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LCA2011 – Brisbane floods, conference hoping to go ahead

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As many of you would have seen in the news, Queensland (in Australia for those geographically challenged amongst us) has been attacked by a lot of water recently in the worst flooding since 1974.

The floods, caused by a lot of rain inland and rivers bursting their banks have affected many towns and cities throughout Queensland, with thousands of people evacuated and tens of thousands of homes and businesses left water damaged.

Brisbane hasn’t been spared, however, with flooding in many suburbs and damage throughout the CBD, causing power cuts and evacuations over the last week.


So what does this mean for Linux Conference Australia 2011 – which is scheduled to be held at the waterfront QUT campus in just over a weeks’ time?

The mailing list has been flat out with many of the attendees (over 700 are expected to turn up for this shindig) asking the big questions – are the main buildings damaged? Is my hotel okay? Will the conference go ahead?

Luckily, the organizers have been excellent in their communication, letting people know what’s going on with regular status updates, which can also be found on their website.

At this stage, it looks like the conference will go ahead as there have been encouraging posts from many on the organizing committee and also residents of Brisbane who have kept us all up to date on how the key buildings are faring, as well as the CBD.

Anthony Towns writes:

“I had a wander around the CBD today; plenty of places were open, though things were a bit subdued. The main cleanup work at the moment seems to be pumping water out of flooded basement carparks (if the water level’s lapping at the tops of gutters, there’s a *lot* of water left underground), and sweeping thick, silty mud back into the river. Festival Tower looks fine — the cafe at its bottom was cleaning up and restocking refrigerated drinks this morning; iStay just down the road was dark but looked clean.”

Guys were still cleaning up the gutters in front of Royal on the Park when I walked past, though there wasn’t a whole lot of mud left. Hotels further up from Albert St were fine afaict.

When talking to my friend and LCA2011 organizer Marco Ostini last night, he said

“We have had communications with bunches of people. lca2011 will likely happen, it’s just a question of where.”

Final word on Monday

The LCA2011 organizers are meeting with the mayor of Brisbane and others on the council on Monday, and will have a final decision by Monday evening.

Linux Australia President John Ferlito wrote to the mailing list:

“As you are no doubt aware Brisbane is currently in the middle of a flood crisis. I would like to send our support to all of those being affected by the flooding across Queensland.

The Linux Australia Council has just finished meeting with the team and has received a full update as to the current situation in Brisbane.

Firstly I would like to extend my full support and congratulations to the team. They have been handling this difficult situation well and it has been great to see the constant flow of information coming from the team.

While we have all hopes that the conference will proceed at this stage, it is simply too early to say whether the conference will go ahead or not.

A final go or no go decision will be made on Monday the 17th. The council will meet with the committee on the afternoon of the 17th and we hope to have an announcement out by 7pm.

While at this stage it looks like the most important venues that will be using will be OK, one of the most important factors that will be helping us make this decision is the impact that 700+ delegates will have on the city of Brisbane.

Early next week the team will be getting in contact with the mayor and premiers offices to get their input into our decision making process.

In the meantime the team will be sending out daily updates with new information as it is available.

Linux Australia President”

As soon as the final word is out, you’ll be the first to know.

Our coverage

Start looking out for extensive coverage of LCA2011 as I make the trip across the Tasman to report on all the exciting talks and keynotes, including one from Google’s Vice President, Vint Cerf.

In the meantime, check out some of the interesting items on the schedule and the list of miniconfs to whet your appetite for Linux news!