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Qld cities brace for floods - again

Written By komlim puldel on Minggu, 27 Januari 2013 | 23.08

A sixth tornado has hit Queensland's Bundaberg region and forecasters say more could develop. Source: AAP

RESIDENTS of Brisbane and Ipswich are again preparing for floods, two years after the 2011 deluge that inundated thousands of homes and caused millions of dollars in damage.

But the floods won't be as bad this time, authorities say.

About 4850 homes and businesses in Brisbane and 50 in Ipswich to the west are expected to be affected when the Brisbane and Bremer rivers peak about midnight on Monday.

A second flood peak is expected at noon on Wednesday, the Queensland premier said in a press conference on Sunday afternoon.

Torrential rain from the low pressure system that was tropical cyclone Oswald has caused minor flooding in the Lockyer Creek and the Bremer River which feed into the Brisbane River.

Scientific modelling shows Brisbane can expect a 2.6m flood peak, nearly half of the 4.46m peak in 2011.

The Ipswich peak is expected to be five metres less than the 19.4m peak two years ago.

"There will be flooding but the flooding is much much lower than what we saw in 2011," Premier Campbell Newman told reporters.

The west Brisbane suburb of Moggill will be hit first, and other affected suburbs include: Bundamba, Wacol, Riverhills, Wolston Creek, Pinjara Hills, Kenmore, Hemmant, Wynnum, Tingalpa, Cannon Hills, Murarrie, Newmarket, Herston, Windsor, Bowen Hills, Albion and Newstead.

The Brisbane CBD is not expected to be affected.

In January 2011, 22,000 homes and 7600 businesses were flooded in Brisbane and 3000 homes and businesses in Ipswich.

The damage bill for Brisbane's infrastructure was $400 million.

The premier urged people to check flood maps on the Brisbane City Council website and prepare if they were in an area that may flood.

Standing alongside Mr Newman, Brisbane Lord Mayor Graham Quirk said the message to residents was to stay calm.

"The time to act is now. The time to prepare is now," he said.

An emergency alert has gone out to residents in the Lockyer Valley as floodwaters rise in the area, which was the main disaster zone in the 2011 floods.

Central Queensland has already born the brunt of ex-tropical cyclone Oswald, with torrential rain and destructive winds bringing floods, tornados and destructive winds to the east coast and inland.

An elderly man was killed, more than a dozen people were injured and 250 homes were damaged when a serious of tornados ripped through the coastal towns of Burnett Heads, Bargara, Burrum Heads and Coonarr near Bundaberg on Saturday afternoon and evening.

The man's body was recovered from the water at Burnett Heads on Sunday morning after he fell overboard from a yacht that had been ripped from its moorings.

Meanwhile hundreds of people have been pouring into evacuation centres at Maryborough, Bundaberg and Gympie with flood peaks in central Queensland expected to exceed 2010-2011 levels on Sunday night and Monday.

The Burnett River at Bundaberg is expected to peak at 8.5m from 8.30pm (AEST), with 400 homes and businesses tipped to flood.

The Mary River is forecast to peak over 9m at Maryborough early on Monday, and 21m at Gympie at 7am (AEST) on Monday.

There were fears for three families stuck on the roofs of their homes at Widgee near Gympie on Sunday evening and a 27-year-old man who went missing after he tried to cross a swollen creek in the Gympie area.

There were also grave concerns for a young woman last seen driving into floodwaters at Pacific Haven near Maryborough on Sunday and a fisherman who has been missing off Port Alma near Rockhampton since Thursday night.

Meanwhile the Gladstone region has experienced severe flooding which has prompted the evacuation of 900 homes.

The areas of Boyne Island and Tannum Sands, south of Gladstone, and Baffle Creek, between Gladstone and Bundaberg, were the worst affected.

Around Queensland, 125,000 homes were without power on Sunday night.

23.08 | 0 komentar | Read More

Vampire's weekend and a big day out

Robert Pattinson arrives at Adelaide Airport - he's here to make a film in the Flinders Ranges. Picture: Twitter Source: adelaidenow

Robert Pattinson poses with fans on Friday after the Big Day Out in Adelaide. Source: adelaidenow

Robert Pattinson poses with fans on Friday after the Big Day Out in Adelaide. Source: adelaidenow

ROBERT Pattinson looked like just another music fan as he enjoyed Adelaide's Big Day Out at the Showgrounds on Friday.

