Brought down on the side of ‘creative’ people – Caveat Emptor – the budget

The Government has not yet explained some Budget proposals in detail. Caveat Emptor: a principle in commerce: without a warranty the buyer takes the risk. The excitement is the budget will allow small business to get a tax advantage for spending, and being creative. The carrot is to encourage you to be a start-up. The beware warning is because; generally the announcements made, as part of the Budget will have to pass as legislation before they take effect. Therefore, Budget proposals should not be taken as fact yet, even if a starting date is proposed.

It is right to get excited, it is a policy turnaround with promise. A promise you will be rewarded for being creative. Now comes another issue: While it helps start-up, being creative just does not cut it at all when it comes to describing what you do (why you are a desirable product). You see a well thought out plan is more than a document; it is the display of your method to success.

As a small business owner you realize the measure of your worth is how you can innovate and compete. There is even a separate government program designed for that purpose. The necessary step is you must have a plan that is focused on an idea and method. If you think about this you realize a politician emphasizing ‘creative’ might be silly. Our PM has repeated wailed the word on the media as describing the primary need for being successful and rewarded by the budget.

What is wrong with the word ‘creative’ you ask? The word ‘creative’ may mean “deceptive in presenting financial information”. The dictionary tells us so, and it seems a poor choice of word to be used in the Budget meant to build confidence.

Maybe the Treasurer is doing a better job of showing an understanding of language – of the budgets intended purpose, and I quote: “If small business people are investing in innovation and job creation, we should be celebrating. That’s fantastic and that’s how you grow an economy.” Then we take notice the PM was reluctant to use the word ‘innovation’ in his address; he preferred to embellish ‘creative’.

Continuing with the Treasurer’s words: “We focused on continuing with our economic plan which is built on last year’s budget, is built on a number of decisions we have made since we came to government.

We are continuing with that economic plan”.

The above comments while confusing are at least reflective of a change to the mindset, or at least, a thought – Start-ups will save us?

Where did that idea come from? A recent start-up economy study undertaken by PwC and commissioned by Google Australia forecasts high-growth technology companies could contribute four per cent of gross domestic product (or $109 billion) and add 540,000 jobs by 2033 from a base of about 0.2 per cent of GDP today.

However, they also warn of market failure and the reason why it is likely.

Then comes the worrying bit of all this enthusiasm. According to a World Economic Forum report, “Australia’s start-up ecosystem is already lagging behind those of many other developed nations due to a lack of emphasis on entrepreneurship education, limited engagement with universities and poor cultural support for entrepreneurs.”

Back to more worry: Treasury makes no forecasts beyond 2016-17. After that, it only makes a technical assumption that all will be well over the following five years. In other words the assumption we will able to achieve nirvana. To this point we read one media report even said :It’s what Happy Joe’s Fairy Godmother might deliver for him, if he had one. It’s not what you would want to base our economic policy settings on.”

To recap earlier in the blog. The risk of being creative is the creator may be seen as deceptive in presenting financial information. The risk of presenting innovation is that might be seen as coincident and opposed to the purpose for the statement.  The case for the cost benefit for the policy would have to ask and answer: Is this idea creative or innovative. It cannot be both otherwise you might be opening for a consensus. Consensus has a habit of finding a rule against the ideals. If you have had policy training, you might be saying – bloody ‘creative’ budget got me going. If we play semantics with the wording, and the PM can spin this morning as encouraging ‘creative’ small – to mean what he did not intend? Did he intend to omit to say innovative small business to be encourage, the day after the budget?

We tested that thought, and to paraphrase some of the responses:

  • We need local employment opportunity to go along with the incentive, something we often see social planners forget about.
  • We to be producers too, not just service providers.
  • We see a different economic reason altogether, the incentive increases our reliance on imports. We have had our manufacturing sector stripped of its ability to compete.
  • Startups are not just IT companies. Real innovators make things, not just create.
  • They don’t get the supply demand balance!
  • Does anyone have a spare $200million laying around, we have a outstanding start-up ready to go. But we have no government support! That got our attention. It is real and the problem policy does not want to know.

Think again if you think they got. Than listen to this game of semantics, on ABC TV: Interviewer Leigh Sales (LS) and Interviewee Joe Hockey (JH) –

LS – The Government’s spending as a percentage of GDP is 25.9 per cent. That is the same as the previous Labor Government (was) spending at the height of the global financial crisis.

JH – Not true. They got to 26 per cent.

