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Why I don't donate to natural disasters in Australia anymore [Jan. 21st, 2011|06:01 pm]
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I donated towards the Black Saturday fires, and then the donation policy of Red Cross became "we'll forward donations to people with insurance and people with holiday homes that got burned down". I wanted my money to go to people who can't afford to pay for insurance, and certainly to people who can't afford holiday and investment homes. Insurance will cover those who can afford it. The rest truly deserve a break. The Qld flood donations are going to people who simply won't need it.

And as to who would pay for it, and whether Australia should postpone bringing ourselves back into budget surplus: If we didn't dump the mining rent resources tax, we'd be fine. Not only would the annual amount generated by the tax neatly match the amount that needs to be spent repairing Qld, but if it was framed ideally (ie, applied to all mining companies) it would come from companies that were largely responsible for the worsening of these severe storms. I.e., they wouldn't be able to externalise their costs onto the rest of society so much anymore - those that actually consume more would end up paying for the damage it does, which would then partly fund the mitigation costs we all endure. Actually, it should come partly from farmers too. What did you expect would happen when you clear the land of its natural ability to regulate water flow?

The guy who texted into JJJ talkback that we should just drop the National Broadband scheme instead, on the basis that it would be obsolete by the time it was built, made me laugh. Yes sure, if we don't build something, then the next thing we can't build would be even better!

[User Picture]From: badpauly
2011-01-22 06:21 am (UTC)
I agree with all, and will add a few things.

Having dealt with the odd flood back when I was with the CFA, two things keep popping up with floods. No matter when or where they occur.

1. People are stupid. They will stay in areas even after being told to evacuate, they will enter areas they shouldn't, and they will leave things to the last minute. It is hard to feel sorry for people who sit until the water is at their door, then start trying to stop the flood. And die trying.

2. People rely on history too much, completely ignoring progress. Sure, the 'great flood of 75' might have stopped 2-streets away, but since then there is 40-years of farming, changed floodplains, a heap of irrigation channels, and 2-freeways nearby. This will keep water from some areas that were 3-feet under last time, and direct water to areas that weren't touched in the past.

Both of these things popped up time and time again in recent times.

Natural disasters bring out the worst in people, and the rich/stupid always seem to come out of it better than those who really deserve it.

/end rant
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[User Picture]From: sjl
2011-01-22 10:28 pm (UTC)
Not to mention people who buy in flood prone areas without checking the history of the area, build a house on a fricking SLAB, and then wonder why their possessions are under two metres of water. There are good reasons why older Queensland homes are on stilts, and it's not just to provide air circulation to prevent mould ...
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