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  1. Launceston definitely dodged a bullet in the last rain event. It had the potential to be the biggest flood since 1929. Rainfall models a few days out from last week’s event indicated two “bullseyes” for 300mmm plus rainfall over the three days. One was over the North East highlands and the other inland from Devonport. The moisture feed from the inland troughs dipping down into Victoria and Tasmania had all the ingredients for even greater flooding across the north of the state. We got lucky for the following reasons
    1) Three weeks of relatively dry weather allowing the catchments to dry out despite there still being healthy flows in the rivers.
    2) The incredible rainfall recorded at Scamander (278 mm) and Falmouth (282 mm) on Wednesday/Thursday fell on the coast and although Grey did get in excess of 200 mm had there been similar totals further inland there would have been more water in the South Esk catchment.
    3) The North Esk/ St Patricks catchments were spared the heaviest of the rainfall. For there to be a 1 in 100 year flood the South Esk/ North Esk and St Patricks catchments must be at major flood level simultaneously.
    4) The forecast heavy falls on Thursday and Friday in the North East failed to eventuate.

    The potential is still there. We have the most powerful La Nina since records began. Rainfall around the country has been outrageous in some places. Jeparit a small town in the Mallee received 161 mm last week in 24 hours almost half its annual rainfall. Anything can happen. For Launceston’s sake I hope it doesn’t but we were very very fortunate last week.

    Posted by David Mohr  on  17/01/11  at  07:38 PM
  2. Good to see mainstream agriculture getting a run on TT.

    And what happens to the “valuable” plantations if myrtle rust gets a hold?

    And which idiot(s) let it enter NSW?

    Posted by John Maddock  on  17/01/11  at  08:22 PM
  3. 3 to 8 A short summarization. Regeneration burns are actually bad for the soil, bad for the tree plantations, bad for our health and bad for the world.

    Posted by max  on  18/01/11  at  07:40 AM
  4. Re #9 A good summary explains why they are known as degeneration burns. Perhaps some plantations can and will now be turned over to food production, especially in light of recent events.

    The value of food crops to Australia must have grown exponentially over the last months right across the country. ie the value as food. The prices we will pay will hopefully reflect the value of what comes out of and is paid to the farm gate. I hope the farmers get their proper price and are not blackmailed/shortchanged by greed driven middlemen. The TFGA certainly has a protective role to play there. Let’s hope the TFGA stands up for farmers and is not sidetracked by any other powerful vested interest. eg expanded 1080 use rather than quality fencing rebuilds.  Otherwise what is the point of being a member of the TFGA. We need the experience of farmers now more than ever before. Except perhaps the war years. I struggle to comprehend how farmers can keep their spirits up after the pounding nature has dished out in recent times. Their work may have been washed away this time but their experience, knowledge and know how can never be. The TFGA has an obligation to support farmers in a way the farmers require. As a non farmer, I am humbled by the strength and courage of farming individuals and communities when and how they come back from adversity and I admire and wish them all well for that.

    Posted by russell  on  18/01/11  at  11:58 AM
  5. My Kimberley neighbours have lived here all there lives and they said they have never seen anything like the floods just gone.

    Silage bales, stacked on what was once believed to be safe high ground, were swept away. They weigh approx 500kgs each and when they’re stacked butting up against each other four deep you have to move the lot before you can move the first one.

    Nature is one very infinitely powerful force. Stop fucking with it.

    Posted by Russell Langfield  on  18/01/11  at  01:23 PM
  6. #2
    Good to see mainstream agriculture getting a run on TT.
    - Be very careful what you wish for.

    And what happens to the “valuable” plantations if myrtle rust gets a hold?
    - The same as what happens to any mainstream agricultural/horticultural crops that are in the Myrtaceae family (and many of our native species).

    And which idiot(s) let it enter NSW?
    - Mainstream agriculture/horticulture

    By the way.  Has anybody on TT actually seen this disease?  Are we sure that it is not some conspiracy by dark forces somewhere in the public service intent on using copious amounts of fungicide in irradiation efforts just for a laugh?

    Posted by mymy  on  18/01/11  at  03:18 PM
  7. Does anyone know any details regarding the landslip in the Meander catchment that was mentioned in today’s Examiner?

    Posted by David Mohr  on  18/01/11  at  06:28 PM
  8. And the good news just keeps on coming. Emergency managers in California are planning for extreme events, http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110117142512.htm
    What preperations are being made here to ensure we are not ready?.

    Posted by phill Parsons  on  19/01/11  at  05:58 AM
  9. Re #12
    I don’t think it has surfaced in Tasmania yet, has it?

    That aside, it looks possible that the eastern states could again be doused with a new formation of storms with a similar synoptic to that which caused the last lot.

    That will make it the third one in 150 year events within 12 months.

    These ridiculous “one in 100, 150 or 200 event” claims are the most ridiculous things I’ve ever heard. We’ve (the non-indigenous know-alls) hardly been here 200 years.

    The most frustrating and annoying thing is that all politicians and media can talk about is STILL “the economy” and “getting it back on track.”

    What a load of crap!

    When will the gutless pollies start doing something about actually tackling climate change to prevent all the future floods and storms?

    Otherwise, expect much more of the same.

    Posted by Russell Langfield  on  19/01/11  at  07:23 AM
  10. I think mymy #12 is probably correct in at least part, when he/she points the finger at mainstream agriculture as being responsible for letting the myrtle rust disease into NSW.

    I’ve not seen any information on where the disease normally lives, but I expect it will not be within or close to Australia. 

    In which case I doubt if mainstream agriculture is to blame.

    I’m guessing the nursery plant industry should carry the can, along with an under-funded AQIS.

    The weeds list to which I subscribe carries numerous and frequent reports of garden plants being imported or advocated by TV gardening programs which are or could be ecological time bombs.

    Posted by John Maddock  on  19/01/11  at  07:41 AM

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