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Byron Shire
February 3, 2023

Responding to disaster

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Our local communities are becoming old hands at responding effectively to natural disasters. This was shown dramatically in the widescale flooding of the Northern Rivers, when small towns, and the city of Lismore, were isolated from any outside help.

Those who come forward selflessly to help are often themselves victims of the disaster. However, we see people giving to the community at the expense of their own clean-up and their own jobs, happy to help their friends and neighbours – and complete strangers – back on their feet.

While their motives are nothing to do with monetary reward, it is important to find a way to recognise these people financially, so that in the short term they are not doubly disadvantaged for taking leadership and active roles in rebuilding their communities.

It may be years before another emergency like this occurs. But it will occur. Climate change and increasing population will ensure that human life and lifestyle is once again in nature’s firing line.

The next time the people who step forward to lead a recovery will not necessarily be the same ones that stepped forward now. This will change depending on the event, flood or fire, the timing and individual capacity to respond.

The question is how do we create a model of assistance that is flexible enough to recognise these often selfless actions? How do we support these people just as they have supported their community?

‘It is very clear that the community is the only one who can respond immediately and they provided the response,’ said one local.

‘Communities need resourcing so that they can do it properly in the future.’

During the Black Summer fires the Rural Fire Service (RFS) volunteers gave up their time to be out there saving homes, lives, farms and our native forests and animals. Retrospectively the government was able to recognise the amazing work of these volunteers, the time and work they had given up to support others, and provided financial support to members who had done more than five days on the fireground to supplement their loss of earnings.

The challenge to engage with local communities, provide assistance and professional services while empowering communities to build resilience, is something we all need to face together.

Aslan Shand, acting editor


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22 COMMENTS

  1. ScottyfromMarketing was in Lismore to help, sort of. He held a broom ( yes he does actually ‘hold’ something ) for the cameras on a Lismore street and pushed his ‘special squeegee’ for the cameras on pristine indoor sport hall floor.
    How good is Scotty!

  2. I guess I can’t [should not] speak my piece as it’s likely I’ll go too far.
    Mud-cake to you, dear P.M. I reckon the floor was clean before you
    entered cuddling that squeegee. Talk about ego sashing …

  3. So this morning activists protesters march
    To kirribilli house ..reporter asks why are you here ?
    Mr Morrisons slow response to the floods in lismore
    We need to get rid of fossil fuels.. its Climate emergency! .. the young lady said .! .. reporter asks if
    Fossil fuels where to be removed from Australia
    Would it still flood ? She could not answer that
    Question… !! How good are reporters that ask
    Reality hits home Questions…

    • Yes Barrow, you right as always.
      No need to change, just keep on feeding ‘The Beast’, the FF beast.
      It all good, business as as usual then – the next national Bushfire Apocalypse, the next bleaching of what’s left of the Barrier Reef ( the ‘Great’ bit doesn’t describe it anymore ), the next National Drought, the next Flood Disaster, can’t wait to do the next cleanup, yeah.
      ‘The Beast’, we got your back and you sticking it back to us with interest.

  4. Lots of entitlement in the Greens party
    Captain planet Joachim .. yeah the greens are the beasts that need feeding more coal .. oh no need because thats what they rely on every day to survive.. how ironic ..
    No hydrocarbon free days for any of your Mob
    Joachim .. its a climate change emergency is it not
    Joachim ? So when your guru Mr Brandt and his
    Disciples head north are they flying ? Business class i assume Joachim ? All enjoying a hydrocarbon life at the expense of the taxpayer’s.. yet lecture
    Everyone else regarding there carbon footprint..
    And by the way Ms Joachim you and your merry
    Entourage on these forums absolutely have given it the Morrison and the coalition regarding its poor
    Treatment of women in general .. Christian Porter
    Ring a bell Joachim.. the ABC . The Echo , the guardian ..the pile – ons were relentless for 2 years ..
    Yet look at albo today bastion for women
    Wraped his arms around Ms Higgins and Ms tame
    Yet when questioned by the ABC and many others are you going to hold a enquiry regarding bullying
    Allegations against women in senior positions..?
    No was his answer Joachim.. well there you go
    The labor party just lost themselves the election
    What hypocrisy as the ABCs News breakfast host
    Suggested..

    • Barrow, it is totally unproductive to engage with your rambling efforts on climate policy until you are prepared to clarify and run a consistent position. I’m still waiting … a, b, c, or d? Or something else that’s comprehendible?

  5. How good are the labor party & the Greens ?
    Do they support women that have been bullied?
    Only if its within the coalition of course..
    Mandy , sarah hanson young , Ms tingle
    Lisa Miller , fran Kelly , Ms Milligan , Ms Tame
    Ms Higgins .. feminist .. Me to , anyone going to support a enquiry? Hold the Labor party to account ? We shall see .. how serious you take
    Women’s health and well being..

