Sunday, February 06, 2011

EconomicsAustralia: Flood, Cyclone costs: Prime Minister Gillard heads to austerity budget

Bloomberg (Feb5,2k11)

Australia's Gillard Eyes 

Budget Cuts to Meet Cost 

of Flood, Cyclone Damage

Australia, facing a damage bill that economists say may reach $20 billion after two months of floods, will need to make budget cuts after a cyclone this week exacerbated damage, Prime Minister Julia Gillard said.
“We will go through the budget and we will make some choices,” Gillard told Channel Ten’s “Meet The Press” program today. “There are no easy choices left now, so in making further budget cuts, there is going to be some pain.”
Destruction to Australia’s roads and crops may add to the burden on economic growth and inflation, leading to the government to reassess its budget due on May 10, Finance MinisterPenny Wong said Feb. 4. Tropical Cyclone Yasi tore through Queensland’s sugar- and banana-producing areas earlier this week, adding to the rain and flooding that left 35 people dead and disrupted coal mining.
-- Bloomberg's article intro posted by EconoMix

Bloomberg (Feb5,2k11)

Rains from Ex-Cyclone Yasi 

trigger evacuations of towns 

in Victoria State

Ex-Tropical Cyclone Yasi, which battered towns in Australia’s Queensland state with winds stronger than Hurricane Katrina, triggered the evacuation of towns in Victoria, Prime Minister Julia Gillard said.
“We are heading for some major problems in Victoria,” Gillard told Channel Ten’s “Meet The Press” program today. “This is going to get very tough indeed.”
Heavy rain has brought the threat of localized flash flooding, Lachlan Quick of Victoria’s State Emergency Service said in a phone interview from the state capital, Melbourne. Evacuation alerts were issued for towns including Halls Gap and Koo Wee Rup.
Yasi cut a destructive path through sugar- and banana- producing areas in Queensland earlier this week. Australia’s southern and eastern states have been swamped by flash floods, rain and swollen rivers for the past two months, leaving 35 people dead and a damage bill that economists say may reach A$20 billion ($20 billion).
About 90,000 homes and businesses remain without power in Queensland, less than half of Ergon Energy Corp. customers in the cyclone-affected area, Rod Rehbein, a Brisbane-based spokesman for the energy retailer, said in a phone interview today. About 120,000 customers were without power yesterday.

-- Bloomberg's Jason Scott article intro posted here by Economix
refWrite's staff asks readers to pray for our reformational friend, Dr Bruce Wearne and his family in Queensland and other parts of Australia.  Dr Wearne is a retired sociology prof doing scholarly work who reported to us earlier that he had been finding the humidity the most difficult burden to bear -- but now the ante is upped, to be sure.

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