Australian Floods

Australia’s fire crisis continues while flash floods hammer northern Queensland

By Martin Scott, 1 February 2020

Australia’s catastrophic summer escalates, with heavy rain in the north and bushfires in the south.

Australia: Northern Queensland flood causes widespread destruction

By Hugh Peters, 11 February 2019

Relief payments from the federal government are capped at a minuscule $1,000 per person, well below what is needed to address the widespread damage caused by the flood.

Australian flood crisis continues as questions mount over government preparations

By Oscar Grenfell, 6 April 2017

Governments at all levels have resisted calls for the construction of levees around the most flood-prone cities, on the grounds that they are too expensive.

East coast of Australia hit by catastrophic floods

By Oscar Grenfell, 3 April 2017

At least five people have perished in the disaster, with fears that the death toll will rise over the coming days.

Australia: Queensland flood victims still living in freight containers

By Mark Church, 31 July 2013

Two years on from the 2011 disaster in Brisbane and nearby areas, some residents remain in temporary housing, but corporate-related infrastructure has been rebuilt.

Four dead in severe floods across eastern Australia

By Mike Head, 29 January 2013

The latest floods, generated by ex-Cyclone Oswald, have inundated hundreds of homes and forced thousands of people to evacuate.

Australia: Floods inundate rural communities

By Richard Phillips, 8 March 2012

Large areas of eastern states have been deluged, with residents evacuated and transport cut in numerous areas, exposing poor flood mitigation infrastructure.

Australia: Government platitudes at Queensland flood memorials

By Richard Phillips, 16 January 2012

Flood memorial events in Queensland this week have been dominated by state and federal politicians desperate to cover up their role in the tragedy.

Australia: Queensland floods report covers up government responsibility

By Richard Phillips, 12 August 2011

The report fails to indict the state and federal governments for the gross inadequacy of emergency services and flood prevention measures during this year’s Queensland flood disaster.

Australia: Chaotic official response during Queensland flood emergency

By Richard Phillips, 13 May 2011

Flood inquiry testimony from flood victims and emergency rescue workers shows that thousands were left to fend for themselves.

Australia: Queensland flood inquiry raises questions about state government’s response

By Richard Phillips, 3 May 2011

Testimony by the water utilities minister revealed that the government failed to act on early warnings that massive rainfall from the La Niña weather pattern would hit the region.

Australia: Queensland flood inquiry exposes inadequate emergency services

By Richard Phillips, 29 April 2011

The inquiry is a mechanism to allow survivors to vent their frustration, while ensuring that the government and corporate interests responsible for the social catastrophe remain largely untouched.

Australia: Anger mounts as Labor governments abandon Queensland flood survivors

By Richard Phillips, 20 April 2011

As anger grows over the plight of flood victims, Labor politicians have attempted to deflect attention from their own responsibility for the social catastrophe by criticising the insurance corporations.

Australia: Insurers delay or deny claims of Queensland flood victims

“The power these companies have is really frightening”

By Terry Cook, 8 March 2011

Thousands of Queensland flood survivors continue to live in dire circumstances.

Video: Queensland floods—Goodna residents speak out

By Richard Phillips, 25 February 2011

Residents explain flood damage to their homes on January 13 and their frustrations over the refusal of insurance companies to pay out claims.

Greens back Australian government’s cost-cutting floods package

By Mike Head, 25 February 2011

By reaching an agreement with the government to vote for the package, the Greens underscored their determination to bolster the minority government of Prime Minister Julia Gillard and assist it to deliver further sweeping cuts in the May budget.

As anger rises over Queensland flood insurance

Australian prime minister rules out funds to rebuild local infrastructure

By our reporters, 15 February 2011

There will be no federal funds to repair flood-damaged council services such water, sewage or Brisbane’s river ferry terminals.

Video: Queensland floods—“The government is not supporting us”

Part two of an interview with Wendy Smith and Lee Sheppard

By Richard Phillips, 14 February 2011

Wendy Smith and Lee Sheppard explain the bureaucratic indifference of state authorities to the plight of flood survivors.

Video: Queensland floods—“I’ve lost everything”

Part one of an interview with Wendy Smith and Lee Sheppard

By Richard Phillips, 11 February 2011

Grantham agricultural workers Wendy Smith and Lee Sheppard explain how their home and other valuable personal possessions were trashed by the Queensland government’s “flood recovery” operations.

Video: Queensland floods: “They totally destroyed anything I could salvage”

On the spot report from Queensland

By Terry Cook and Oliver Campbell, 8 February 2011

Grantham motor mechanic Ray Van Dijk explains how the “flood recovery” operation destroyed valuable property of several local residents.

Australia: Flood victims’ property destroyed during official “recovery” operation

On-the-spot report from Queensland

By Terry Cook, 7 February 2011

Angry residents speak about the needless destruction of property during the recovery operations

Australia: Brisbane residents reveal ongoing impact of flood disaster

On-the-spot report from Queensland

By Oliver Campbell, 5 February 2011

World Socialist Web Site reporters discussed the long-term impact of the flood disaster with residents of Brisbane’s southern suburbs.

