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Byron Shire
September 29, 2022

Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: Being Ready

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Olivia Katz is making a documentary that tells the powerful stories of those who were impacted by floods and where they are now. These are the stories we need to be hearing. The ones silenced when election promises float away and climate targets are forgotten.

I used to love the sound of rain. Now, like many others, it frightens me. It reminds me that we are not ready. That we have not recovered. That we do not have a plan. It reminds me that so many are vulnerable. And that they continue to be. It reminds me that climate change isn’t abstract. That it’s very real. It’s why a 91-year-old woman was rescued by boat through her window; it’s why whole communities disappeared in one night.

It reminds me that we are still in trouble. And that trouble didn’t recede with the waters. It just became hidden. It wasn’t the kind of trouble you can get amazing news footage of in your chopper. People aren’t on their roofs waving for help any more. The distress in our community isn’t flood evacuation news porn. It’s people camping in homes using old election corflutes for walls. Or staying in temporary accommodation. Or tents. Or caravans. Or people waiting for tradies for repairs. Or those who gave up and did it themselves. And those who want to raise their home but don’t know how or when. It’s all those who have waited for solutions that haven’t come, and so have gone back to their homes or businesses, and started again. They’re stuck. They’re forgotten. They’re overlooked. They’re just hanging in. They’re giving up. They’re leaving. They’re broken. They’re tired. They want answers. They’re nervous. And they’ve just been warned.

More rain. That’s what they are saying. A triple La Niña. The people in charge are saying we should be ready. That’s what they said on the news. WTF. How do you be ready when you still haven’t recovered? So many are still on their knees. How do you move your van when you don’t even have a car? How do you be ready when you’re still waiting for a plan from the Reconstruction Corporation? 

What is going to happen if we get hit by more floods in the next few months?

The water table is still saturated from the flooding events earlier this year. You don’t have to be a hydrologist to know it won’t take much for the water to rise again. And what happens then? Will we be as resilient as we were last time? Conditions have changed. There are so many displaced communities. Some driveways are still impassable. Some rivers have changed course and roads have fallen away. Another extended downpour could be catastrophic in some places. I’ve seen some of the landslips in the hills – they’re scary. I’ve driven past houses in Lismore that went in up to their roofs last time, and I can see that people are back home. Because they don’t have anywhere to go. So how the F can you say ‘be ready’? What does ‘ready’ even mean?

Why haven’t hundreds of houses been raised? Why haven’t whole neighbourhoods been moved? Why haven’t new homes been built? We’re not even close to ‘ready’. 

We have a prime minister heading a government who thinks you can address climate change AND keep expanding fossil fuels. That’s like smoking in the lung cancer ward. It’s stupid. It’s wrong. And it’s shameful. He knows it. Is it why Albo is saying he’s not going to attend COP 27, the UN climate change summit this year? I guess when you’re continuing to expand your fossil fuel industry at a time of apocalyptic climate change you’re going to avoid going to a world forum where you are gonna get shamed.

Albo reckons he’s been away too much. WTF. He can fly to the Queen’s funeral but can’t find time in his diary to deal with the single greatest issue facing all of humankind? The reason why so many in our region lost everything? The reason why the islands in the Pacific are going under?

I want to know that my PM is prepared to face the music. So instead of telling us to ‘be ready’, how about our government ‘be ready’? 

It starts with turning up. And it starts with policy. You know what ‘Be Ready’ means?

It means transition to renewables more quickly. It means no more new fossil fuel or gas exploration. How dare the government instruct their agencies to ask us to ‘be ready’ when their bad policy puts us in danger in the first place.

So here’s our message to government.

We are ready. So catch up.

Olivia Katz is making a documentary that tells the powerful stories of those who were impacted by floods and where they are now. These are the stories we need to be hearing. The ones silenced when election promises float away and climate targets are forgotten.

Please donate so this powerful story can get the viewing it deserves.

The link to our gofundme is: https://gofund.me/ba3f6467

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16 COMMENTS

  1. If you live in a flood plain expect to be flooded.
    Seems to be a local council issue.Building approvals.
    Lismore should not be rebuilt. It will just flood again. As will Mullumbimby.

  2. Mandy, 100%.

    And we not being fooled by CoAlbo, we see and hear his forked tongue on climate AND more Big New FF Adventures.
    Election2022, we simply swapped out ScoalMO and put in CoAlbo, and they both love the Methane burning.
    Election 2025 can’t come quick enough for the Greens, Teals and Indies tidal wave to wash away the FF gangsters.

    The flood victims and the resulting accommodation sorry stories is a re-run of the aftermath of the 2019/20 National Bushfire Apocalypse.

  3. And on the home front here in Mullum, Are we ready for evacuation in Mullum?
    Last time We flooded our evacuation centre flooded too, we were moved into the Ex Services across the road and water rose up the steps there. Who knows if it will be high enough next time?
    There was talk of using St John’s school it’s on higher ground next time but bureaucracy got in the way – has that been resolved now?

  4. All the floodplain towns need to be relocated to higher ground. The government is allowed to be corrupted by political donations hence human welfare is no longer the priority.
    Solar powered weather proof ( and mould proof) stylish container homes could be built fast.

  5. You are causing the flooding if you are still eating meat and drinking cows milk!!
    WHY? Because you have to destroy 5000 trees to make pasture for 1 cow, who then tramples the earth into a HARD PAN which does not absob water.
    Lismore and Mullum were not built on flood plains obviously.The Dairy farmers,Norco,and the timber getters created the flood plains..Stop drinking Milk and plant trees.

  6. Just more propaganda..gaslighting nonsense..
    the biggest hoax in history.. name one country that has cheaper electricity costs as a result of
    Renewables ? Uh i forgot behind a car last week
    Sticker “Climate Emergency ” driving a ford falcon
    Blowing smoke .. that’s you Joachim Mandy
    Brandt & Con ..” do as i say not as I do “

    • You 100% right Barrow old son.
      The around the world and here at home, record flood and fire events are just not real, just not happening, there is just no climate emergency at all to be concerned about.

      Barrow my man, I don’t own a car.
      But if I did and it was blowing smoke I wouldn’t be driving it until it got fixed.
      It hard to understand why you celebrate polluting in your little scribble.
      I’m guessing that the police highway patrol will be onto your Falcon man and sort him out.

      So, once again you’ve put your foot in your mouth.
      Barrow, you are GOLD for making a goose of yourself, keep it coming.

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