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Thursday, December 26, 2019

Comparing the NSW Bush Fire Crisis with the US's Hurricane Katrina by John Tognolini

Just looking out my front door, after smelling the bush fire smoke inside our home this morning is a reflection of the life we've been living in Upper Blue Mountains for over 40 days. The abnormal has become normal. In Katoomba we have have the Ruined Castle Fire 5 kms to the South and the Grose Valley Fire 18kms to the North.
Our fire fighters have been doing a brilliant job but they're tired. They've done magnificent work despite the state budget cutbacks to their services; NSW Fire & Rescue 35.4% and NSW Rural Fire Service 75.2% and the minimum are use of the Australian Defense Force.
The Liberal National Party on both the state and federal levels have badly managed this Bush Fire Crisis. It is more than accurate and fair to compare it to when the US's Hurricane Katrina Category 5 hurricane made landfall on Florida and Louisiana in August 2005 and the mis-mangement under US president George W.Bush. The political leadership has been a a major failure with both the premier and prime minister for:not declaring a state emergency earlier with bush fires in Northern part of the state, for not reversing the financial cutbacks to our fire fighting services, for not fully deploying the ADF and for not financially supporting the loss of income endured by our volunteer fire fighters. Both have ignored advice on how Climate Change would affect our bush fire seasons.
John Tognolini
I was a Bush Fire Fighter and member of the NSW RFS from 1994 to 2011, when I had a heart operation and mechanical heart valve installed.