Video: Queensland floods: “It's all about the corporate dollar”

Part 2 of an interview with Marty Warburton in Grantham

By Richard Phillips, 5 February 2011

Grantham service station owner condemns the inadequate government response to the flood disaster.

Australia: Grantham—a community devastated

On-the-spot report from Queensland

By Richard Phillips, 4 February 2011

While the clean-up has removed some of the debris, evidence of the flood disaster was everywhere—wrecked homes, twisted cars, refrigerators, bathtubs, and mud-caked mobile phones.

Video: Queensland floods: “The government left us for dead”

Part 1 of an interview with Marty Warburton in Grantham

By Richard Phillips, 4 February 2011

Grantham petrol station owner Marty Warburton explains the terrifying flash-flooding that engulfed the small Queensland community in January.

Australian cyclone contributes to renewed flooding in Victoria

By Margaret Rees, 4 February 2011

Inundation is continuing to threaten towns, communities and farms in northern Victoria, as evidence emerges of government failures.

Australia: Goodna flood victims explain their plight

By a WSWS reporting team, 3 February 2011

Anger is growing because residents have lost everything, and they face hurdles erected by the federal and state Labor governments to accessing relief funding.

Cyclone Yasi causes extensive damage across north eastern Australia

By Mike Head, 3 February 2011

Cyclone Yasi has devastated a series of small towns in north Queensland overnight, ripping homes apart, tearing off roofs, cutting power and flattening crops.

Australia: Working people severely hit by Brisbane floods

On-the-spot report from Queensland

By Terry Cook, 3 February 2011

Despite government and media claims that things are “returning to normal”, life remains a nightmare for tens of thousands of people in Brisbane, the Queensland state capital.

Opposition emerges to Australian government’s flood tax package

By Mike Head, 2 February 2011

Amid developing opposition to the Gillard government’s flood levy, editorials have urged Labor to exploit the flood crisis to make even deeper cuts to government spending.

Australia’s floods: a failure of government and the profit system

Socialist Equality Party (Australia), 29 January 2011

The tragic loss of life and the destruction caused by the floods that have engulfed Queensland and other regions of Australia exposes the criminal indifference of every level of government for the lives and property of ordinary working people.

Australia: Gillard announces aid for business, nothing for flood victims

By James Cogan, 27 January 2011

The entire relief package consists of just $5.6 billion—compared with estimated damage of $20 billion—and will be spent overwhelmingly on the restoration of infrastructure necessary for the major mining conglomerates.

“The powers-that-be left us for dead”

Australia: Grantham flood survivor threatened with arrest

By Richard Phillips, 18 January 2011

Martin Warburton spoke with the World Socialist Web Site yesterday about police threats, the lack of flood warnings and the psychological impact of the flood on the small community.

Floods crisis widens in Australia

By Mike Head, 17 January 2011

Australia’s flooding has spread to the southern states of Victoria and Tasmania over the past few days, adding to the devastation already experienced by people in Brisbane and across Queensland, northern New South Wales and the central coast of Western Australia.

The flood crises in Sri Lanka and Australia

By Mike Head, 15 January 2011

Governments have proven utterly incapable of forewarning and protecting ordinary people from major, yet predictable, adverse weather events.

Queensland flood chief Major-General Mick Slater issues ominous warning

By Susan Allan, 14 January 2011

Slater’s comments are aimed, above all, at sending a message that the new flood task force is already preparing to defend government authorities and stifle any oppositional movement.

Australia: Floods engulf Brisbane as reports reveal authorities rejected warning measures

By Richard Phillips, 13 January 2011

The devastation in Brisbane is a result of government neglect of basic infrastructure, emergency services, flood management and mitigation measures and other vital needs.

Australia: Commodity prices soar as Queensland becomes “inland sea”

By Alex Messenger, 12 January 2011

The economic cost of the Queensland flood disaster is impacting on coal, wheat, sugar, and cotton prices internationally.

Australia: More deaths as a “wall of water” engulfs Queensland towns

By Richard Phillips, 11 January 2011

Massive floods swept through Toowoomba and nearby towns west of the Queensland capital Brisbane yesterday, killing at least eight people, including four children.

“We could have something far worse developing, something truly horrendous”

Australia: Flood management expert speaks to the World Socialist Web Site

By Susan Allan, 10 January 2011

Former deputy director of the NSW State Emergency Service Chas Keys spoke to the WSWS about declining state and federal government funds for flood mitigation, housing development on flood plains, deforestation and other factors behind the Queensland flood disaster.

Australia: Queensland crisis points to lack of flood mitigation and basic infrastructure

By Richard Phillips, 7 January 2011

Vast areas of southern and central Queensland remain inundated as three of the state’s major river systems—the Fitzroy, Condamine and Burnett rivers—continue to reach record heights.

Australia: Queensland floods worsen, with major regional towns cut off

By Susan Allan, 4 January 2011

Three people drowned last weekend, as floods continue to wreak havoc across Australia’s north-eastern state of Queensland, isolating scores of towns and inundating thousands of homes.