Bushfire crisis: too many people are feeding outrage and ignoring facts

Right now we are seeing the best and worst of the Australian community in the midst of a devastating event. Rural firefighters should be commended for their bravery and indefatigable commitment to serving us all. Generous Australians are offering their homes to displaced people and donating what they can. State, federal and local governments are coordinating around the clock in response to this devastating and unprecedented disaster.

Yet, we are also seeing the worst of Australia. We are seeing a vicious campaign led by trolls on social media to target political opponents, namely Scott Morrison, public enemy number one.

Let’s look at some facts surrounding this crisis and try to cut through the hysteria being shared on social media.

FACT ONE – The Federal Government has been responding since November 8.

The federal defence department has been offering support and reinforcements since November 8. Every request from state governments has been promptly granted. Today, the ADF helped evacuate residents and visitors from Mallacoota. As David Crowe accurately reported in today’s Age: They have been refuelling aerial tankers, providing vehicles and drivers for search and rescue operations, serving meals to firefighters and providing accommodation for volunteers.

You can find further details here: https://news.defence.gov.au/national/defence-boosts-bushfire-support

FACT TWO – Emergency management is a state government responsibility.

While the federal government has been clear that all support it can provide will be granted, fire management is and remains a state responsibility.

Morrison was criticised on video for not funding the rural fire service enough, but this is ultimately not his responsibility.

You can find further details here via the CFA: https://www.cfa.vic.gov.au/about/who-does-what

FACT THREE – Reports that the NSW government cut money from the Rural Fire Service are not accurate.

ABC Fact Check investigated this claim and its verdict was that it ‘doesn’t stack up’.

You can read that report here: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-12-05/fact-check-are-nsw-firefighters-facing–budget-cuts/11747396

FACT FOUR – Hazard reduction burns are more complicated than they appear, so it is equally unhelpful to just blame ‘greenies’ for the problem.

ABC Fact Checker ran an investigation into the complexity of hazard reduction burns that you can find here:

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-12-20/hazard-reduction-burns-bushfires/11817336

FACT FIVE: ABC Gippsland reported in September that protesters forced a reduction in a hazard reduction burn.

The original plan was 370 hectares. This was reduced to 9 hectares. ABC Gippsland has since deleted this post from Facebook.

FACT SIX: Australian governments, state or federal, Labor or Liberal, are not directly responsible for the fires.

Blaming the federal government directly for the fires, as rhetorically convenient as it might be, does not stand up to scrutiny or rationality. Australia emits 1.3% of global emissions. However, Australia is the biggest exporter of coal. As The Conversation reported earlier this year, if this was factored in, Australia’s emissions climb to above 4%.

You can find that report here: https://theconversation.com/how-to-answer-the-argument-that-australias-emissions-are-too-small-to-make-a-difference-118825

Australia is the highest emitter of carbon per capita in the world. Still, it does not follow that a country with low carbon emissions can directly, on its own, be responsible for the changing climate that is exacerbating the fires.

FACT SEVEN: Australia’s emissions are lowering, but its policies are subject to international criticism.

Australia’s emissions have dropped 12.9% since 2005. During the same time, China’s emissions have risen 67 per cent, alongside India rising even more at 77 per cent. Energy minister, Angus Taylor, wrote this last week. The Guardian fact checked this claim. It found the claim to be accurate; however, it pointed out that the main emission reductions in Australia have been due to a reduction in land use.

You can find that report here: https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/dec/31/fact-checking-angus-taylor-does-australia-have-a-climate-change-record-to-be-proud-of

Unfortunately, most people are sharing hit pieces, outrage inducing headlines or memes on social media, and this is all of the information they are getting. Hopefully this helps people to be better informed. Stay safe, everyone.

116 Comments on Bushfire crisis: too many people are feeding outrage and ignoring facts

  1. Mary Jackson // January 3, 2020 at 8:06 pm // Reply

    Thankyou for some facts finally, but will the trolls actually read or are they just into negatives and abuse. Please I for one love my country and believe the Prime Minister deserves respect, let’s concentrate on helping those that have lost everything, please, NOT A TIME FOR POINT SCORING Mary Jackson

  2. Liliana Berry // January 3, 2020 at 8:21 pm // Reply

    Our Prime Minister did not start these devastating fires and people need to respect and understand that. Now is the time to help where we can, to support our firefighters. My heart breaks for our human and animal loss and I pray for the skies to open and let the rain down

    • right, respect a leader who has botched the handling of this crisis, lol, had to be dragged kicking and screaming to provide assistance to the fire fighters, to bring the defence force in, brought in a lump of coal into parliament, lied profusely during the election campaign at the same time professing to be a ‘christian’, refuses to be accountable for any of his policies and decisions… if you expect to be respected you firstly need to respect other people in turn….

