The Australian Business Roundtable for Disaster Resilience and Safer Communities

The Australian Business Roundtable for Disaster Resilience and Safer Communities

The Australian Business Roundtable members are jointly committing resources to work constructively with governments to deliver in five critical areas including community education, risk information, adaptation research, mitigation infrastructure and strategic alliances.

A summary of the theme could be “spend more on mitigation and less on mayhem”.

Karuah Rural Fire Service battles own crumbling shed

BEYOND frustrated with sub-standard conditions Karuah Rural Fire Service has broken ranks in its fight for a new shed.
The acting captain Ken Smee has revealed a long list of problems from structural cracking to flooding and improper facilities for men and women working in close quarters.
“We’ve done everything by the book until now and it’s got us nowhere,” he said.

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it

How quickly do we forget the past? We have failed to learn from Australia’s traditional land managers and we have not learned from our early explorers. We spend huge amounts of money being reactive instead of being proactive. Our post incident inquires make recommendations but we continue to ignore common sense and reasoning.

Roger Underwood shares the following historic accounts:
Endeavour journal, 19 July 1770

Joseph Banks was with Captain Cook in 1770, camped at what is now Cooktown while The Endeavour was being repaired after hitting a coral reef. The sailors had angered the local Aborigines by taking turtles (without permission and without offering to share) and revenge took place by the Aborigines setting fire to the grass around the camp. Banks recalled in his journal:

I had little idea of the fury with which grass burnt in this hot climate, nor of the difficulty of extinguishing it when once lighted: this accident will however be a sufficient warning for us, if ever we should again pitch tents in such a climate, to burn every thing around us before we begin.

What are the implications of setting up an independent fire service?

There has been some discussion (even in NSW) about the implications of setting up an independent fire service.

When you look back in time, at the way that the NSW RFS began, it seems to have gone full circle:

1. Neighbours pooling resources and working together to protect themselves and each other from the threat of fire.
2. A larger group of people working together as above but forming a brigade that is supported by local government.
3. A state based organisation working with local governments to support local brigades.
4. The state based organisation builds an empire that looses focus upon the reason they are their in the first place.
5. The state based organisation grows bigger with bureaucracy and over complication clouding their ability to properly serve those local brigades.
6. Local brigades get frustrated.
7. Experienced people often leave.
8. Neighbours consider pooling resources and working together to protect themselves and each other from the threat of fire.