    • Spare us the faux outrage Barrow and stop taking your que from the LNP daily “talking points”.

      What would an enquiry be likely to find?

      That there was disagreement about policy and tactics among the parliamentary Labor party – and more widely.

      That the above is not uncommon in any democratic institution

      That preselection is not guaranteed to anyone within a party but is a necessary filter of performance and continued party confidence.

      That any imputed deleterious treatment towards Kitching was not gender based

      That people don’t generally have heart attacks because they are not guaranteed preselection.

      That an untimely death shouldn’t be seized on for faux outrage double standards and political advantage.

      I’m sure the good people of Lismore were impressed with the PM labelling Albo “gutless”. Old sayings about front and Myres come to mind.

  6. It seems like adaption, even starting adaption is hard for the gov. Only begrudgingly and in as little as possible mode to keep the plebs off our backs. Pretend to do it and not do it. There must be some middle ground somewhere. Even the lib/nat equivalent gov in the uk have adapted. Gone greener than ours and that’s with tony abbot in some vague advisory role to their PM. I’d guess that the gulf Arab states would already have plenty of wind and solar while still selling oil. Here, as long as the workers are being looked after. Teach the coal and oil workers how to work with solar , wind etc. So they can adapt too. As long as they got a yellow shirt and a hard hat on and getting paid they’re happy. In business and farming you have project forward , the next week , month, year. Basically guess what’s going to happen and bet on that with a lot of money and fingers crossed its a good bet, It better be, Coz you lose heaps if it isn’t. But you learn off that and hopefully don’t do it again. Scratch the surface of any farmer and you’ll find a bit of a greeny. They have to be. You want your animals and crops to be as healthy and profitable as possible. And every farmer can feel it in his bones, there’s something weird going on with the weather. It ain’t natural , getting more unpredictable. You’d think that a smart gov business would be covering all bases , just in case, even if they don’t believe it, they’d be stupid if they didn’t , especially with oceans of cash. Sure, sell the coal, but spend it on the back up plan that is obviously needed. And make a big fuss and fanfare about doing it. Oh pat on the back for building that wind farm and big battery . A competition for who can build the biggest battery, with prizes. Scomo n dutton n barney holding up a model of a big battery in parliament and saying coal bought this. Make hay while the sun shines Coz it’s gonna be to late to do it soon. And build it all here , don’t rely on overseas. We need our own factories to make it here . Everything. Where’s our holdens, bring them back, with battery packs. A Bathurst 500 . Who can change the battery pack the quickest. Always used to think my kids were wasting time on the Nintendo , go fishing , ride a bike, get outside and throw a stick for the dog. but now 2 have got good paying jobs in IT. I don’t even understand fully what they do, but that’s ok. I don’t need to. As long as they’re getting paid and happy with a future I’m happy with that. An old teacher of mine in the 60 s, Mr Hallet. A distinguished gentleman . He was 83. Strict but fair. He said he didn’t like retirement and liked to keep busy. Was a Sargent major in the First World War. A brilliant teacher , we got first in the state for spelling in 4 th 5 th class. I’m not to good now tho, If we finished our work early , he’d sit back and reminisce about the old days. He told us that during WW11, Australian had everything we needed right here. You could draw a metal ring around Australia and we’d be alright . We didn’t need anything from the rest of the world. Except oil . We didn’t have enough oil. Then bass straight came on line . I don’t understand this part, maybe only big business does , but haven’t we already got enough oil for our own needs . With north west shelf Etc. Why sell it overseas. Keep it for us. Get outa that global treadmill. Why are we there. ? So billionaires can make more billions ? What law makes that so ? And who makes that law? We could make it all here , so the workers had plenty of work. Invest in Australia . …. To much greed. Greedy uncaring people making the rules. Bribery beats a fair go. The Aussie ethic, help the battler, give them a hand up. Help them be successful. How many oz inventors have to go off shore to be recognised. imvest in our own country. Time for you billionaires to pull your finger out and get it started. All this petty bickering is pointless. I’m with Greta .. Do something about it or strike. Otherwise The land will be a toxic waste dump and the greedy ones will be in Antartica I guess. Farm roos and emus out west. Someone start it for gawds sakes. Project ahead, take the gamble. Anyone who can’t see the writing on the wall get outa the way. Coz it’s happening right now.

  7. Liz levy just in layman’s terms
    No ramblings or deflection.. !
    all things considered..
    regarding the ALLEGED BULLYING allegations against
    Labor senior ministers.. all Women !
    would you support a enquiry..
    Please answer YES or NO ..