LS – You’re at 25.9 per cent?

Another commentator of the semantics, said:

Maybe Australians are thought they don’t know when their legs are being pulled!

Now the dust has started to settle on the hype of the budget. There is a realisation that the accelerated depreciation schedule that was announced for those nice to have tools of trade (sometimes called big boys toys) is not gifts. The scheme is designed to offset your tax liability when you earn enough money to pay for them. The issue them is one of equity. A positive of this is that the plumber or electrician is now fully aware that a market is supply and demand. Albeit the new measure makes them aware they do need to make enough money to pay for the toys. The story continues as we received a plumbing quote a week before the accelerated depreciation for small business was announced – it was $1,700. A few days after the announcement – it was changed to $2,400. Why, the reply to pay for items I need to buy? Why, do you need to buy them? Because I realised I had to earn more money to have a liability to pay tax and that tax is what I can claim from what I buy? And, we were to be a willing to pay for that purpose? Yes. We did not find that equitable – so we put off our purchase.

So the problem is ‘start-up’ are not stand-ups or creative types on how to make money. A genuine start-up is backed by a method that will create money and not just redirect money from old to new etc. We think – nay – still confused!

Prepare for unexpected climate events – but can we?

Reported is the driest ever on record and hottest ever recorded for the period, and OMG might be the response from agribusiness in those affected districts.

First look at these three stories:

South Australia and western Victoria head into drought after dry October

Catherine McAloon, Friday November 7, 2014 – 15:34 EDT

“The weather bureau’s latest drought statement shows severe rainfall deficiencies have developed in western Victoria and south-east South Australia.

South Australia recorded its driest October on record.

Australia-wide, it was the seventh driest October overall, but maximum temperatures across the country were the hottest ever recorded for the month.

Climatologist Lynette Bettio says rainfall from July to October in parts of western Victoria and southern South Australia was among the lowest ever for that period.

“”These are percentile rankings, so if you lined up all the July to October periods on record, starting at 1900, which is when we start our records, this July to October period, those areas covered by the rainfall deficiencies, which is much of western Victoria and southern parts of South Australia, would be in the bottom 10 per cent and the bottom 5 per cent,”” Dr Bettio said.

Richard Thornton, of the Bushfire and Natural Hazards Co-operative Research Centre, says the dry conditions could mean bushfires develop sooner than expected.”

Academic says climate extremes the major problem for farmers

Michael Condon, Friday November 7, 2014 – 15:27 EDT

“An academic says climate change will not be catastrophic for farmers, as they can manage any long term change.

Agricultural scientist Professor Richard Eckard, from the University of Melbourne, says extreme weather events like fire and flood do more damage to farmers and farming viability than the long term nature of any climate change.

“”That is where attention should be focussed,”” Prof Eckard said.

“”Because the real threats are dealing with the extreme weather events.

The attitudes are slowly changing to recognise that there is something changing in our weather.

I think a lot of the farming community might say that that is part of the natural cycle but regardless of whether or not you think it is a permanent change or a natural cycle, it does represent a change in what we see in the extremes.

A heatwave in November is one example of that.

Any gradual change we can adapt to over time, if is a gradual increase in temperature you can start breeding different animals or plants in that direction to deal with those changes.

It is really the unexpected extreme events that will catch us unawares that we need to be prepared for.

I am talking about the floods, the bushfires the extremes in temperature, in unusual times throughout the year,”” Professor Eckard said.”

Time to get serious about land use and emissions

By Stephen Bygrave on 10 November 2014

“Agricultural emissions in Australia could be responsible for over half of Australia’s total emissions. The land use sector has the most to lose, and the most to gain from climate change. Following discussion with farmers, it’s clear many of them are looking at ways they can stay on their land, and even make it more productive in the face of the changing climate.

There are those already revegetating their land, and experiencing the benefits of doing so. Others are looking to keep their topsoil, that otherwise blows all the way to Antarctica, with methods such as no-till farming.

Our research also found that just leaving native forests to recover could draw down more than 10 year’s worth of Australia’ total annual carbon pollution.

The recommendations in Land Use: Agriculture and Forestry are not radical – no more than the IPCC calling for global zero emissions is radical. They’re things that some are already doing, and that we must do if we’re to inhabit the planet into the future.

In fact one thing the fifth assessment report does very clearly is provide even stronger evidence that we’re already feeling the impacts of climate change. As if we needed it. We’ve already been in conversation with farmers who’ve been forced from their land, largely because of climate change. Farmers like John Pettigrew in the Goulburn Valley don’t bulldoze their 10,000 peach trees if there’s any hope of things improving.

