Flood Warning and Damages in Alice Springs: Part 1 Executive Summary. Part 2 Tangible Damages Part 3 Intangible Damages & Emergency Procedures
Handmer, John; Smith, D. I.; Greenaway, Mark
E-Publications; E-Books; PublicationNT; Report ; 53/1989
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Power and Water Authority
Report ; 53/1989
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Technical Report WRA89053 Viewed at 03:02:00 on 18/02/2010 Page 67 of 139. .0 such as heavy rai~. Howeve~f on this occaSlon t~e flood took many bv surDrise. " . ~he police have cc~ducted an informal i~quiry. ;-':o'.;ever, most attectio!) by ~he media and ;illorigir.al organisations appears to have focussed cn the dea~h of one .lI.horiginal du:::ing a :::escue attempt. Four ;'.borigines .... ere trapped by the flood in a tree growing in the bee of the Todd. A helicopte::: safely rescued one person, b~~ during the second rescue the helicopter appea:::ed to go out of cont::-ol and a:1 P-..boriginal "'ias drowned and a police of:ice:::injured. This is cor.uner.-cec on in "Warning and emerger.cy respo~se!', below. Racial tension Two aspects of the flood may have increased :::ac~al ~e~sion. Some reports sugges~ a racist attitude 0:1. the part of the police for fai1i:--.g t.o pursue the rescue of other ;'..borigines following the accident ~entioned above. T~e po~ice feel that they risked thei::: lives and the lives of those be~ng rescued, and In the absence of proper rescue equ:p~ent decided that it was most appropriate to wait for the flood to subside. The ~.boriginal media has been critical 0: the police over the ~hole incident, including the alleged failure to no~ify the family of the deceased. So~e ..u..borigines in the tOvIn camps commented on the b:::-avery of the police rescuers. ~.nothe::: aspect is the debate over a flood ",itigatlon dam for Alice Springs. This is mentioned in che sectio~ "F'lood hazard management II, above. Immediar.ely afte~ cne flood some Northern Territory politicians suggested thac the flood would have been controlled by adam, if it had not been for Aboriginal opposition. .lI.horigines and other local people objected to the COIT~ents which they felt ~ad increased racial tension. Put very simply, when ~ull the proposed dam would inundate an Aboriginal sacred site. There is therefore st~ong opposition to a recrea~io~ lake which would permanently flood the site. However, there is substantially less opposition to a dam used o~ly for flood mitigation as this would mean that the site would be flooded only occasiona:~y. Health I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I It is particular:y difficult to assess the floodls impac: on I Aboriqinal health, as according to the ~~origlnal Congress (medi~al centre) their health status is generally poor. This tends to mas~ the effect of a single event. The I Cong~ess is grad~ally analysing computer healt~ ~ecords for the Aborigines in <:he district. Unfortunately the results are still pending. I I
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