January 2011

I imagine many of you are reading about the floods in Queensland, and as I write this from my home while on holidays, it is pouring and will continue for some time to come (see photos of Brisbane City in the 74 floods below).

I was just outside checking on all my animals and there is weird lightning and a slight rumble of thunder all around my paddocks.

Mr Darcy is loving the rain, but hating the fact that the older dogs just want to sit around and mope. I can't take them walking in our usual spots because it is too dangerous in the bush with the creeks and rivers swollen.

The images on TV about the loss of life, both human and animal, is shocking and unprecedented in our country. There is nothing anyone can do really but sit it out. Some of the images last night on TV, and even some of the areas near where I live, make our country look like the Third World, and as always I think and try to imagine how we could make the future better.

I am convinced the mud slides particularly are a result of massive tree clearing. That is one thing I am sure of, and our mantra of 'No Tree No Me' keeps coming to mind. Mother Nature is obviously replenishing the tanks after many many years of drought. While that drought was on, we obviously lost sight of flood plains and what sort of houses should be built where, and some of those mistakes are now coming home to roost.

That said, it is unprecedented and you have to think, is this normal (it has never been recorded before), or is this exactly what climate change predictions have said will occur in this amazing country of ours? I think this is the case but like all of us, I have no idea where to start to try and change things.

Everything is so inextricably linked. Coal mines which normally produce $100m a day are out of action, rail lines are destroyed, food production is under threat and I am sure the implications for our country will unfold over the coming months and years.

So, to the koalas. I did see that 3 koalas were saved in a town west of Brisbane but by and large, I have heard nothing else. Perhaps it is because the scale of this disaster is so great, but I have a feeling that the koalas are sitting it out somewhere. Luckily they can go up and wait, but I am sure many have probably drowned as the size of the flood increases. It is estimated that the area under water is about the size of Germany and France combined.

My heartfelt concerns go out to everyone involved and I do hope the Australian Koala Foundation and our team will have a role to play somewhere and somehow in the future. I am confident our maps should and could play a role. We need to use maps like these to really understand our landscape. We have been committed to this for many years and perhaps it is time to be heard. I hope so.

Thanks for your support as always and I will be back on deck next Monday. I will keep you updated.


P.S. Quinlans is cut off, so I do not know how that is fairing, but I imagine the creeks are up and we cannot get in until they go down. One good thing, the bush tucker will be thriving. Please click here to make a donation to Quinlans.

The height of the Brisbane River could reach
this again within the next few days.