We’re heading into a hotter, drier summer in a country where hotter, drier summers have become the norm.  In fact over 75 per cent of Queensland & northern NSW are approaching four years of drought now, and the western districts of Victoria look set to join them.

Even the National Farmers Federation, based on ABARES data, acknowledge that “without actions to adapt to a changing climate and to mitigate the effects of greenhouse gases, Australian production of wheat, beef, dairy and sugar could decline by up to 10 percent by 2030 and 19 percent by 2050.”

One of the pathways identified in our paper is to reduce livestock by 24% in the intensive zone and by 16% in the extensive zone. This matches the trend of Australians overall eating less meat, and allows farmers to take control of their production before the decisions are taken out of their hands.

This number is fully encompassed by the controversial live export trade – meeting this target would still allow for consumption of far more meat than is healthy for everyone in the country.”

Co2Land org asks: What does all this mean? We do not think it matters whether is it anthropogenic or not as the cause. However, we do care that what contributes to our wellbeing needs us to care. You see our markets need a healthy environment as much as carbon life forms do too. So even if we just assume people, and our activities are 50% responsible for the change in climate the measure still needs to be based on what if we don’t abate and what difference will that make.

Without complex modelling a significant number can still be indicative of what could be avoided. And, what must be avoided is the tipping point of climate change – the point not imaginable.

Is chalk and talk past tense – a victim of ‘dash for cash’.

I guess the days of chalk and talk are over, in my view, merely a taste of things to come. From conversations throughout the education sector, there is wide-scale disenchantment and frustration with the system and the apparent breach of promise our politicians speak on school funding will be the straw that breaks the camel’s back, and bring many to the point of protest – students, teachers and parents.

The question that appears to be wanting in the ‘dash to slash cash’ mindset is changes are needed but what is surviving in the face of technology upgrades is education remains the means of survival and how we learn to fine-tune the way knowledge is delivered.

That said, according to Leanne Mezrani writing for the Project Manager – www.aipm.com.au – in the February/March 2013 edition (but still very relevant) “truly effective teaching relies on the give-and-take between teacher and student. Feedback can be as subtle as a facial expression or tone of voice”.

What is all this based on? Invaluable lessons learnt through industry experience, face to face feedback and deliver using a combination of face to face, online and project based assessment. According to Leanne’s article. So rather than cuts more needs to be spent on knowledge delivery. Especially when we are slipping in world ranking and failing our regional area needs on education.

Is there a revolution or evolution of education delivery though technology? Evolution we think, and if you consider this timeline, also courtesy of Leanne Mezrani:

1911 – first distance education scheme in Australia offered by the University of Queensland and extended to correspondence schools in the 1920’s in NSW and Queensland.

By 1933 – correspondence lessons replace the last itinerant teacher.

In 1935 – All Australian mainland states now have Classroom lessons broadcast by the Australian Broadcasting Commission (ABC).

1960 – The school of the Air is established. Lessons are broadcast by radio from the Royal Flying Doctor Service in Cloncurry Queensland.

1975 – The personal computer meant users did not need to rely on mainframe computers for use of education software.

IN the 1990’s – Leaning tools went through a significant upgrade in graphics and sound. CD-ROMs become the preferred method of content delivery.

1993 – Under ownership of Monash University Open Universities Australia was formed as a nation wide means of providing distance education using printed courseware and non-commercial television.

1999 – e-Learning was the term used for internet and other interactive or electronic media sources.

2008 – Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) used as a term to describe an online course offered by a US University. The significance – online classes offered free of charge.

2011 – The Centre of Online Learning Excellence is launched by Open Universities Australia with the purpose of becoming a centre of best practice in online education.

2012 – A total of 20 universities and other education providers across Australia offer 1700 units and 180 qualifications through online courses.

2013 – it is recognized that MOOC was a revolution, but it seem only the highly self-motivated student derive any great benefit from this type of learning. What is now apparent is that is it is an evolution of delivery as the average student is more likely to require motivation and inspiration, and are likely to lose their way in an environment that doesn’t offer scheduled classes or feedback from instructors.

The CO2Land org reads, April 2014 – Australia rates 14th in the place to get a quality education. Rating first is South Korea because of the way they give quality time to students. Since writing this post it has come to our attention Australia is now 15th place according to BBC, 8 May 2014. Also worth noting is that UK is second to South Korea according to BBC.

