Flood recovery in Queensland: A flood victim has withdrawn from major parties for lack of climate action

Political leaders are keeping flood recovery money flowing, but a flood victim in Queensland has called on those on both sides of the fence for climate policies that will only add to the chaos.

Verity Morgan-Schmidt and her family – who live near Gympie in southeastern Queensland – have been front-row seats to the raging floods that have ravaged parts of the state three times in just four months.

Flood recovery in Queensland: A flood victim has withdrawn from major parties for lack of climate action

“We are isolated, cut off from the city; the children have been repeatedly sent home from school,” she said.

The principal of Gheerulla Creek Consulting and former CEO of Farmers for Climate Action says that while she and her children were not as affected as others during the crisis, it was frustrating to see climate policy underway after such devastation.

The activist — deeply involved in agricultural sustainability — told NCA NewsWire: “Both major parties have climate policies consistent with the kind of emissions reductions we need to see to limit global warming.”

“Right now, we have policies and a lot of shouting, but we have policies that are completely inadequate to address the deeper emissions reductions needed this decade,” she said.

Camera IconVerity Morgan-Schmidt advocates for major parties to ‘do more’ regarding climate change. Delivered. Credit: News Corp Australia

“I’m concerned about what we’re doing in the long run by not having a selective, honest conversation about climate change and what it means for our regions.”

Ms. Verity-Schmidt’s comments come after the state and federal governments announced this week that they would each invest $360 million to support a new Phase 3 Flood Recovery Package, including mental health, environmental and economic measures.

Queensland Prime Minister Annastacia Palaszczuk welcomed the funding she had requested from Morrison’s government: “I’ve always said we work best when we work together”.

Recent data has shown that climate change intensifies rainfall, with extreme weather patterns increasing nearly double per degree.

Mrs. Verity-Schmidt knows all too well.

She said on Thursday that the “real challenge for all of us is staring at rain throughout another weekend.”

“We’ve got the Mary River a mile away,” she said.

“You know, it’s just more heartache, stress, and unrest on top of what the people of Queensland have been through three times already this year.”

The record-breaking and brutal deluge that flooded towns and cities in Queensland was one of the most extreme disasters in Australian history, with about 60 percent of the region’s average annual rainfall falling within three days.

By comparison, Brisbane fell almost the same amount of rain in three days as London in the UK over an entire year.

Camera IconFloodwaters in Gympie on Sunday. Lachie Millard Credit: News Corp Australia

The supercharged climate destroyed tens of thousands of homes and businesses, which were completely submerged, and claimed the lives of at least 22 people.

“You know, we throw out the word resilient every time disaster strikes, they would… [politicians] saying our fellow Australians are resilient will get them back on their feet. But I’m speaking to communities in Australia, and that resilience is starting to get a little thin,” said Mrs. Morgan.-Schmidt.

Lori J. Kile
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