The Hollywood star, and part-time muso, has been spotted all over town this week and was among the thousands watching The Killers, Vampire Weekend and the Red Hot Chili Peppers at the festival.

Wearing his trademark baseball cap, check shirt and dark jeans, the Twilight hunk happily posed for photos backstage with John Day and friends.

"He was very cool, very gracious and good humoured ... I asked him how he was enjoying Adelaide and he said he'd only been here a short time and hadn't seen much," John says.

Robert's new movie, The Rover, will be shot in various locations in SA's Flinders Ranges, but the actor admitted to not knowing much about the area.

"I asked him what he (Rob) thought of the Flinders Ranges and he wasn't sure what or where that was, so he had a bit of a laugh about that," John says.

Later in the evening, Robert kicked on to what is becoming his favourite Adelaide nightspot, the Grace Emily Hotel on Waymouth St, where he had a few drinks in the beer garden.

Earlier in the week, the actor - wearing shorts, a white shirt and a backpack - was seen riding a bike on his own through Adelaide.

Confidential understands Rob was scheduled to leave Adelaide this weekend to start shooting on The Rover, with production set to begin this week.

23.08 | 0 komentar | Read More

Djoker seals historic threepeat

Novak Djokovic defeated Andy Murray to become only the third man in Australian championship history to win three or more titles in succession.

INDESTRUCTIBLE Novak Djokovic stormed into Australian Open history, defying wounded Andy Murray to win a bruising battle of defences.

Djokovic, 25, claimed his sixth grand slam title - and his fourth Melbourne Park trophy - with a 6-7 (2-7), 7-6 (7-3) 6-3 6-2 win over world No. 3 Murray.

Also the champion in 2008, Djokovic is only the third man in Australian championship history to win three or more titles in succession.

New South Welshman Jack Crawford (1931-33) and Queenslander Roy Emerson (1963-67) are the others.

Underlining his status as both the world's premier player and the sport's flintiest scrapper, Djokovic was simply too tough.

In a remarkable serving performance, the world champion was not broken by Murray in 20 service games.

Novak Djokovic reacts after defeating Andy Murray to win a third straight Australian Open final.

His emotion on outlasting his old rival and good friend poured out after the 3hrs, 40m struggle finally ended.

"What a joy. It's an incredible feeling to win this trophy once more," Djokovic said.

"I love this grand slam, it's my most successful, I love this court and this crowd.

"Congratulations Andy, we played so many thrilling matches in the past two years, bad luck tonight and I wish you the best of luck for the coming season."

The Serb is only the seventh man in the Open era to post a grand slam hat-trick.

Bjorn Borg (Wimbledon and French Open), Roger Federer (Wimbledon and US Open), Rafael Nadal (French), Pete Sampras (Wimbledon), Ivan Lendl and John McEnroe (US) are the others.

Taken to the brink in the fourth round here by Stanislas Wawrinka, Djokovic avenged September's US Open final defeat to Murray.

And he demonstrated extraordinary stamina and resilience to overcome plucky Murray.

The Scot wanted a painful match.

He got his wish - and a lot more.

His badly blistered right foot required mid-match treatment and it was clear the Olympic champion was struggling with the issue early.

The Scot has now lost four major finals, including three at Melbourne Park, but he could barely have done more as neither man yielded a millimetre.

Unlike the women's final which was littered with 16 service breaks, this was a tactical war built on defence.

The first service break of the match took almost three hours to materialise and, even when it did, Murray dug in deeper.

It was immediately obvious this was no ordinary final as both men struck the ball with tremendous authority from the backcourt.

Murray struggled with blisters and a hamstring injury.

Djokovic engineered five break points in the first set, failing to convert any.

In a contest of miniscule margins, Djokovic's rare failure to capitalise was not only critical in a set that soaked up 68 mins.

It set the mood for the match of astounding quality and tension.

Murray drew first blood, outclassing Djokovic in the tiebreak before continuing a relentless assault on the Serb's incredible defences.

