8:48 am | Link

    am adrians mate and am from malta though originally am from romania as well
    and yea I would love to live and work in Ozzie land, though first I have to wait to graduate in political science,so I need like 3 years more… :/
    I have mates who moved there and I can see that at least it’s much better then here (a small island full of corruption with a conservative government for these past 25 years)
    and BobinOz excellent blog

    cheers mate 🙂

  • BobinOz January 28, 2011, 1:04 am | Link

    Hi Adrian

    It’s good to hear from you and I hope you realise your dream of moving to Australia. Just to clear up one of your questions, normally I have just a few minutes drive to the shops, but since the floods took them completely out of business, the drive is longer. But Sydney, Melbourne, and most major cities there are shops everywhere.

    As for the demand for engineers, I’d say it’s a good profession to get into and certain engineers will be in high demand here. Especially as we now have to rebuild so many parts of the country.

    Christian (thanks Christian) has pretty much answered your question with a very good link. All I would say is double check with the people that really matter, the Australian government. Have a look at this page and download the PDF’s and try to find out which kind of engineers are in the most demand…

    http://www.immi.gov.au/skilled/sol/

  • Cristian January 27, 2011, 8:55 pm | Link

    Yes I am from Romania, “Beautiful country, what a pity it’s occupied”. I am sick of our politicians and corruption, and I don’t think this will ever change in this little country so for 2 years now I am thinking about making my bags and get on-board a plane to Sydney. Bob’s book is a great way to make you love Australia. It should have been intitulated “20 steps to love Australia”; it would have been a best-seller. I am a big fan of the Nissan Skyline, so I would add another step: In Oz are plenty of them!

    Adrian, if you find your job on this list, you should be qualified for a working Visa: http://www.visabureau.com/australia/sol.aspx
    I’ve seen something that seems to be what you will do:
    Software engineer 261313

    My future job is there:
    Ship’s officer 231214

    Cheers!

  • Adrian January 27, 2011, 10:44 am | Link

    Cristian it’s a pleasure to share your experience and this amazing blog with you all

    Yes, it was my dream since I was 12 (now I’m 19) and I can’t die without doing it

    Are you from Romania, aren’t you? I hope to meet you soon one day too!

    I await for your answer bobinoz about the demand of those engineerings and the proper state to stay in! =)

    Cheers!

  • Cristian January 27, 2011, 9:51 am | Link

    I hope all things will return to normal soon Bob! All the best to your community!

    Adrian, seems that we aren’t so different (I’m just 3 years older). I love Bob’s blog, and the way he writes, and I have to thank him for this.
    I want to move in the near future in Australia (I’ll choose Perth for the weather). Over 6 months I’ll finish Constanta Maritime University, and I hope to finish my practice as a Deck Cadet in maximum 2 years, and than apply for VISA.
    I hope you’ll fulfill your dream and maybe we’ll meet some day!

    Cheers!

  • Adrian January 26, 2011, 6:22 pm | Link

    One thing more I forgot, I thank you too because you write your texts on a very easy/basic English for people for which is not their native language 🙂

    I fall in love with the “20 reasons why YOU should move to Australia” I read the ebook completely!!

    PD: I hope to see you there someday! My country is a hell now and I’m wanting for a better quality of life because of my profile

  • Adrian January 26, 2011, 6:16 pm | Link

    I just wanted to say thank you for your blog because my dream is to live in Australia one day and it’s very useful (the blog) and you update it regularly, that’s very important

    I’m an argentinian (aged 19) and I’ll do anything I need to get the permanent visa, by the Skilled professions (I think I will study Industrial engineering or Software/Computer engineering, do you how is the jobs for these carrers?)

    On the other hand, too bad you have to drive 30 mins to go to the market, in Sydney or Melbourne you have markets are closer? (more nearer). Because they seem to be the only ones in your town..

    Cheers!

    PD: I’m registered on the blog as a member! =)

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