Mr BUCHHOLZ (Wright) (10:28): Currently in Queensland we are experiencing some abnormal weather conditions from Cyclone Debbie. My home town of Rockhampton, in central Queensland, has been inundated with higher than average rainfall. My heart and thoughts go out to family members and friends in that particular community as they go about their day doing business. Closer to home, as we come down the coast to my electorate, based in the south-east Queensland corner—the Gold Coast hinterland, Tamborine and the Fassifern and Lockyer valleys bordering Toowoomba—we are also now experiencing higher than average rainfall.
Having spoken to a number of people in my electorate this morning, looking for updates, I can say that the state of preparation and readiness is high. I spoke this morning with Alan Smith, the Beaudesert State High School principal, who has shut down the school. I think all of the schools from Central Queensland down to the border are shut today. So there are no children being educated, and that is not a bad thing, because with these unprecedented weather conditions keeping kids at home, whilst it may be a temporary inconvenience, is possibly the safest option for the kids. We are waiting on advice as to whether or not they are going back to school tomorrow, which will depend on the damage. Heavy rainfall is expected in the south-east corner this afternoon and it will strengthen until this evening.
That gives me the opportunity to suggest to people that if they have to be on the road, for whatever reason, and they used to drive at 100 kilometres per hour on a highway, because they have driven that highway every afternoon for the last 10 years at 100 kilometres per hour, if it is raining and there are many inches of water on the road then do not make the assumption that you can drive at 100 kilometres an hour. I remember a very effective drink-driving campaign that we had in Queensland. It was, ‘If you drink drive, you’re a bloody idiot.’ Well, today we see a campaign which is not that different: if it is flooded, forget it. I want to reiterate that: if there is a swollen river with floodwater across the road do not attempt to go through it. If you do that you are a fool. If you drive into flooded waters you are a fool, because you put the lives of emergency services personnel—who potentially live in my electorate—and council workers at risk. They will then have to endanger their lives to go out, save you and pluck you to safety. Yes, whilst they train for it, they do not look forward to it. A good flood is a flood where there are no deaths. My electorate has unfortunately not had good floods all the time. I hope that this is a good flood.
Video of speech: https://youtu.be/Uo5digv3xyE