There is no finer scrambler in international tennis than the world champion, but Murray's ceaseless bombardment frustrated Djokovic.

He repeatedly ranted at himself, pointed angrily at his shoes and jabbed at his knees as the Scot soaked up everything thrown at him.

Chasing history, Djokovic looked out of sorts, struggling to come to grips with Murray's physicality and consistency.

Murray had the chance in the second game of the second set to wound Djokovic again, but could not convert three break points.

It was an unexpected reprieve - and exactly what Djokovic needed.

Only the sixth man to reach four Australian Open finals in the Open era, Djokovic relaxed and became more intimidating.

Djokovic celebrates his historic victory.

And when Murray produced only his fifth double fault of the tournament in the tiebreak - after a feather disrupted play - the Serb sensed his opponent's anxiety.

His instincts were right. It was a watershed moment as Murray stumbled with unforced error and the match was back on an even footing.

Worse soon followed for Murray as Djokovic took control of more rallies, piling on pressure with every point.

Service breaks in the eighth game of the third set, the third and fifth games (double fault) of the fourth set were sufficient to carry the baseliner over the line.

Djokovic hit 47 winners to Murray's 29, despite making 61 unforced errors to Murray's 46.

Djokovic earned $2,436,00 and retains the world No 1 ranking, while Murray received $1,215,00.


23.08 | 0 komentar | Read More

Schools spy on suspect parents

SCHOOL principals are enlisting the help of private investigators to catch out parents who provide false addresses to secure a place for their child at some of Sydney's top schools.

An investigations firm caught out 23 parents who were fudging enrolment paperwork last year, with families in the eastern suburbs and Mosman among the worst offenders.

Fair enough or overkill? Leave a comment below

And it's not just the principals using such tactics - some parents are hiring investigators to make checks on prospective rivals who also want their child to attend a certain school.

It comes amid fierce competition for places at government-run schools such as Cheltenham Girls High School, Killara High School and Epping Boys High School as well as independent schools which perform well in NAPLAN and the HSC.

In a recent Australian Scholarships Group survey, 60 per cent of parents said they would rent or buy a house near a top school to get their child into a preferred institution.

About 17 per cent admitted they would use a false address to fool school administrators into believing they were locals, and 14 per cent would personally appeal to the principal.

Other parents - about 9 per cent - said they would have their child baptised to get into a good Catholic school.

Impact Investigations and Security manager John Bergson said his company had been enlisted to help catch cheating parents, with clients including both public and private schools.

"We see a lot of cases where the school contacts us and says 'look we suspect parents A, B and C aren't living in the given address that they have provided, can you look at it'?" he said.

At a cost of $5000, Mr Bergson will conduct surveillance of the property and search for official land ownership records to determine whether the parent is telling the school the truth.

"Last year we found 23 cases which came back positive and the parent was not living at that particular address," he said.

At Killara High School, students wishing to enrol must reside on one of 322 local streets and parents must provide property deeds, tenancy agreements and utility bills to prove they live at an eligible address.

In Willoughby, Forsyth Real Estate principal James Snodgrass said 35 per cent of families buying property in the area wanted their children to be in the catchment zone of good schools such as Willoughby Girls High.

Families unable to buy a property in the suburb would rent until a house came on the market, he said.

"People come in with a map in their hand and they know what the school catchment areas are."

Dr Mark Turkington, acting executive director of Sydney's Catholic Schools, said he was not aware of any data suggesting that there was a widespread problem of children being baptised to get into a school.

"While there may be occasional incidents, we have a clear enrolment policy and criteria. Principals and local school enrolment committees apply these criteria with great care and professionalism," he said.

Charles Rahim, owner of Charlie's Angels Consultants, said his clients included parents who suspected other families of lying about their address.

"We have had instances when the clients are other parents who are competing to get their kids in the school and they come with information that someone else has applied but they don't live in that area, then they want us to get evidence that they don't live in the catchment area," he said.

"In an instance where the substitute address has been provided to us, we check out that address to see whether the parent is actually doing their activities from that area or not."

23.08 | 0 komentar | Read More

Baby saved in brave flood rescue

A baby boy is zipped into a bag during his rescue. Picture: Channel 7 Source: Herald Sun

A TODDLER was put in a bag and winched to safety as raging floodwaters threatened to sweep him and two women from the back of their ute yesterday.

