Tag: Politics

The Orange By-Election could be a game changer

The Shooters Fishers and Farmers Party candidate for the Orange By-Election, Philip Donato, is set to put a burr under the saddle of Troy Grant and The Nationals.

“The Nationals have been resting on their laurels in rural New South Wales for years,” Mr. Donato said.

“All the National Party want from their MPs is that they do whatever the Liberal Party says – even if it is bad for their rural constituents. That’s what we saw from the recent demotion of Katrina Hodgkinson and Chris Galuptis for not supporting Mike Baird and Troy Grant’s greyhound racing ban.

“Since the Liberal Party are siding with the Animal Justice Party on banning greyhound racing, and The Greens on not revoking the Native Vegetation Act, farming communities need advocates who will actually stand up for them.”

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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.

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More to say on the Wambelong Fire – Kevin Humphries MP

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.

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Inadequate Response to Wambelong Fire Inquiry

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.

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Nats MP Kevin Humphries slams his government’s stance over liability for the 2013 Wambelong bushfires

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.

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Responses from the Coonabarabran Community – Just Ask a Local

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.

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Bushfire Bombers – RFS Style

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.

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Dad’s Army row: Volunteer firefighters accuse David Elliott of misleading Parliament

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?”

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Don’t panic: Volunteer fire fighters say minister compared them to Dad’s Army

Volunteer firefighters have complained after they said they were compared to the bumbling characters portrayed in the TV series Dad’s Army by Emergency Services Minister David Elliott.

The claims emerged at a General Meeting of the Volunteer Fire Fighters Association held last Saturday in Murrumbateman, Southern Tablelands, and attended by more than 70 members representing volunteers across Australia.

Members told the meeting they were insulted by the allegations and have called on the minister to apologise or explain his comments.

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