    • trolls….meaning anyone who doesn’t believe along the lines you do…how many times has this incompetent and dangerous fool proclaim ‘it isn’t the time to talk about climate change’ but theres time to bring a lump of coal into parliament….

      • Shane Newman // January 4, 2020 at 2:11 pm //

        The NSW Premier stated this morning that the defence force have been involved since November. But hey, don’t let the facts get in the way of your uninformed whinge, Anonymous

      • Anonymous // January 4, 2020 at 5:45 pm //

        Hey Shane, so the defence forces got involved in late November, you would like to ignore the fact that Scumo by that point had been questioned on many many times on tv months and months prior to November about compensating fire fighters and helping with masks etc who had fought fires for months, he said he didn’t see the need and that they had to hold them back, real funny! the same question was asked about bringing in the defence forces and again he proclaimed he didn’t see the need so jetted of to Hawaii for happy snaps, what a HERO!!! we should be so grateful!! But hey Shane, don’t let the facts get in the way of your uninformed whinge, you’re a champion mate!

      • Shame this is just propaganda from the ABC. Just ignore.

    • I agree he did not start these fires as for the respect it goes both ways you get respect when you give respect and i think that has been the huge issue around the pm

    • Thanks to all the firies,support helpers,machinery operators and everyone helping in this disaster but fuck Scott Morrison he’s a gutless useless oxygen thief the bastard has a lot to answer too the grub

    • Yup, just need to read some of the below comments. Looks as though they didn’t even read this article

      • Anonymous // January 5, 2020 at 8:17 pm //

        We did. it is unattributed fluff and garbage. Why is there no byline? Why is there no information in the About page on who is behind this website? Fear and acknowledgement that these are strawman arguments.

    • Between Facebook twitter and the trolls Australia is a poorer place very sad and just think they all vote & breed. Very very sad. What has climate change got to do with lighting and arsonists. All you gutless key board ferals

      • Anonymous // January 5, 2020 at 9:44 am //

        Hey Neil, exactly the verbal garbage we would expect from a climate denier…so you’re claiming all or most of the fires were started by lightning and arsonists, really?? what’s your evidence for this? you’d like to ignore the overwhelming evidence from real scientists and what is happening now in front of your face, outside of your desire to kiss the arses of the current imbeciles parading as our leaders, what is your evidence? speaking of gutless keyboard ferals, have a look in your mirror, lol, for decent minded people the voting situation isn’t a concern as these current clowns will be turfed out next time and as far as breeding, your progeny will clearly see the situation with their own eyes as things become worse and the science that has been done for decades by the vast amount of real scientists is vindicated

      • Anonymous // January 5, 2020 at 9:49 am //

        and forgot, we’re all really grateful for your contribution via your keyboard and of course your thoughts and prayers, clearly they’re paying dividends
        Mike

    • Just ignore the rubbish put forward blaming ScoMo. It’s political propaganda from the ABC. Just delete.

      • Anonymous // January 5, 2020 at 7:09 pm //

        That’s right Anon, why believe the ABC when you can get the truth and facts from Murdoch and Fox News, they’re so reputable and have a wonderful track record of telling the truth, lol x1000

    • Respect is earnt, not just given.
      Scott Morrison is getting the respect he has earnt.
      How you support a political party that doesn’t even believe in free education…(trying to abolish the HECS scheme).
      This article was obviously written by a Scott Morrison supporter.
      You should start writing for the Australian, or The Sydney Morning Herald. Where you one sided opinions will be valued.

    • That’s well said
      Show the PM respect

  3. most people only know how to read titles, not articles sadly. Which is a darn shame.

    • Cherie Desreaux // January 3, 2020 at 9:25 pm // Reply

      I respect he didn’t start the fires but I cannot respect a leader who chooses to leave with the threat of fire danger, take his time to return, attend a social cricket function and when visiting a community completely devastated insists on grabbing the hands of people who decline his hand shake. There is something incredibly wrong with a leader who is devoid of understanding this isn’t about him. I am a labor voter through and through but this is a national tragedy not a state tragedy, but Gladys has been amazing and there are no words for the strength and feeling Shane Fitzsimmons has demonstrated. ScoMo has a lot to learn about empathy and sincerity. You too could be brave and put your name to your words, gutless and opinionated!