The rescue, captured on camera by the heroic rescuer who was lowered down to the stricken vehicle at Biloela, central Queensland, came on a day of drama as a huge storm cell battered the Sunshine State and dumped torrential rain on most of the country's east coast.

After the terrified boy was lifted to the helicopter hovering above, footage showed him being taken out of the waterproof bag minutes before the two women were rescued.

Elsewhere in Queensland, an elderly man's body was found in floodwaters at Burnett Heads and there were fears for two other people who went missing during the day.

Queensland Premier Campbell Newman called for army helicopters to help in Bundaberg, where 300 homes and 100 businesses were expected to be inundated by floods overnight.

A toddler and two women were airlifted from their ute trapped in floodwaters. Picture: Channel 7.

Some homes had only just been rebuilt following devastating floods two years ago.

Police Commissioner Ian Stewart said officers had recovered the body of an elderly man at Burnett Heads but, with next of kin yet to be advised, he would not reveal further details.

In Gympie, a 27-year-old man is missing after being swept away trying to cross the swollen Widgee Creek.

A man and a woman he was with were rescued.

The ute trapped in floodwaters. Picture: Channel 7

There are also fears for a woman who drove into floodwaters at Pacific Haven near Maryborough.

Five small twisters tore roofs from houses, brought down powerlines and uprooted trees as they ripped into Bargara, Burnett Heads and Coonarr near Bundaberg, leaving some 20 people injured.

Another tornado was reported at Mooloolaba.

More than 60,000 homes were without power across southeast Queensland late yesterday, with that figure expected to rise.

Bundaberg was cut in half when two bridges were closed as the Burnett River rose to 7.2m.

Two helicopters saved a couple who were left clinging to a log in rising water after their boat capsized at Pacific Haven, southeast of Childers, which had been cut off.

The woman was winched to safety, while the man was able to wade to the bank and return to their home.

The aircraft carried out another rescue in the same town of an elderly man with mobility issues and his wife, who were both winched to safety from their home.

23.08 | 0 komentar | Read More

Struggling single mums seek work

Many single parents are looking for work to cope with the pressures of cuts to welfare payments and the costs associated with their children starting a new year at school. Picture: Thinkstock/ Brocreative Source: Supplied

CUTS to single-parent welfare have combined with the start of the school year to fuel a boom in applications for jobs in retail, hospitality, administration and health.

Spurred by the 64,000 mothers around the country who had their single parent payments cut by at least $60 per week on January 1.

As a result, many women have applied for positions employers have traditionally struggled to fill over the summer holiday period.

The start of the school year next week will create even more demand, as parents are relieved of their carer's duties and have time to look for work.

Employment service CareerMums director Kate Sykes said the normally quiet summer period has been a lot busier than usual.

"Comparing to last January, we are up by 65 per cent in new registrations on CareerMums which may have come about from the changes to the federal government allowances," she said.

"There has also been in increase in emails and phone calls from women highlighting their desperate circumstances to find a job.

"The start of school term always attracts more seekers and jobs."

On Google.com the search term 'jobs for mums' last week peaked to its highest point in the last 12 months.

"Searches for 'jobs for parents' are also up 39 per cent compared to the same time last year,"a Google spokesman said.

"'Maternity Leave' searches have sky rocketed since the government's announcement on January 1, more than tripling in the first few weeks compared to searches in December 2012.

"Searches for 'jobs for women' are on the rise in 2013."

The spike in job applications is part of a wider trend of more women in the workforce than ever.

The proportion women aged 20-74 in the workforce has increased from 60-65 per cent since 2001, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

During the same period the male participation rate went from 78-79 per cent.

Kate Wiechmann is the executive director of female employment service Dressed for Success in Sydney, which also has offices in Melbourne and Brisbane.

She said childcare, aged care, retail and hospitality are the biggest employers for women coming through their doors.

"We are going to see a further upswing of people in the next few months as they realise they can't cope without the money," she said.

"They would be going into those traditional industries. Quite often they are the primary carers in their families and will need to go back to work."

