Sunday 17 March 2013

Queensland reporting

So the ABC has sent me to Queensland as a recovery reporter, talking to the people around the Wide Bay area about how they're getting on since the January floods.

It's an important part of Local Radio's work, so I've done plenty of radio and online stories about it for the ABC.

This post is about all the weird incidental stuff that's happened since I arrived in the sunshine state.

First up, as you can see, I had to buy a hat.  I've wanted an Akubra for donkey's years and now I've found one that I like. The man in the shop says it will be good in the rain too - let's hope so, as I go back to Hobart in a week.

On my first day, the local boss-man Ross gave us a tour and it was quite an eye-opener.

Look at this place in North Bundaberg. During the floods the water in this area was several metres deep and flowing at over 70 km/h, so it would just swirl around some houses and dig out the foundations, leaving them in a sink-hole.

So that gives you an idea about what we've been looking at.

By we, I mean myself and my colleague Phil Staley, who you can see here interviewing the wrong end of a cow.

In our travels, we spoke with a guy who grabbed his little boat as it floated off its trailer and ended up rescuing 42 people in it.

We met a lady who "lifted her nightie" and waded through flood water to save her friend's life - the friend bought her a new car in return.

We went to one farm and were invited inside, to be greeted by a crowd of animal heads. There were at least 20 of them mounted on the walls of the lounge/dining room - deer, moose, even a bison! There was a whole stuffed bear standing there, what looked like a leopard skin on the floor, and even a complete wolverine pelt which was waiting to be mounted.

Apparently the man of the house has property overseas where he can legally hunt most of these creatures, and they've all been legally licensed and imported into the country. But still - spooky!

While I was at the Gold Coast, I found a gun range inside a shopping centre. Here I am with a Smith & Wesson .357 Magnum revolver.  I was average with that. But I did pretty well with the Glock 17, which is the standard cop gun for half the world.

You can see I got the first half of the clip all over the right hand side of the target. Then I got my breathing slowed down and squeezed the trigger much more gently, so the second half of the clip was much better.

Strange how a gun needs you to be more gentle.

Coming soon, the amazing singing woman on the train...

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