We live in a country that needs fire and what happens is that we’ve stopped evolving with fire.
Our fire culture in Australia is totally flawed to nothing.
As before, even if you go back 100 years, pastoralists and people who were historically a part of land can tell you themselves there used to be fires all the time and even indigenous people would work in with them and burn country regularly, but we’ve backed up to a point of regulations, land tenures.
I sit at home and I watch the news and I see masses of country just going and it brings a tear to my eyes to see that country just being annihilated.
Mr Humphries refers to the Wambelong fire that occurred on 12 and 13 January around the Coonabarabran district and the Warrumbungle National Park.
On that day Bureau of Meteorology fire information, according to the continuous Haines index which measures atmospheric instability, was extreme.
On those days there were temperatures of more than 40 degrees and winds from the North to North‑West of 20 to 30 kilometres per hour.
The resulting fire damaged hundreds of thousands of acres of National Park, destroyed private property, destroyed 52 houses and numerous stock.
I find this response disappointing to say the least. The response denies any liability that government agencies inclusive of National Parks and the Rural Fire Service responsible for fire management in the area at the time acted in a negligent manner. It is clear that prior and during the fire wrong decisions were made and clear protocols were not adhered to leading to a catastrophic situation.
A number of landholders neighbouring the National Park were tragically affected by the actions of government agencies and we have a responsibility to make good on this. Hiding behind the claims manager is not the Nationals way of doing things and I do not accept the response to date.
Mr Humphries took aim at the government’s response which said it would not be liable to compensate landholders who lost property and stock, as per information from its insurer.
Recommendation 27 from the parliamentary inquiry recommended government to quickly get to the bottom of the issue and find who is responsible for paying compensation.
“The NSW Government take all reasonable steps to expedite the process of establishing any legal liability for the losses incurred by property owners as a result of the Wambelong fire, and in the event that it is found liable, expedite the process of paying compensation claims,” it said.
Three claims for compensation have been lodged with the NSW Self Insurance Corporation, with the government responding that “…(They) were referred to GIO as claims manager… who have declined the claims and informed the affected parties after carefully considering all the facts and circumstances of the matter”.
Mr Humphries announced he would help affected property owners continue their fight for compensation and would use parliamentary privilege to raise concerns over the handling of the blaze.
Have volunteers lost control of local firefighting?
Who has experienced this type of behaviour on the fire ground?
Is bullying and harassment going on in the RFS?
Has anyone been directly impacted either personally or knows someone?
Have we lost experienced and long standing volunteers as a result of the bullying?
How do we rectify this problem?
The Wambelong fire of January 2013, burnt out the Warrumbungle National Park, destroyed scores of surrounding properties and shattered the lives of many people in the Coonabarabran community.
The subsequent Coronial Inquest and Parliamentary Inquiry made 52 recommendations.
It has taken well over three years for the government to respond to the recommendations, this article looks at some of the local responses from the Coonabarabran community.
Feel free to add your comments.
Bushfire Bombers – RFS Style is an article that first appeared on the SOS News web site. It was published in 2007 and is very relevant today.
This unbelievable story could be about the rise of the RFS Empire, the corruption that exists in the bushfire industry, bullying and harassment at numerous levels, the disturbing fact that fighting bushfires has become BIG BUSINESS and then there is the aviation context.
This disturbing story helps to explain how the RFS has developed into the “out of control” bureaucracy that has lost touch with its grass roots. Comments are most welcome.
The RFSA is sitting on $9,788,262 (ref: NSW RFSA Annual Financial Report – 31 March 2015).
This article poses the question “what is the RFSA doing with all that money?” and looks at the fund raising activities of the RFSA.
There has been many occasions where the VFFA has been approached by the public with questions on fundraising activities. The VFFA has informed those people that we do not conduct telephone based fund raising therefore it must be an RFSA call centre.
When you get that phone call requesting support for Rural Brigades, how much of your money gets there?
Volunteer firefighters have accused Emergency Services Minister David Elliott of misleading Parliament over claims he had threatened to sue them if they revealed he had likened them to Dad’s Army.
In an exchange recorded in Parliament’s Hansard for March 16, Opposition Leader Luke Foley asked: “Did you ask Parliamentary Secretary Rick Colless to inform the Volunteer Fire Fighters Association that you would initiate legal proceedings against them unless a planned media story critical of you was pulled?”