Top ten occupations for women returning to the workforce

Customer Service
Call centre /help desk (shift work)
Banking teller positions
Virtual assistants
School/childcare/aged care
Health (shift work)

Tips for mums returning to work

  • Do a skills audit on yourself. What have I done in the past? What skills have I acquired being a mum?
  • Don't limit yourself to finding the perfect fit or the ideal part-time role.
  • Apply for jobs you might not get. Let the employer screen you rather than screening yourself out from positions.
  • Use your network family, friends, ex-colleagues and managers.

Source: CareerMums

23.08 | 0 komentar | Read More

There's worse to come, warns Premier

Home evacuation on Victoria, St Windsor, as waters rise on Sunday. Picture: Glen Male Source: The Courier-Mail

THOUSANDS of Brisbane and Ipswich residents face days of uncertainty as swollen creeks and rivers deliver a "double whammy" for the second time in just over two years.

This story will be continually updated throughout the day. Keep checking for updates. If you have pictures, MMS them to 0428 258 117 or email them.

We have a gallery of flood and wild weather photos here.

See the Brisbane City Council flood maps

Intense rainfall directly over the Wivenhoe Dam catchment was yesterday blamed for the sudden change in outlook for the southeast corner, which had been expected to avoid a repeat of the devastating 2011 floods.

Falls of another 100mm are now projected to cause the Brisbane and Bremer rivers to breach their banks over 24 hours from midnight tonight, with a second dose of flooding to flow into tomorrow and Wednesday.

Parts of Brisbane were already flooded last night, with four people rescued from an Ashgrove property after a torrent of water trapped them in their home on Mossvale St.

Waves crash into the breakwater and yachts which are beginning to slip their moorings at Redcliffe, in wild weather as a result of Ex Tropical cyclone Oswald. Picture: Lyndon Mechielsen

Police said the street had been evacuated early in the evening, but residents of the house decided to stay behind before becoming concerned by rising water and calling for help.

Preparing for the worst, more than 100 cars lined up for sandbags at Newmarket SES depot.

Ex-Cyclone Oswald's march down the Queensland coast left a trail of destruction and caused flash flooding throughout the weekend.

But in a dramatic few hours late yesterday, authorities revealed the worst was not over.

More than 5000 homes and businesses across Brisbane are now expected to flood over the next few days, including in suburbs such as Rocklea, Rosalie, Milton and Auchenflower, which were hit hard in 2011. But areas not flooded in 2011 are also now in the firing line, with creeks rising across the city along with the Brisbane River.

In Ipswich, 400 properties are expected to face some flooding in Brassall, Bundamba, Goodna, Churchill, Moores Pocket, North Boovall and West Ipswich.

Premier Campbell Newman said the floods would not be as devastating as two years ago.

He urged people not to panic, but to check the flood maps and to prepare if they were in an area that may flood.

"If it doesn't occur, then I'm sorry in advance," the Premier said.

Brisbane Lord Mayor Graham Quirk said computer modelling showed 3600 residential dwellings faced some degree of flooding, including 1500 houses and 2100 units.

Another 1250 businesses are also expected to be flooded.

"It's worse than what we thought at lunchtime," the Lord Mayor said late yesterday.

An elderly man has been confirmed dead in Qld's unfolding flood crisis, with grave fears for three others.

"The intensity of the rainfall in certain localities, and the modelling which is before us is indicating the amount of water coming down from the west will result in flooding in the Brisbane River."

The first area within Brisbane to be affected by the rising river would be Moggill, he said.

"That would be very late on Monday evening when the river reached its heights," Cr Quirk said.

"Then there would be a repeat on the Tuesday evening.

"So we're not going to see any flood impacts on the CBD, but there will be properties in a whole range of suburbs."

He also warned of further flooding, caused by overflowing creeks and some big high tides.

Jock and Xavier Power wade through Sandgate. Picture: Lyndon Mechielsen

"I'm getting reports of a number of our creeks reaching capacity, so again this is a double whammy this time compared to 2011," Cr Quirk said.

Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale said the forecast peak for the Bremer River was 14.45m, well below the 19.4m peak in 2011.

"Hopefully it's a little bit less than that, and it's also based on 100mm falling in the lower catchment overnight," Cr Pisasale said.

