Sunday, 23 January 2011

Brisbane Floods: a reason for the costs

Heard this morning that the Treasurer says that even though the levels of the flood in Brisbane did not reach that of 1974 the cost will be higher. This may seem strange at first glance but here is perhaps a significant explanation for that

The population of Brisbane has more than doubled since that time. Not only that, but the population has very much focused on development on and around the river.

Well after the floods died down in 74 (I think around the 80's) Brisbane started promoting the concept of "The River City" to "Celebrate" the river.

Now personally I think it was a move in a nice direction (in a last century kind of way) but it does come with some risk (as we've seen).

For the last 20 years or so I've given up saying "bet that'll flood" because everyone just says "oh don't be so negative it hasn't flooded here for ages".

I don't mind people being willing to accept the risks of flooding, but if you're playing with a thing and you don't know its a loaded gun thats a different story.

It isn't quite as simple as people are making out, much of the damage is caused by a combination of greed; disrespect for the losses of others and stupidity.

For example, this is Black Street in Milton (in behind the Suncorp Stadium), I used to work in that building with the red arrow and circle pointing it out.

Now recently the owners of the building decided to build in the "under building" ground level car park. Well when I worked in that building in the 80's it flooded a few times, but there was no damage because the building was raised and only the carpark flooded.

So now the businesses in that bottom story were flooded ... is this tragedy or giving a kid a grenade to play with?

I've heard this same story all over town.

So this is the main reason for why this disaster will cost so much to recover from, inappropriate development from the perspective of risk.

Business is built on risk, and while noone complains when the good times roll - don't whinge like a stuck piglet when the risk you took brings you a big cost.

It may only be once every many years, but ask yourself how often you are willing to take a risk which would kill your business?

Looking at the popularity of the tables at the Casino I guess its plenty of people...

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