  8. Liz levy
    What would a inquiry likely to find ?
    What are you implying ?
    Okay liz why were the left and that being the ABC
    so intent on destroying Mr Porter about a alleged
    Incident that took place over 30 years ago .. ?
    The ABC went into overdrive regarding Mr porter why Liz ,well he is from the coalition .. 750k it cost taxpayers due to Ms Milligans and the ABCs personnel vendetta against the coalition..
    Yet the Mean girls oh all’s fair in love and war
    as the Guardian alluded to .. politics is a hard game
    really MS Murphy the same hypocrite who said
    All Women must be believed.. the left just want this
    To disappear for Labor .. yet Albo is ruthless
    On his Enemies and soft on his own ..and where have the Greens gone ? To ground of course
    Ms Hanson young ? Where are you on this ?
    Expect anything different ? No ..

    • Albo ruthless? I wish …

      What political party doesn’t want trouble to just disappear – certainly not the one currently in government. When the PM institutes just one impartial and transparent enquiry, on the many questions it has faced, brings it to conclusion, and implements it’s recommendations, the conservative forces can be justified in baying for blood.

      Much as it’s convenient for the government and sympathisers to paint this as a gender issue, about believing women, it is not. It’s about factions (extant in all parties) and the argy bargy of preselection season. Funny how nobody has been labelled “mean boys”. “Mean girls” is a term that only serves to illustrate the troglodyte attitudes of those who use it.

  9. My opinion – Kitching’s ‘mean girls’ [what a stupid reference] is really dumb considering
    that Kitching played 2 hands & spent loads of time circulating with & forming alliances
    with the the ‘Libs’. It’s no wonder breaches of trust due to the mix & mingle & partying
    that went on while the top 3 Labor women worked their buts off. Kitching had a lot to
    answer for. One doesn’t sell out their own party. And no – there wasn’t 3 mean girls
    just 3 very dedicated ALP women keeping an eye on what’s known as tactical trickery.

  10. If you had kids and grandkids you’d be proud of them standing up and doing something about it. Why be afraid of that ? Offended. ? Why be offended . ? Even if I didn’t have kids, why would I be offended. I was taught , ” sarcasm is the lowest form or wit” but I just can’t help myself. Maybe they’ll pass some obscure religious law for the offended minority to stop the kids marching proudly. How dare they do that. Making political points out of a woman dying, Who’s trying to make the points, not the labour women that’s for sure. This is going to backfire big time. No worries , they got a job waiting as the manager of one of trumps golf courses. A fitting end.

  11. So much for sisterhood.. only when it suits the
    Narrative.. !! Nothing to see here .. have always
    Called this out no matter what political side
    Is in government or who i vote for ..sleep well
    Hypocrites..

    • I just asked you to answer my questions first Barrow. I told you I’d give you an answer then. To demand others jump to your agenda while refusing to clarify your own position is what hypocrisy is. Your nah nah comment here is just childish.

      But speaking of consistency, I assume you will agree whole-heartedly with Concetta F-W? She’s a woman!

  12. Liz levy.. Concetta has agendas as you are aware of ! Look the Prime Minister has been thrown from
    Pillar to post ..Labor the ABC have tried to
    Portray Morrison as a women hater ..anything
    To get rid of the coalition..whatever it takes really !!
    Personally would not to see Josh F lead going into
    The election.. as For Albo he has been behind every
    Policy failure for the past 25 years .. so i think
    Jim Charmlers would be a excellent choice for
    Labor .. !! My opinion if Labor win i feel it wont be any different to Bidens win.. the democrats and labor have very similar policies.. Biden as President
    Has been the worst choice in America’s history
    His approval ratings are appalling.. inflation
    Covid , crime , what’s happening in Texas million
    Refugees .. Smugglers are making millions all under the watch of the President and that
    Vice President Harris ..embarrassment.. !!
    Good luck Australia.. Pray 🙏 for America..

  13. Ah, CONCETTA has an agenda! What happened to the sisterhood? And heads up – she’s not the ABC or Labor. Far from it in fact. Neither is Julia Banks, Pauline Hanson Jacqui Lambie, nor Gladys Berejiklian – all far from it.

    Policy failures like not having any safeguards on the businesses that made huge profits under Jobkeeper, refusing any responsibility for quarantine, forgetting to order a diversity of vaccines in a pandemic, pushing the states to open up in the wake of a new surge and change testing protocols without ensuring there were some RATs available, purchasing airport land for 33 mil that it later valued at 3 mil, refusing to heed the warnings of ex fire chiefs before the most widespread and worst bushfires in the nation’s history, sitting on millions in disaster relief when it is urgently needed. Was Albo responsible for those?

    But sure change the subject again when asked to justify yourself.

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