"What we want to do is tell people not to panic because it doesn't peak until midnight. This morning I will be making decisions in regard to evacuations and everything else once we know what the rainfall is."

Cr Quirk said the forecast flooding was "not impacted directly by releases from the dam" which were reduced from about lunchtime yesterday.

Mr Newman, who took responsibility for the decision to lower the level of Wivenhoe and North Pine dams on Friday, said further releases were in the hands of controlling body Seqwater.

Locals collect sandbags , for use if needed later in the day, in Sandgate in wild weather as a result of Ex Tropical cyclone Oswald , as it slowly tracks south through South-east QLD Picture: Lyndon Mechielsen

"What happens is the Bureau of Meteorology do their forecasting with their models, they then provide estimates to SEQWater who plug that modelling into their system and then decide how they have to actually operate the dam," Mr Newman said.

He stressed the looming flood event would be "a far far lesser event than 2011".

"That's why people need to just be calm, look at the (flood) maps first, have a big think and then decide what to do," the Premier said.

"We're putting it out there if people are not on those lists, or those maps, they still might want to think about it, but on the information we've got this afternoon, they're in the clear."

The Insurance Council of Australia praised Mr Newman and Cr Quirk for giving residents as much notice as possible for the likely flood, saying it could help minimise the extent of property damage.

Late yesterday, insurers had received about 2000 claims related to the destructive weather event that has so far stretched from the Cape, to the southeast corner.

Brisbane's Kedron Brook floods as an extreme downpour takes water levels to their highest in a decade.

"Insurers are ready to do what they can. Call centres are standing by right now," Insurance Council Australia communications manager Campbell Fuller said. "They're staffed up and waiting for claims."

He declined to speculate on what impact a repeat dose of flooding would have on insurance policies for households already paying inflated premiums following the 2011 event.

"They will still be able to buy flood cover if they want it, but the cost of the premium will reflect the flood risk," Mr Fuller said.

23.08 | 0 komentar | Read More

Check your area: council releases flood maps

THE Brisbane City Council has released flood maps showing suburbs potentially affected by the severe weather slamming the southeast.

Parts of Brisbane and Ipswich will flood but the levels will not be as devastating as they were in 2011, authorities say.

If current projections play out, 3600 residential properties will be affected in Brisbane and of those, 2100 are unit dwellings where only ground floor flooding is expected.

About 1250 business properties are also expected to be affected in Brisbane while about 50 homes are projected to be inundated in the Ipswich suburb of Goodna.

Queensland Premier Campbell Newman says flood peaks would be much less than what was experienced in 2011.

Brisbane is expecting a 2.6 metre flood peak, nearly half of the 4.46m peak in 2011.

The Ipswich peak is expected to be five metres less than the 19.4m level in 2011.

BCC list of streets that may flood or partially flood

Full list of current road closures

"There will be flooding but the flooding is much much lower than what we saw in 2011," he said.

Mr Newman said the projections were based on the best scientific modelling by forecasters.

There would be minor floods in the Brisbane River, and in the Bremer River that flows through the city of Ipswich to the west of Brisbane.

"The peak of any flood will occur in Ipswich we believe around midnight (AEST) tomorrow (Monday) night," Mr Newman said.

"Similarly the peak at the western side of the Brisbane City Council boundary will be about midnight on Monday night."

Moggill is projected to be the first Brisbane suburb to be flood-affected on Monday afternoon.

Mr Newman said flood maps would shortly be released by the Brisbane and Ipswich councils, showing lists of affected suburbs.

The worst of the projected flooding would be seen further downstream around noon on Tuesday, with another peak expected at noon on Wednesday.

"If it doesn't occur, then I'm sorry in advance," the premier said.

"We want to give the communities in Brisbane and Ipswich, on the Brisbane and Bremer rivers, the best possible information as soon as it is available."

He urged people not to panic, but to check the flood maps and to prepare if they were in an area that may flood.

Mr Newman said there was flooding in the Lockyer Creek and the Bremer River which fed into the Brisbane River downstream from the Wivenhoe dam.

However rainfalls are easing in the Brisbane and Stanley river catchments, which flow into Wivenhoe and Somerset dams.

23.08 | 0 komentar | Read More
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