Photo: Tomas Guerin
Ms Gillard is facing pressure from within Labor, with New South Wales Premier Kristina Keneally today saying the levy should be reduced for taxpayers in Sydney because they face higher costs of living.
Oh dear. The mere mention of a levy and the ra, ra, ra , poor Queensland, it's all right, we'll come and help...ra, ra, ra...this is awful, we'll be there to help you rebuild...ra, ra, ra is out the window along with all the other toys we are tossing out of the cot amidst the squawking and wailing. Unbelievable. So much for solidarity. So, did we actually notice how widespread and devastating these floods were in Queensland and now in Victoria? Have we noticed how many people have lost homes, farms, business, incomes? Are we sitting comfortably out of the sodden stench thinking the nation can actually sit and think about how we can repair this eventually at no specified time? I suppose we could chuck them over a few tarpaulins and a bit of plastic , a food drop or two and let them go through the cyclone season . I should like the critics and the procrastinators to swap places with these people for the next month. We have people who have no homes. They have severely damaged homes, they have had income wiped out and may or may not get things repaired by insurance. This is an UNUSUAL circumstance of gigantic proportions. It has wiped out livestock, people , crops, the environment. It has damaged roads, schools , business. Australia , you are standing it it. Yes, we have donated money. It is not enough. We are facing a colossal problem. This is not a political issue. It is humanitarian and economic. If we don't repair the damage quickly then we shall all pay a high price because we have had income streams and income corridors severely affected. We have to look after the vast areas affected and ourselves at the same time. To lob in the odd emotive word ad nauseam like white elephant, fat, waste, mismanagement which are designed to operate as memes is appalling at any time because it is such facile thinking. To use it at a time now when we are facing a really formidable issue is a national disgrace. This is affecting us all. To rave on now instead of getting some decent thought into it and problem solve, as we were when we were in helper mode, is what we need. The damage has to be repaired now. We need to think quickly about the best way to do this so instead of carping and whittering on about levies.. get out there and work out how much this is costing, how much harm is being done and going to be done, what we need now, what we are going to need and then how YOU propose we fix and pay for it.Get with the programme and work as part of a recovery team. Any other noise at the moment is actually preventing us from dealing with and resolving a catastrophic problem and blocking us managing it properly and effectively. I cannot stand the thought we are actually stopping ourselves from helping all those flood affected areas and people. This is serious. Deadly serious. So , if you don't want a levy and have to go off over a levy ,tell us how we are going to pay for all of this and continue to sustain our momentum ? We need to know NOW .