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Byron Shire
March 3, 2021

Fires and the manifest failure of Australia’s government

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Frank Lynch, Wilsons Creek    

The current fire crisis has seen the re-emergence of an inevitable range of political guilt-avoidance strategies. Those politicians, particularly federal ones, who have been blind to climate change and the need for proactive approaches to its catastrophic consequences have once-again resorted to ‘off the cuff’ commentary to shift the conversation, the political focus and the consequences of their inaction onto others, whether state governments or individuals.

Need we be reminded, yet again – by eminent scientists without any personal axe to grind, their representative group, the IPCC, by our own meteorological service, by concerned specialists, like the former Fire Chiefs panel, or the insurance industry – that the failure to be proactive is putting us on a road to extinction.

In the last three months the fires have generated 350 million tons of carbon emissions; equivalent to two-thirds of Australia’s normal annual industrial emissions. It doesn’t figure in carbon emissions targeting under the Paris Agreement. As a matter of principal why shouldn’t it be part of a moral and social equation, especially if a national government has been recklessly indifferent to taking proactive measures?

Is it enough that the national government just gets through its three-year term without copping too much flak, that it splashes cash on fire services and people suffering loss after the event (taxpayers cash that is, not Scott’s)? That it sends in the ADF (grateful though we are for their help), talks about a royal commission into the causes of fires, and no doubt prays for rain, yet doesn’t admit to some negligence in failing to plan for this level of predicted (by Ross Garnaut ) fire threat?

I’m over the abject failure of the national government of recent years and I demand they take remedial policy action.

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  1. Hear Hear Frank Lynch! Well said. Many of us share your dispar at their disdain for science and avoidance of facts, but how can we force them to act? 80% of intelligent Australians want them to. Half of the planet wants them to.
    Yet, just as with such obvious ethical and moral obligations as a Federal ICAC, implementation of recent Banking and Aged Care Royal Commission recommendations, enforcement of ministerial standards, refugees in detention, Murray-Darling water theft and buyback investigations, they refuse to act!
    Difficult questions, letters and emails are smugly ignored, twisted and answered with lies and slogans. We can all see this mountain of problem issues Smirko is accumulating, but apart from the next protest outside Parliament on Feb 4, or waiting until May 2021, what can we do to bring about a change of government policy?


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