02 Apr '11, 3am

Australia floods costlier than expected

SYDNEY: Devastating floods could cost Australia up to $8.3 billion in lost coal production, new estimates released on Saturday show -- a sharp increase on earlier projected losses. The huge deluge that swamped coal-producing Queensland state in January caused significant damage, halting mine production and cutting key transport infrastructure, the Treasury said in its latest economic round-up. "Contacts suggested that the loss of coal production is estimated to be between 20 million and 30 million tonnes," it said. The government previously estimated the floods, which covered an area the size of France and Germany combined and were followed by destructive Cyclone Yasi, would cut coal production by 15 million tonnes. Commentators said the new figure would roughly equate to a loss of between AUD$5.5 and AUD$8 billion ($8.3 billion) worth of coal production, well beyond the T...

Full article: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_asiapacific_bu...

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