Amid record temperatures, severe flooding and devastation of wilderness, the political message from the government is business as usual

The people of Townsville know about heavy rain, but this was new. Over the past fortnight, the northern Queensland city’s 180,000 residents have been hit by a monsoon strengthened by a low-pressure front that dragged moist air south from the equator to Australia’s top end.

It dumped an unprecedented 1.4 metres of rain in less than two weeks – roughly double what falls on London in a year.

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Read More Floods, fire and drought: Australia, a country in the grip of extreme weather bingo

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