Does it make you think – dash for cash or offer quality learning? What gives the better future payback?

 

A ‘true’ reflection of our community thinking

Alan Kohle – finance presenter on ABC News, said: Abolishing the carbon tax will cost real money – $13.7 billion over four years – because unlike the minerals resource rent tax (MRRT), it would have actually worked. He postulated that the repeal of the MRRT and its associated spending measures produces a net GAIN to the budget over four years of $9.5 billion … and this was supposed to be a tax. This makes interesting reading, the MRRT is a tax that is a net gain to the economy and the repeal of Carbon Pricing is a cost. Now we are starting to understand that the Senate is on about – is expected to vote for costs at a time when someone or something declared ‘budget emergency’.

Jokingly, a near neighbour suggested the best way to tackle the deficient is to remove the cabinet from our executive. It makes some sort of sense if you consider the spin doctors make up the words, the power brokers approve and the Ministers mouth the words with Shakespearean gusto, and possibly cannot answer simple questions outside the script, often saying when asked to do so – I am not the author Ill get the person that wrote it to answer?  It would reduce our deficit would it not?

But far more damaging is what our trading neighbours think…Great conversation with a phone call coming in from …….. yesterday afternoon…have confirmed our first ……… be shipped to us end of January, plus additional projects (really interesting ones) over there. They also provided some friendly political advice that our esteemed PM was doing considerable harm in Asia and needed a bit of “polishing”…… brought gales of laughter and the comment that this is why he was not being taken too seriously at the moment because it was not believed he was a true reflection of our community feeling.

Are our Asian neighbors right? What is so sad about this story is that originally, the project mention above was mooted to be manufactured in Australia – government programs were solicited and proved difficult. It also seems incredulous that the program administrators expect the bankable is sufficient because they approve or disapprove through a program. If you go to the bank with that view they are likely to say government is irrelevant – It is starting to sound like a prophesy, is it not!

Then someone said something ridiculous – I thought they were ‘nomads’ – but they get angry when I TALK TO THEM – The joke is in ‘no mads’ OK!

Hot Air and the Unfair

We nearly choked, Malcolm Turnbull – Liberal Front bencher – Minister for Communications, said the loss of Holden’s local manufacturing operations is a watershed event for an Australian economy that must 
commit itself to innovative, high-tech industries. We then lamented, this and previous governments have demonstrated that they have contempt for promoting small innovative firms that demonstrate they can provide globally competitive technology best in its class and fully capable of entering multi billion dollar markets. Proof,

–       Look the number of innovators that go off shore for success.

–       Then look at the procrastination going on about reviews and approvals processes.

–       Then look at the discussion going on about cutting red and green tape etc.

Then CO2Land org thought, maybe we could write a book instead of a post about this and call it – Hot air and the unfair – something like that! Or is it that Mal is planning a new power base in getting a fair deal?

On with the story: Why Malcolm Turnbull saying? Recently the Australian Broadcasting Commission (ABC) wrote The inconvenient truth for the Coalition’s NBN By David Braue Updated Fri 13 Dec 2013, 1:23pm AEDT that the NBN Co of the coalitions model was grossly underestimated in what will cost. Maybe there is cabinet reshuffle of portfolios coming already? It has already been reported that Ian McFarlane is unhappy with Warren Truss’s intervention on Holden. That considerable unrest is around with Government performance to date, and the endless control measures such as Joe Hockey’s handling of money movements. Comments like need to review, measures against etc. All this meaning the excuse to do nothing.

Maybe Liberal frontbencher Malcolm Turnbull saying to Sky News on Sunday 15 Dec 2013, Australia has to realise its future is not in “large scale, very low cost manufacturing” where it can’t compete.

“Emotionally this is a big watershed event,” Mr Turnbull told.

“This should be seen as a wake-up call, a reminder that we must recommit ourselves to an economy that is based on innovation and technology, and that is globally competitive.”

What Malcolm said is precisely our point. Thank you.

