Clarence Valley Independent

Bush fire disaster

Ed,

As usual and again right on que, we heard appalling allegations from serial-offending National Party politicians and proponents of the mad right, (the logically impaired), about the “Greenies” being responsible for the catastrophic fire emergency, because they won’t allow hazard reduction burning in our forests. “Newsflash”, the “Greenies” do not control any state or federal government in Australia, apart from a few local councils. Hazard reduction policy has always been the responsibility of State Governments and the Rural Fire Services that do exactly that, in consultation with local communities whenever conditions allow it.

Realistically, catastrophic bushfires do occur because of high fuel build-up but mainly in National Party electorates, (typical do-nothing Nationals). When opportunistic politicians use the misfortune of others trying to score cheap political points to protect their belligerent opposition to declaring a climate emergency is an insult to entire regional communities. Many of which are very environmentally conscious, as are the volunteers who join the RFS, and no amount of praise is ever enough to repay them for what they do.

The state governments, both Labor and Coalition deserve credit for heading the dire warnings from their fire commissioners regarding the ever-increasing intensity and prevalence of bushfires due to climate change, and increasing resources accordingly. As has been stated repeatedly by those same fire commissioners, “we are now in uncharted territory, the fire seasons are starting much earlier and going for much longer, we are now experiencing uncontrollable fires, even in previously damp rain-forests, again almost unheard of”.

What regional communities are pleading for and not getting is National leadership to properly manage this unfolding climate emergency, The states need help. Sadly, we have a belligerent Prime Minister who instead prefers to lecture and mislead the world at the UN. about “over-reacting” to the climate emergency, and openly ridiculing dedicated young activists like Greta Thunberg.

Keith Duncan, Pimlico

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