Queensland Floods 2011 and Tourism

The devastating floods that ravaged most of Queensland during January of 2011 have had very little continuing affect on the tourism industry. The major coastal cities that were inundated were the capital Brisbane, and Rockhampton. The Gold Coast, The Sunshine Coast, and most of the resort towns, cities, and islands and their facilities, are all back to normal.

The other areas that were hit badly were the mining and grazing areas of central Queensland, and the fruit and vege growing areas just west of Brisbane. It was the latter that also recorded most of the deaths so far, with about a dozen people still missing and grave fears held for their safety.

The resolute character of Queenslanders has seen thousands of volunteers move into the most flood devastated areas to help the locals clean up. Just about everything that went under the waters, which became dangerously polluted with overflowing sewage and chemicals washed away from industrial businesses, has to be dumped. This includes bedding, furniture, children’s toys, and family memorabilia. Abandoned quarries are being used as temporary dump sites as the existing refuse tips can’t cope. The biggest danger to volunteers all along the chain is from contact with asbestos that is part of many buildings. Breathing the fibres of disturbed asbestos can have long term health effects.

While donations to any of the legitimate flood appeals will greatly assist the reconstruction of people’s homes and lives, another way to ensure the ongoing recovery is to come and visit the many thousands of tourist facilities that were only temporarily affected, mainly by the damage to roads. While there are still a lot of potholes, most of Queensland’s arterial system is fully functional again. Most airports hardly stalled. What to do at sentosa singapore¬†

The tourist district closest to my heart is Alexandra Headland on the Sunshine Coast. For forty years or more it has been called The Golden Triangle. No it has no links to the drug trade of northern Thailand and Myanmar (or is it Burma again? I get confused.) ‘Alex’ has long been recognized as the best bit of real estate on the Sunshine Coast. The beach has attracted swimmers and surfers since early last century. Apartments and houses have been built, demolished, and rebuilt along the north facing headland to capture the uninterruptible views of the sea, Point Cartwright, and Maroochydore beach.

My family has a long association with Alex. The people from the nearby hinterland town of Woombye, which includes the families of both of my parents, were responsible for building the very first lifesaving clubhouse there. There is still a section of the premises just for the use of the ‘clubbies’, but the best known aspect is the restaurant, bar, and gaming machine areas, all with a magnificent beachside vista.

Lifesavers from Alex have won individual and team competitions here and far. Alex and Australia have a reputation of not having a drowning of any person while swimming at a patrolled beach. The lesson is simple. Swim between the red and yellow flags. Outside the flagged areas on unpatrolled beaches, many people, especially visitors who are not familiar with how treacherous some sections of beach can be, have lost their lives to the sea.


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