Does Australia have “globally competitive technology best in its class and fully capable of entering multi billion dollar markets”? Well if you consider China as a desirable trading party, then as you should, take notice of this invitation for a ‘little aussie battler’: The 4th Annual World Congress of Bioenergy

Theme: Roadmap toward 2020  Time: September 21~23, 2014     Venue: Qingdao, China.   Website: http://www.bitcongress.com/WCBE2014/default.asp

“Dear Peter Davies,

On behalf of the Executive Committee Office, it’s our great honor to announce the most influential bioenergy event in Asia – The 4th Annual World Congress of Bioenergy (WCBE-2014) will hold in Qingdao, China during September 21~23, 2014. In view of the fact that your enthusiasm for biological applications and outstanding achievements in the field of bioenergy. The organization committee cordially invites you to be a speaker in our program and give a presentation at Pipeline 315: Integrated Biochemical Conversion Processing and Bioreactors for Scale-up.
Main Characters of Annual World Congress of Bioenergy

Comprehensive agendas: With the bioenergy steady economic growth and biomass technology is improving by the day. This congress will discuss on biotechnology development and bioenergy sustainable development. The agendas cover Bioenergy Economy and Sustainability, Applications, Commercialization, Biofineries of Bioenergy, Biomass Conversion Technologies, Feedstock Landscape. This congress with the “Roadmap toward 2020 “as the theme to focus on bioenergy and look forward to the new era.”

Well what is there wrong about our posturing? What is wrong with having a front bencher of the cabinet having the courage to make statements that make sense, that is very close to what the ‘real’ world takes notice of! CO2Land org is saying it goes to say to make government relevant again it must have Headship – the current Leadership talk is exactly that – talk.

Then Mungo MacCallum said 16 Dec 2013, “And if Tony Abbott would rather spend the money on building lots of roads around our choking cities and restoring tax rorts for those who get part of their salary in cars to drive on them, so be it. Perhaps we can pretend that the cars are Holdens. That would make us feel better, wouldn’t it?”

Mungo MacCallum is a political journalist and commentator. View his full profile here.

Over to you Mal – show yourself, please.

But, have we lost something here!

The irony of flooding rain and a sunburnt country

The irony of flooding rain and a sunburnt country. Most recently, floods hurt the Australian eastern states, and a matter of weeks before by devastating fires. This is focusing on the thought – Maybe climate change is closer than we think.

The ABC reporter Tracy Hutchison, on Monday 4 February 2013, made a comparison of Australia facing another summer of floods, and that we are not alone. She centred her story on how Indonesia’s capital grappled with a watery chaos and Beijing being brought to a choking halt by smog. Her point being “Australia’s recent re-acquaintance with devastating flooding in Queensland and northern NSW this summer has been another sobering reminder of the climatic shape-shifting wreaking havoc with lives and livelihoods across the country. 

Yes, Dorothea Mackellar might well have written of droughts and flooding rains in the early 1900s (while homesick for Australia as a teenager in England), but you’d be hard-pressed to find much wistful fondness among the many farmers who have watched livestock, equipment and expanses of primary produce wash away their livelihoods for the second time in two years. 

For many of these much-heralded ‘country folk’, the financial and emotional struggle of staying on the land will be too much; they’ve said as much in shocked-filled resignation as the water came back too soon. 

Watching on, from the fire-prone drier states, the unspoken narrative is screaming; where will these people go? What will they do for a living? And who will grow the food they were growing for both domestic and export markets?”

In another irony, the current Queensland Government did not see anything other than a cost/benefit analysis being required to manage the environment. Because of the events the Queensland Premier Campbell Newman is now considering the cost of the climatic events and it is hard to find a benefit calculation other than the need for a capital injection might have to come from public funds to mitigate the damage. One such project would be that some flood-prone residential areas in Queensland could be relocated “to avoid what looks increasingly like the recurring reality of extreme flooding”.

Another pair of ABC reporters, John Morrison & Kerrin Thomas, also on 4 Feb 2013 said New South Wales Premier, Barry O’Farrell, “says his visit to flood-affected regions on the North Coast has reminded him of his visit to Moree around the same time last year. 

Moree was flooded almost exactly one year ago, as floodwaters travelled downstream from Queensland. 

Barry O’Farrell told ABC’s Statewide Drive program the conditions in Grafton this year are very similar to those in Moree 12 months ago”. To paraphrase BOF’s (Premier Barry O’Farrell – we kid you not, it is a published acronym for his name) point is that the city dwellers think it is unusual and the country folk do not.  Too right mate it is bloody heart breaking for country folk, if you did not know!

The reality is what the city dweller is now able to see change, and the statement of BOF of “unusual” is losing credence as the numbers keep stacking up that something is wrong, and climate related events are becoming more extreme and records are being broken nudging the entire population to think again about climate change.

