I am not a fan of Scott Morrison but the criticism of things like his Hawaiian trip and subsequent response have gone too far.
Like many other Australians with children, he left for a holiday over Christmas, as it happened in Hawaii, where he would not be recognised.
There were bushfires burning but that was par for the course and their management was best left to the professionals. No one could have anticipated how the South Coast and Gippsland fires would develop.
When they really flared up into a major disaster he came home and, when visiting those affected, as he had been urged to do, he got abused. I wonder whether the local member, who suggested he got the response he deserved, would have responded differently had he been invited to go along?
There was also the suggestion residents of Cobargo reacted the way they did because they knew the disaster was avoidable.
I wonder how many residents of Canberra think they could have had an enlightened discussion of the relative impacts of global warming and our natural climatic cycles, "of droughts and flooding rain" with the three people shown abusing the PM on television?
One thought the Commonwealth funded the RFS.
Stan Marks, Hawker
It's happened before
It is often said that history repeats itself. The public history of bushfires reveals that an angry antecedent to our recent shocking fires occurred on February 6, 1851, in southern Australia.
It was known as the Black Thursday bushfires which were preceded by a drought in 1850. A strong furnace-like wind came down from the north. By 11am it was about 47 degrees.
Survivors claimed the air was so full of smoke and heat that their lungs seemed to collapse. The air was so dark it made the roads seem bright.
Pastures and plains became shrivelled wastelands: water-holes disappeared, creeks dried up, and trees turned into combustible timber. Clouds of smoke filled the air; forests and ranges became one large sheet of flames.
Survivors claimed the air was so full of smoke and heat that their lungs seemed to collapse. The air was so dark it made the roads seem bright.Colliss Parrett, Barton
The weather at sea was even more fearful than on shore. The intense heat could be felt 32 kms out to sea where a ship came under burning ember attack and was covered in cinders and dust.
Overall, the disaster resulted in the death of 12 people, one million sheep, and thousands of cattle. Not palatable, but it seems to prove yet again that mother nature is the principal architect of climate variations.
Colliss Parrett, Barton
Too steep for me
I am a climate crisis refugee from Malua Bay in NSW. Our beautiful home with all it's attached hopes and dreams is gone. While I know that both St Vincent de Paul and The Salvation Army do great works, I am severely disappointed in the prices they charge in their shops.
They are supposed to be serving people who are down on their luck, who are cash poor. Often some of the prices I see are the same as, or maybe 50 cents cheaper, than something new from Kmart.
I went in to try to buy six medium sized plastic storage boxes for my kitchen and the price was $18.
I left them on the counter and walked away. Shouldn't they have been a dollar each or less?
Such prices are not helpful to those in need.
Lindsay Gates, Malua Bay
Help is welcome
There were free chicken burgers at Mossy Point Café, free bread outside the Malua Bay IGA, Bega Cheese continuing to pay farmers for milk that they must throw away because the milk tankers can't get through to collect it and Southern Phone waiving fees for January to customers in fire-affected areas.
These were some of the wonderful and compassionate responses from businesses with a stake in the area.
Such responses are, sadly, uncommon amongst the big supermarkets and retailers in my region.
I know I will be changing my shopping habits from now on.
Stewart Needham, Broulee, NSW
PM should have known
Prime Minister Morrison said on his return from his Hawaiian holiday that "in hindsight, I would not have taken that trip knowing what I know now" (PM's regret as fires rage", January 13, p1).
He should have known: the fires had been burning since September, and reached crisis point on November 12 when a state of catastrophic fire danger was declared for Greater Sydney - which includes the PM's "Shire".
Now Mr Morrison has bowed to pressure and is signalling a royal commission into the bushfire catastrophe ("PM flags royal commission into fires", January 13, p3). However, after witnessing the long, tortuous and ultimately less than satisfactory banking royal commission, one is left with some serious doubts about this proposal.
First, it is very unlikely that a royal commission could be completed before the next bushfire season.
Second, the terms of reference are subject to manipulation by the government to its own advantage; and third, this could simply be a cynical stalling tactic to take pressure off a desperate government and its even more desperate leader.
Douglas Mackenzie, Deakin
Who will pay?
Military miscalculation is apparently what led to the Ukrainian civilian plane being shot down with the loss of 176 lives.
It's not the first time that has happened and it's not likely to be the last.
Whether it was deliberate or accidental is irrelevant. Innocent civilians have been killed.
Those responsible for the military miscalculation have the blood of innocent civilians on their hands.
Rajend Naidu, Glenfield, NSW
Blast from the past
I really enjoyed your Times Past piece (January 9, p2) about the safety of Canberra lawnmowers in 1967.
