Goodwill and a concerted national effort needed
This article was published in The Australian 15 January 2011
The year 1864, just five years after Queensland separated from NSW, was a particularly difficult year for the fledgling state.
Severe flooding swamped the centre of Brisbane in March; in April, Brisbane's main shopping centre was destroyed by fire; finally in December the city's main street and adjoining streets were destroyed in Brisbane's worst fire.
In 2011, Queensland is again being devastated. But Queenslanders are fighters; it is in their DNA and their history.
As Australians thankfully dig deep to donate to the Queensland flood appeal, we need to remember that the impact of this latest disaster will not be short-lived.
Mick Slater, the man heading the rebuilding of the flood-affected areas, has conceded that "it will take years for some regions to fully recover".
The rain and flooding in Queensland is of almost biblical proportions. People across the whole state are affected. The long-term impact for Australia is not known yet, particularly the extent of the ripple effect.