The point is made again: It is not just Australia that is affected, in Jakarta right now, where record flooding has swamped the CBD for the first time in history. As in Queensland (suggested by the Premier Campbell Newman) there is increasing talk that relocating the Indonesian capital is the only feasible solution to an escalating problem. The ABC reporter Tracy Hutchison said, “Jakarta is sinking. Literally. Years and years of unregulated private water-bores has drained the city’s below-sea-level water table dry. The record rain, coupled with an underdeveloped drainage system and the penchant of Jakartans to use the city’s waterways as rubbish dumps, brought this city of 20-odd million to a standstill of a different kind…. Australians remember the massive economic and political impact when Brisbane flooded two year ago – the disruption and cost to business, the national flood levy, the daily Bligh/Newman media show, the rebuild…..The implications of a non-functioning Jakarta are immense and wide-ranging both for Indonesia and the region. But this is the reality…And while the Indonesian capital grappled with a watery chaos, further north a different kind of stultification was engulfing the Chinese capital. The soupy and toxic coal-fuelled smog that has descended across northern China sent monitoring devices off the scale in Beijing. 

Hospitals recorded a 30 per cent increase in admissions for respiratory-related illnesses and residents were ordered to stay indoors as state-run manufacturing was put on the kind of state-instructed ‘go-slow’ not seen since the Blue Sky policies of the Beijing Olympic preparations….There is something darkly delicious about China’s state-run manufacturing boom on a state-imposed go-slow because Beijing’s middle class, the beneficiaries of the boom, can’t breathe. It’s a vexing Catch-22 for China’s new leadership – how to keep a slowing economy buoyant but avoid a widespread public health crisis – and a new twist on boom or bust. Not to mention the regional economic implications for trading partners like Australia, whose coal-exporters might possibly be the elephant in the (Beijing hospital) room? 

It doesn’t seem that long ago that “environmental refugees” living on increasingly brackish low-lying Pacific island states of Kiribati and Tuvalu were dismissed as the political fodder of fear-mongering climate change campaigners. Now, sadly, relocations from what were once primary food-producing areas are a new way of life – and it’s not just Kiribatins and Tuvaluans feeling the watery heat. 

Widespread record flooding and deadly landslides have been a common theme across the Pacific this summer – PNG, Fiji, Samoa and the Cook Islands have all battled extreme weather events from ferocious cyclones and record rains. A 

It used to be that a few thousand people with wet feet in the Pacific never got much traction outside environmental campaigner circles; perhaps this faraway time of a planet impacted by a changing climate might be closer than we think”. 

Tracey Hutchison broadcasts throughout Australia and the Asia Pacific for ABC News Radio and Radio Australia.

Bringing this closer to home in the story “Fitzroy River continues rising amid ‘sea of water’” by Paul Robinson, Monday February 4, 2013 –the story is of central Queensland and the city of Rockhampton where it two has been hit by severe floods in as many years of the Fitzroy reaching up to 9.2m. This height has the potential to cut off the city for as much as two weeks at a time. Flooding also closed the Airport. However the problem for the city is that much of the water coming in also came from further inland, which brings its own problems in terms of trade. And extensive damage to agriculture. 

Quoted is “We’ve seen loss of livestock, there’s tractors that have been washed out of sheds, four-wheelers that are a couple of hundred metres down the paddock, there’s a lot of irrigation gear and pump sheds that have just gone missing, tanks, like a lot of fodder, round bales, small bales and lucerne, all gone,” he said. 

”Tourism hit

A central Queensland tourism body says tourist operators can expect further hits to business as Rockhampton prepares for Saturday’s flood peak. 

Capricorn Enterprise says highways cut by floodwaters severely damage tourism”. Also affected is rail infrastructure and mining activities and it is reported that “rail company Aurizon says coal rail lines to Gladstone could be closed for more than a week…. An Aurizon spokeswoman says crews are still unable to fully assess the situation because the rail line is under water. However, she says at the moment they expect the Moura and Blackwater systems will reopen within seven to 10 days. 

Freight operations along the coast have also been interrupted by flooding of the Queensland Rail network”. 
We should also say roads are also cut or restricted for use at different points too.

CO2Land org thinks maybe BOF had it the wrong way around. Country folk are finding it unusual that 10, 50 and 100 years events are happening, seemingly every 2 years. It is city folk that are tending to think it is normal and even the assistance appeals are failing to reach the targets.  Is it too late, how can we adapt at this rate? What is the cost of taking the high ground!