Saturday, January 15, 2011

Flood tourists

Peter Nicholson has kindly allowed me to reproduce the following cartoon which appeared in The Australian a few days ago:

We see here the wet and windswept lady Anna Bligh terminating her speech about the legendary toughness of Queenslanders [display]. Behind her, a tourist from Canberra, Julia Gillard, is sticking her massive nose into a camera. The other day, when Gillard loitered alongside Bligh at a press conference, the prime minister looked like a decorative table-lamp in an old-fashioned drawing room. She was posed there, waiting to be turned on, if ever anybody thought that her presence might light up the scene. But nobody seemed to think so. As for Kevin Rudd, I did in fact see video images of him wandering around in the water with a suitcase on his head, and mumbling something about lending a hand to students.

Here's another of Peter Nicholson's touristic visions of Brisbane:

Meanwhile, down in New South Wales, the flooded town of Grafton (my birthplace) received the visit of an American tourist, the premier Kristina Keneally.

Click the photo to access an article on this subject in The Daily Examiner by local journalist Terry Deefholts, who reached the rather obvious conclusion that the premier's excursion was a "public relations stunt". In any case, we could hardly expect any of the Anna Bligh style of rhetoric from such a mediocre woman. Terry Deefholts attempted vainly to persuade Keneally to talk about the notorious local road that I mentioned in my article entitled Highway called Pacific [display]. Her parting gibe to the insistent journalist was particularly condescending: "You could live in Sydney, you’ve got enough grunt for it." Those words sound like something from an old American movie: "What's a smart guy like you doing in this one-horse town?"

The following photo by Lynne Mowbray shows Terry (in the boat) accompanying the editor David Bancroft in the delivery of their newspaper to residents of flooded Maclean.

Another of their many flood photos caught my attention:

The two drovers taking cattle to higher grounds could have come straight out of my childhood memories of floods at South Grafton.

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