Home > Australia, Books, Life, Social Commentary > Brisbane floods: Another day in paradise

Brisbane floods: Another day in paradise

Just a quick update. Must be day 4 of relocating the bookshop from the flood zone and everything hurts.

Maybe this is why.

Moved 3 rooms like this one, with bookshelves on all 4 walls...

Great news, is that everything’s out and safely in another location. So now, it’s just re-shelving. Re-cataloguing is something entirely else and isn’t a priority.

Some books weren’t so lucky.

Just a few of the books that didn't make it...

There was no time for fussing. With rain threatening and mud waiting to be cleaned out…

Packing on the run ...




Just another load

This part of New Farm is looking great now. Lord Mayor, Campbell Newman was even on the beat collecting kerbside rubbish yesterday (Sunday) – hats off to him, he’s working hard. There are muddy reminders on the roads, but with the rubbish gone, you could be forgiven for not noticing there was a disaster here. But that’s only in some streets, in this particular suburb, which has pulled up remarkably well.

Volunteers who packed onto council busses recently, however, have sometimes been frustrated by the lack of co-ordination, resulting in the wasting of hundreds of man hours (person hours, if you must). One bus, for example, had volunteers lining up from 7am, but didn’t take off until after 10am. It drove around for half an hour, then deposited volunteers in an area of New Farm where people were coping well and turning away help (no-one accepts help unless they really need it & assume that someone needs it more). So, that whole bus load of people, who’d given a whole day, were told to wait by the bus to be taken back to the depot – where the next bus load of keen volunteers was being loaded up, again, to an unknown destination.

Overall, the recovery operation has been great, but the volunteers need to be co-ordinated better. Also, someone needs to better think through how to manage donations of goods instead of turning them away and demanding cash. Not everyone has cash to donate. The argument that the cash can then be spent in the region itself is a bit of a furphy also, because those shops are under water, unable to resume normal supplies etc.

It’s taken me the better part of a week just to help one household in one street in one suburb. Happily, the house is now liveable, and subject to wrangling with insurance, life goes on. However, there are so many others who are still pushing mud out of their front doors, and volunteers are being mismanaged. It’s maddening.

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  1. bagnidilucca
    January 17, 2011 at 3:35 pm

    I agree that it has been frustrating as well as wonderful with the offers of help. We had enough helpers within our own family and sent volunteers onto others who needed help more. The tennants who were living in our house didn’t move a lot of their stuff out and were not there for clean up either. I don’t care if I never see them again. They didn’t turn up with the key to let us in until 2 hours after we arrived and then didn’t stay to help with their own stuff. They don’t have contents insurance and we offered to help them move their things the day before the water came up and they declined. The kitchen cupboards were full of muddy food and all the crockery and kitchen utensils, which we hauled out and hosed off. The mind boggles.
    Congratulations on yiu major book relocation – well done!

    • January 17, 2011 at 9:09 pm

      My heart goes out to you. How completely feral!

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