Savour this sight because there might come a day when Emerald floods again and the local bottleshop runs dry.
Savour this sight because there might come a day when Emerald floods again and the local bottleshop runs dry.

Disaster detox

DRINKERS and smokers could face a rapid detox if the Emerald region is isolated by another natural disaster. Even ice cream addicts aren't immune from having ties suddenly severed with their favourite sweet treat.

In a shock move, the Central Highlands Regional Council's Local Disaster Management Group has ruled out alcohol, cigarettes, soft drink and some supermarket lines as essential resupply items.

With La Nina weather conditions intensifying, the onset of the wet season could be a good time to try to go dry.

But Emerald publican Andrew Ludlow has branded any beer ban as 'un-Australian'.

"I don't think we should be bringing in spirits, and you can't eat cigarettes, but beer… is a food item," Mr Ludlow maintained.

"For short periods of time you can live on it. We should certainly put apples and carrots before beer, but shouldn't we put beer before lamingtons?

"Beer is not necessarily an essential item, but it is part of a lot of people's diets in this area.

"All the people here three years ago (for the 2008 flood) will remember quite vividly how everyone went to everybody's house to get over the stress of what was happening.

"I think us supplying beer was helping people get over that stress.

"Everyone was coming in for a carton of beer and going wherever, having a drink and saying let's

forget about things for a while and deal with them in the morning.

"Everyone behaved in the right way, and there was great community spirit, and beer was part of that."

Mayor and chairman of the LDMG Peter Maguire said a brochure detailing the procedures for the resupply of essential items to communities and isolated properties had been released.

"Last season we found there were a lot of people who didn't understand the process of what could, and couldn't, be resupplied in a disaster event," Cr Maguire said, adding the brochure was aimed at retailers and community members whose normal supply processes could be impacted by disasters.

"It takes some time to go through the approvals processes, so we hope that by getting everyone affected understanding what's involved, we will all be better prepared for future events.

"So, if you're not stocked up and there's no room on the truck, you might find yourself sitting out a disaster going through an involuntary detox.

"It's just another reminder we need to be prepared for any eventuality."

It was a reminder for Bill Reid, owner of Emerald's Mayfair Tavern and bottle shop, who said he had no contingency plan for alcohol resupply if the town was cut off once more.

"As far as contingency plans for when we run out of stock, we don't have one," he admitted.

"At Christmas time we carry triple the stock anyway, and that worked in our favour anyway, although we virtually got through the whole stock (last year).

"We did run out of some stock, but if you wanted to buy a carton of beer, you could."

Emergency Management Queensland will host a workshop outlining the resupply procedures in Emerald on November 22.

Items not resupplied

  • LPG, industrial gases, fuels, oils, explosives (by air)
  • Machinery
  • Fresh milk
  • Frozen/chilled goods
  • Soft drinks
  • Ice cream
  • Non essential/luxury items
  • Alcohol and cigarettes

*Items requiring chilling such as fresh milk will be supplied if suitable transport can be arranged.


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