This bushfire season has been terrible, and we are not out of trouble yet. So far dozens of people have lost their lives. Hundreds of people have lost their homes, belongings, businesses and jobs.
For some, the effect of this bushfire season will affect their lives forever. For the rest of us, as our lives go forward, we must not forget the impact this year has had.
But, just for a moment, I would hope you might stop and consider how at a time of grief, how much "good" we as a society show each other. It is heartwarming.
Around the world unconditional donations have been made to help people they don't know or will never meet by total strangers.
People have put aside time from their ordinary lives to support those who suffer without ever being asked.
Against a backdrop of negative media stories and the politicisation of our everyday life, our community has shown it is made up of so very many kind-hearted people.
When things get tough for us all let's not forget the compassion that is being shown in these difficult times.
People are naturally kind hearted.
Greg Adamson, Griffith
Canavan the baddie
The Prime Minister has slipped in the polls because of his delayed and inadequate response to the Australian bushfires, and rightly so.
Nevertheless, the truly bad guy in the Australian Cabinet has to be Resources Minister, Matt Canavan.
Just when we thought we had convinced the company Siemens not to do business with Adani over its coal mine, Canavan apparently stepped in and convinced the Siemens CEO, Joe Kaeser, that the recent federal election result was an endorsement of the Adani mine.
So now Kaesar is saying "contractual obligations" outweigh "environmental concerns" and they will continue to work with Adani to build their planet-destroying mine.
Anything the Prime Minister might have said about their climate policies "evolving" highlights the pure hypocrisy of this ignorant, climate-denying government.
Jenny Goldie, Cooma, NSW
Recent reports on the problems facing the fire victims mention the insurance companies' "forensic accountants who will pore over the tiniest detail" of claims.
I do hope that Scomo's Royal Commission will crack down on these bloodsuckers to ensure that the business and property owners get a fair deal. I remember being incensed to read about the victim of (I think) floods in Queensland who was denied reparation on the grounds that he had not taken water samples to prove his property was actually damaged by flood water.
Given the revelations that came out of the Royal Commission into the ethics of the banking and insurance industries someone, somewhere, must be appointed to force insurance companies to play fair.Barbara Fisher, Cook
Given the revelations that came out of the last Royal Commission about the ethics of banking and insurance industries someone, somewhere, must be appointed with the power to force the insurance companies to play fair.
Barbara Fisher, Cook
Your editorial about Shane Fitzsimmons (January 13, p14) would have to be the most apposite I have read in recent times, if not ever.
It is such a change to listen to someone being interviewed who knows what he is talking about, and can explain dire complex situations in plain unemotive and simple terms.
There is little doubt Mr Fitzsimmons must be spreading his time thinly across a range of challenges including overall coordination and control of the bush fire emergency operations in NSW, at the same time liaising and working in with his state counterparts in the adjoining states where there exist common fire grounds.
He also fronts the media on a seemingly very regular basis in a calm and reassuring manner, day after day.
As the editorial says "...he makes the job look easy." What an inspiration.
Martin Devine, Macarthur ACT
A helpful hint
Bushfire victims who apply online to Centrelink may need to upload supporting documents. That is likely to trigger a long-standing bug that reports "Something's gone wrong. Please try again".
The solution is to upload the documents to the Prime Minister's website, and ask him to forward them to Centrelink on your behalf...
Leon Arundell, Downer
Sankar K Chatterjee ("Well Said" Letters, January 10) repeats a widespread belief that "successive Federal governments have not been serious about global warming".
Does anyone remember that Prime Minister Julia Gillard, with huge effort, pushed a "price on carbon" through Parliament almost a decade ago.
She was sacked by the people the next year and Tony Abbott was elected on a collection of three-word slogans that included "big new tax" and the very successful promise to "axe the tax" which he duly did.
Since then Labor has yet again been rejected because it is perceived as not committed enough to coal burning and the export of carbon dioxide and is suspected of wanting to re-impose a "big new tax".
I would not be surprised if in future it chooses to grovel at the feet of the fossil fuel burning and exporting industry.
A Moore, Melba
We need to change
Our feeble political response to climate change and the bushfires, combined with the anti-science hysterics of climate deniers, misses the social, financial and community opportunities that lay before Australia if we decided to change for the better.
