ERROL PARKER | Editor-at-large | Contact
The Deputy Prime Minister has spoken to reporters today in Rockhampton where he was asked about the second ‘once-in-500-year’ flood event in Lismore today, to which Barnaby Joyce said there was a silver lining.
Professing that he “didn’t have a brain for maths” but by his calculations, it means the town of Lismore won’t have another serious flood event for at least a thousand years.
“Look, numbers aren’t my strong suit,” said the former accountant.
“But I think it’s a good thing that Lismore has got two ‘once-in-500-year’ flood events in the same month. I mean, it’s terrible for the people who live there now but lucky that they were so close together because that means they won’t happen again for at least a thousand years,”
“Five hundred plus five hundred is a thousand. You see what I mean?”
When asked what he would say if Lismore had a ‘once-in-a-thousand’ year flood this summer, Barnaby rolled his eyes.
“Well, I see we had the same maths teacher. Ms Adams at Danglemah Public School [laughs] Now she was a shithouse maths teacher but tell you what, she was the best damn cook in the whole valley. Her blackberry pie won more blue ribbons at the Walcha Show than you’ve had hot dinners, I tell you what,” he said.
“I’m no culture vulture but I know good blackberry pie when I taste it. Anyway, that would mean it’d be 2000 years until the next bad flood in Lismore. In 2000 years, which is the same distance in the future as Jesus is in the past, Lismore might even not be there. It might be the capital of Australia. It could be the next New York City,”
“I don’t have a crystal ball, I’m just the dough-banging son of a wool grower from Danglemah [laughs]”
More to come.