      • Firstly, I’d like to add to the fact that he was on holidays, I’m so over hearing about this! So what! Why did his advisers not advise him to stay? Scomo is not a firefighter, he wouldn’t have had a clue how bad it was going to be and if so, seriously what do people want him to do?? He has given where he possibly an, then when he tries to visit the areas affected- they were rude to him, I’m sorry if this offends anyone, I get it they’re tired and fed up. He didn’t have to go visit, but he did, and their reactions are due to being so very misinformed- even Shane Fitzsimmons addressed the media tonight visibly frustrated with rumours about Scot Morrison. I’m not a fan of Scomo to start with during election, but I genuinely feel for him. Bottom line who cares if he was being human at the end of the day spending time with his family. Shane Fitzsimmons is higher ranked at delighting during this time anyway- there was literally NOTHING scomo could do. Abbott on the other hand that Australia stabbed in the back is out there qualified to help in this situation.

      • People wanted him here showing empathy so that means going around greeting people and shaking hands. You can not complain about that if you complain about him not being here.

        As the article pointed out the assistance from federal govt started before the PM went away and continued while he was away and all powers of PM are temporarily transferred to Deputy when PM is away so no issue.

        What has Gladys done other than attend press conference? Can’t say I’ve seen anything.

        Meanwhile while there were still fires in queensland with some out of control the Qld labor athiest premier went on a cruise holiday. It is far easier to get back from overseas than a cruise. Cheaper too!
        So why no news stories condemning her? Is it because she is not religious or is it because she is labor party? The excuses I’ve heard defending he holiday for example “Oh they PROBABLY (emphasis mine) fund fire services better” or “At least she was holidaying in Australia” are pathetic to put it nicely.

        Andrew D

      • 100% agree with you. I confess I have been guilty of this myself. No more I will be informing myself better. my husband is a fact checker more than me.

    • But he does, if he’s not to scared to make sure it doesn’t happen again, unlocking high country from grazing cattle, destroying the limitations on water flowing through river systems tearing up council regulations on what people can and can’t remove from their OWN properties in the form of vegetation if they choose. Just a start

    • Your a greenie loving labor retard

  4. Thankyou for these facts We should all be helping each other in these trying times and praising our firefighters who do a fantastic job along with everyone else out their fighting a loosing battle .Maybe some respect should be shown for our Prime Minister after today what must other countries think about how he was spoken to It is not his fault Anonymous

  5. Michael Brown // January 3, 2020 at 9:20 pm // Reply

    Brilliant and a well written article based on fact…

    • facts,lol
      thanks for the comedy!

    • Facts have a different definition amongst the pro right wing site that claimed these as facts, they consider bullshit as facts as long as it lines up with their ideology, good on you for reading it once and gobbling it up, says a lot
      Mike

  6. Are you kidding me we have been warned of these fires for years yet the fire brigade and the bush fire brigades have had there funding cut. Wasn’t Scott Morrison response to the volunteers “they want to be there” they are there because we need them. After public disgust he announced $300 per day max 6000 after 10 days serving. This government is reactive not proactive. We need leaders that are proactive. This is not the only idea he has back flipped on

    • So now listening to people is weak backflipping but if he doesn’t change his mind he is a arrogant person! Make up your bloody mind. You are the problem. Politicians know changing their mind is considered weak by voting public so tend to avoid doing it in most situations. That is what you and others have asked for when voting.

      As for funding cuts you shouldn’t comment on this article which you have not read. It provides a link to Fact Check which has graphs showing you are wrong. Yes capital expenditure has gone down but that does not in any way shape or form relate to fire fighting. What it does relate to is that previous financial year they built a brand new HQ for RFS. Are you seriously wanting them to build a brand new HQ every single year? Surely you aren’t that stupid.
      They also purchased water bombing aircraft.

      Funding is a state issue so surely it should be state govt paying volunteers. After all the state govt is responsible. Guess you missed that bit as well.

