9 December 2019
Article in The Australian Newspaper by columnist Ross Fitzgerald 'Dam the naysayers, and let these good ideas flow'. Extract 'Morrison must know that there’s a problem. He would not otherwise have appointed former Northern Territory chief minister Shane Stone as the drought co-ordinator. For most of the past year, Stone has been quietly but effectively managing the aftermath of the floods in western Queensland with tens of thousands of dead cattle and farmers traumatised by a succession of enduring natural disasters. Morrison is no doubt hoping that this can-do former politician (who has no time for the climate cult, who’s not in awe of bureaucrats, and won’t take any unreasonable “no” for an answer), can take the heat off the National Party ministers whose feuding has made them so ineffectual. While Stone can’t make it rain, any more than anyone else, he might just have the combination of independence and political authority to tell the Prime Minister that the phobia about dams must end'. The National Drought and North Queensland Flood Response and Recovery Agency were announced by Prime Minister Scott Morrison on 5 December 2019 to lead a national response to the drought affecting large parts of the country and to continue supporting North Queensland communities affected by wide-spread flooding in early 2019. The Agency is led by the Hon Shane L Stone AC QC, Coordinator-General and Chairman of the Advisory Board. It was previously known as the North Queensland Livestock Industry Recovery Agency (NQLIRA). The Agency’s guiding principle is “Locally led, locally understood and locally implemented” and the Agency will bring together all levels of government, non-government and key industry representatives to work with and support people who are touched by flood and drought. Not all media coverage has made it into my archives as some are repetitive and syndicated.