NSW Bushfire Enquiry: Signing Off on This Years Scapegoat

The BBC Satire “Yes Minister” offered a great insight into the workings of government

Roger Underwood opined in Quadrant Online that the outcomes from the NSW Bushfire Enquiry could be expected to be delivered on true “Yes Minister” lines.

He explains how, as a senior officer of a government agency in WA, he would write ‘ministerials’ or responses to letters of complaint that needed to be answered by his Minister.

The process was simplified by the fact that the public service had long been drilled in the three immutable rules of drafting a ministerial. First, never admit the minister was wrong or had made an error; second, never commit the minister to doing anything; and third, if there was no possible way of denying that something had gone wrong, find a scapegoat.

There is little liklihood of the NSW Enquiry doing anything that finds fault with itself, and the scapegoat is certain to be Climate Change.

Roger Underwood hopes that the Royal Commission, which does not have to defend its own performance in this area, will be more objective and identify the real weaknesses in Australian bushfire management.

Roger Underwood is Chairman of the Bushfire Front in Western Australia

Read his full story here: https://quadrant.org.au/opinion/doomed-planet/2020/04/signing-off-on-incompetence-and-myth/

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