Some few of these include:
- Rehydrating our soils to raise humus levels and store water in the soil profile
- Using regenerative farming practices to manage both stock and soils in agriculture
- Rebuilding and refunding farmer extension programs to ensure farmers are provided with leading edge soil and crop management tools
- Starting programs for the genuine control of feral animals and their conversion to organic nitrogen and fertiliser products
- Turning clean organic wastes products into fertiliser
- Using the 40 per cent of currently landfilled pre-consumer food products as processed stock feed
- Learning true bush and fire management from our indigenous communities
All of the above, and many more programs, would refurbish our landscapes, create regional employment, support our farming communities, protect our long-term food supply and address climate change.
The attempt by Zali Steggall, Member for Warringah, to introduce a private members bill on climate change, warrants the support of all sane Australians.
Gerry Gillespie, Queanbeyan, NSW
Collis Parrett (Letters, January 14) claims close similarities between the 1851 bushfires in Victoria and the current fires in NSW and Victoria.
There are major differences. The 1851 bushfires started in February, the hottest month of summer and lasted four days.
These fires started in early spring and are still burning months later.
They are being met by a formidable fire fighting effort, including hundreds of state-of-the-art fire trucks manned by thousands of well trained volunteers and professionals (some from overseas), heavy earth moving equipment to create fire breaks and a fleet of helicopters and fixed wing aircraft.
None of this was available in 1851.
Paul Pentony, Hackett
Fires not normal
Stan Marks, in defending the PM, asserts our current bushfires have been "par for the course" (Letters, January 14).
That is an obvious nonsense.
He also questioned the mental capacity of the Cobargo fire victims who abused Morrison, saying that they were not being capable of a rational discussion on "droughts and flooding rains".
I too might not have been capable of an "enlightened discussion" had I just lost my house and belongings.
Certainly these very distressed people deserve a lot more assistance, understanding and sympathy and a lot less contempt.
David Roth, Kambah
Emergency Management Minister, David Littleproud, has said on radio the government doesn't want a Canberra-led recovery.
He rarely misses an opportunity to disrespect our city.
Given the recent performance of the government, of which he is a part, he has little to be proud of.
Wal Collins, Scullin
$2 billion spend
Where was the RBA governor? It's going to be a bushfire-led economic recovery.
M Moore, Bonython
TO THE POINT
If the Iranian authorities can publicly admit an error on the part of their defence forces why can't our Federal government admit their failings with respect to climate change and provide some real leadership on this critical issue?
Charles Smith, Nicholls
Grateful thanks for the RFS robocall on our south coast landline at 5.45 am on December 31 to give us an emergency fire warning. We left shortly thereafter and were home safely six-and-a-half hours later.
Neil Renfree, Hawker
TIME TO SQUABBLE
With all due respect to the dual tragedies of bushfires and lack of leadership, can I remind regular contributors it is less than two weeks until Australia Day and we haven't started debating it yet. I'll kick it off by suggesting we move it to the Queen's Birthday, for obvious reasons.
Peter McDonald, Hughes
WHAT A SHOCK
Breaking news! The Federal Treasurer utters the word "ecological"!
Catherine Moore, Braidwood, NSW
TWO BOBS' WORTH
Here's an entry for Howard Styles's photo caption competition (Letters, January 14): "Standover merchant!".
Don Sephton, Greenway
A POLL SHOCK
Shock and horror! The opinion polls are back. Will we ever get an opinion poll on "Do you believe in the numbers in Opinion Polls"? Does someone pay opinion pollsters any money for being wrong?
Brian Hale, Wanniassa
Let's review the more than $200 billion worth of contracts for planes and submarines and spend the money on desperate Australians in need right now. We could also save $2 billion a year by bringing asylum seekers to the mainland and withdrawing from costly Middle Eastern wars.
Ray Armstrong, Tweed
Heads South, NSW
THE BURNING SEASON?
As part of climate change adaptation we are going to need a new name for summer. Out with the old-world connotations of warm breezes, strawberries and cream, and cricket on the village green. Armageddon perhaps? Dragonbreath?
Roger Bacon, Cook
KELLY HAS A FRIEND
Further to Harry Samios's letter (Letters, January 13) let us remember that when the preselectors of Craig Kelly's electorate wanted to dump him Scomo brought in the heavies to get Kelly the job.
Warwick Budd, Nicholls
JUST DO IT
"Whatever it takes. Whatever it costs": Scott Morrison, on reconstruction after bushfires.
"Whatever it takes. Whatever it costs": the people, on reconstruction after Scott Morrison.
Annie Lang, Kambah
FOLLOW THE BRUMBIES
I have seen little reporting of the fate of brumbies in Kosciusko National Park. Perhaps nature has implemented its own management plan. ACT Park Rangers will no doubt be on alert for hungry survivors crossing into Namadgi.
Ken Wark, Watson
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