I was the cub reporter sent out on a slow-news Sunday afternoon, with a mower expert and a photographer to check out a sample.
We found lots of people mowing their lawns as we cruised the suburbs; it must have been a much wetter summer than this one.
And how tolerant they were.
Only a couple objected to our intrusion!
Robert Lehane, Yarralumla
I won't be adding to my usual donations to the established charities such as the Red Cross and Salvos for bushfire relief purposes. These are doing well and will benefit from the millions being generated by celebrities of all shapes and sizes.
Instead I will be donating to well respected conservation associations who will be working towards sensible, sustainable and scientifically based conservation policies.
These could include: Australian Conservation Foundation; Australian Koala Foundation; The Wilderness Society Australia; Bush Heritage Australia; Australian Wildlife Conservancy; State and ACT based National Parks associations and the Colong Foundation for Wilderness.
Timothy Walsh, Garran
It is to be deplored that Professor Ross Garnaut's climate change review of 2008 has not been listened to, and acted upon, by successive governments since then.
While Garnaut himself recently stated: "I failed in persuading the Australian community that it was in our interests to move decisively and strongly as part of a global effort", it is not his fault that our political leaders have buried their heads in the sand, in spite of fast growing community concern and continuous warnings from climate experts all over the world.
Sue Brudenall, Crace
For more than a decade a majority of Federal LNP MPs have claimed to have a better "understanding" of the complexities of climate change than the overwhelming majority of climate scientists who publish peer-reviewed scientific research.
Many of those MPs now claim Australia's catastrophic bushfires are primarily attributable to arson and excessive "green tape" impediments to fuel reduction.
Given that peer-reviewed research into bushfires is likely to have as little influence on the Federal LNP as research into global warming, farmers and the timber industry will soon be able to cash in on the watering down of grazing and forestry restrictions in national parks.
Bruce Taggart, Aranda
Trump is impeached
I sympathise with Michael Tang's feelings about Trump (Letters, January 10), but the fact is he has already been impeached (by the House of Representatives).
It remains for the US Senate to put him on trial and that will undoubtedly result in him being "cleared" if it even gets that far.
There is no chance of him being successfully charged, let alone put on trial, for "war crimes".
Eric Hunter, Cook
TO THE POINT
Re: Rose Hosking (Letters, January 13). I am proud to be a part of the Water our Wildlife Canberra community. Intervention is sometimes necessary to help native creatures survive. As for "unprecedented" kangaroo numbers, the ACT government's annual cull ensures that is not the case.
Chris Doyle, Gordon
STOP THE CULLS
The bushfires have decimated our wildlife. People are donating money and food, sewing pouches and leaving out water for kangaroos and other wildlife. It's all in vain if our ACT government is going to shoot the kangaroos who cross the border looking for food and water. Cancel the culls.
Francine Horne, Ngunnawal
In his victory speech on May 18, 2019, Prime Minister Scott Morrison affirmed: "I said that I was going to burn for you - and I am, every single day". We had no idea we were expected to reciprocate.
Glenys and Phil Byrne, Florey
On April 7 last year Morrison said "Bill Shorten wants to end the weekend..." Applying the same high rhetorical standards, Morrison and his climate-denying clique have scuppered summer, maybe for good. How (goodly) ironic is that?
Roger Bacon, Cook
Am I supposed to feel safe that one helicopter is supporting firefighters on the edge of Namadgi in days of mild weather? When will our local government adequately equip our firefighters for this season?
Sue Edmondson, Kambah
Jenny Moxham (Letters January 11) is wrong to ask "Is it climate change or mischievous and stupid humans (causing fires)?" It is both. When conditions are as hot and dry as they have been even tossing a cigarette butt is more likely to lead to fires. Where does the hot and dry come from? Climate change.
Anne Bowen, Macquarie
TIME FOR TIME OUT
Prince Harry has often spoken about his anguish over his mother's mistreatment by the media, her tragic death and his fears concerning his wife. It is understandable he and the Duchess need to take time away from full-time duties. The Crown is sufficiently flexible to accommodate this.
David D'Lima, Sturt, SA
Astounding news from Britain. Young man leaves home, seeks financial independence.
K Pullen, Watson
Climate change denial isn't new. Just consider the flak Noah caught when he was building the Ark.
Keith Hill, Isaacs
We can learn something from those nasty fires. Abolish the states. One federation, one country and one president.
Mokhles K Sidden, South Strathfield, NSW
That infamous, fist clenching, photo of the PM, the NSW Fire Chief and the NSW Premier (The Canberra Times, January 6) is begging for a caption competition.
Howard Styles, Yarralumla
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