The first thing that Morrison did on returning to Australia was said he was sorry if he had caused Australians anxiety.
Australians were not anxious because he was away. They were angry that he should be on holiday.
But they won’t also realised that his being here would’ve made no difference. It was the firefighters who are making the difference. And his caretaker government was being of no support whatsoever.
Morrison had totally misjudged the mood of Australia and when he returned this misjudgment only made matters worse.
What also made matters worse was that when he returned, he only seemed to be able to talk about himself. It was all about him.
Then, he said he would be no change in the government’s climate policy.
Another massive misjudgment. The issue for Australians, during bushfires, had been the fact that the mass of sacrifices of the firefighters had been stark contrast to the indifference of the holidaying Prime Minister.
It is also becoming increasingly obvious that the resources of the firefighting forces are not sufficient for the task. The fires are simply of the scale now that they overwhelm the existing capabilities of the firefighting services.of the firefighting services.
Much greater and more affective resources are going to be required.
On his return to Australia, the Prime Minister simply did not address this critical problem.
The immediate problem is not climate change. The immediate problem is the resources that will be devoted to fighting the bushfires this summer.
In a thoughtful article published in The Age today Anthony Bergin and Paul Barnes discuss the role of the defence forces in firefighting
“It’s time for a rethink on how defence could be better deployed in domestic natural disasters. Our defence forces have a blind spot for domestic civil assistance beyond counter-terrorism roles. In some ways it’s surprising. The Australian Defence Force has a strong culture of assisting other nations in need and is often praised for this humanitarian and aid effort.
The US Air Force has recently been contracted to install fire retardant delivery systems for seven C130s being transferred from the US Coast Guard to the US Forest Service.”
It’s clearly time for the government to consider upgrading the capability of the RAAF C-130 Hercules aircraft the to provide greater strength for the firefighting services water bombing capacity.