      • Anonymous // January 4, 2020 at 8:26 am //

        So using YOUR criteria not one Prim Minister should have had a Summer holiday ‘For Years’
        Do you hear yourself?
        Before anyone comments on a pollie (either side) they should state two thing. Who they voted for in the last three elections. (Let’s face it, I’m tipping you are ALP through and through) and secondly what have you done to assist the affected or emergency services. ( apart from being a keyboard hero)

      • Anonymous // January 4, 2020 at 6:51 pm //

        ‘Are you seriously wanting them to build a brand new HQ every single year?’ Andrew, is this your idea of an argument that reinforces you point? Putting words in people’s mouths, it’s one of the stupidest things you’ve proclaimed here and we have a smorgasbord to choose from you here, lol, and some of the facts were checked by pro Liberal/religious rabbles, the fact that you can kiss the arses of the black hearted callous incompetent clowns parading as our leaders now says a lot about your judgement or lack of, as many others have pointed out here how many times has Scumo had to be dragged kicking and screaming to do the right thing ie banks, marriage equality, supporting the fire fighters, getting the defence forces involved, leaving Hawaii etc and then refusing to meet with the fire chiefs earlier in the year, not preparing for what was to come when warned profusely by experts all because he didn’t want to miss out on a precious budget surplus and didn’t want to give credence to climate change so it wouldn’t upset his rich right wing religious friends, what a champion!
        Hopefully we can keep relying on you to keep feverishly praying to your Gawd as that seems to be paying dividends, lol
        Mike

    • Sounds like an ad for the liberal party! I(and yes I read the whole article) Iam listening to the firefighters now and since Scomo hasn’t show leadership and sympathy to the victims , firefighters and the environment destroyed, I cannot respect this leader! He needs to go!

  7. ~40% of emissions are from by countries like Australia with single digit emissions % global. On balance we are far from championing the cause. We might be “pulling our weight”, arguably through accounting hacks (such as carrying over Kyoto credits). Our leaders are disrupting progress on the issue of emission reduction on major global forums like the recent COP Madrid summit.

    • It’s a good article, though you have left points out…

      Could you fact check when the RFS asked for a meeting with Morrison to discuss and plan for impending fire season. Here’s a link https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.smh.com.au/politics/federal/we-saw-it-coming-former-fire-commissioner-says-government-was-warned-on-bushfires-20191114-p53agj.html

      Or perhaps fact check why folk are actually angry with him. It’s not because anyone thinks he caused the fires. It is because of how he has handled the situation, he has lacked empathy, he has been callous, he has minimised the hurt that others feel. He forces handshakes for photo ops then bails on the questions, then goes and hosts criket parties. You watch footage and you see the resting smirk face.

      In contrast look at how Shane Fitzsimmons the Commissioner of the New South Wales Rural Fire Service has handled himself. No one is angry with how he has handled this situation.

      If you’re going to fact check why the nation is “hysterical” then maybe actually fact check the whole, rather than just putting a marketing spin on just one side of the coin.

      • Fact check has been done and it is not his responsibility.
        Fact check has been done and people demanded the PM be here showing concern. Well thats what going out and shaking hands is doing. Make up your mind what you want.

        Fact check has been done and the article you link is talking about a climate change lobby group. Yes they are former fire officials but they are first and foremost a climate lobby group. They also are strangely silent on attempts to talk to state leaders who after all have the responsibility for fire fighting. As the article said you are ignoring facts to put your spin on it.

        Perhaps you could be the one and only person who will explain why the media has not condemned the labor athiest queensland premier for going on holidays while fires were burning in queensland with some out of control. As said it is a state responsibility so she should not have gone. The worst excuse I’ve heard justifying it was “Well at least she was holidaying in Australia”. How pathetic is that. She didn’t even return till her holiday was over! So why no articles from ABC condemning her actions? Why no outrage at her.
        I voted labor and can admit this. I am the last to call bias and frequently defend claims of bias against the ABC but in this case I simply can not defned it and maintain my integrity. So go on justify it. Tell us why it is acceptable for Qld premier to ignore her job and go on holidays while the PM wasn’t ignoring his job when he went on holidays. Can you back up your claim of being impartial?

      • Adding a bit of extra balance – thank you

      • Nestor Manuelian // January 5, 2020 at 2:47 am //

        200% agree … He’s behaviour as a leader, not the fires or decisions made by whom is the biggest outrage. BUT . . People chose to defend him with facts that are irrelevant to the main issue that MOST Australians have … his leadership qualities!

      • You left out he had time to do a religious freedom act bull sh@&, while fires where spreading rapidly !

  8. It is rude and offensive to call the majority of social media users as “trolls” with a political agenda – most of us are concerned, scared and angry Australian citizens who have only asked for leadership in this time of unprecedented crisis

    • Could not agree more

      • Completely agree! This article displays the same tone deafness that led Australians to feel such collective outrage on the first place. Again, the feelings of everyday Australians are being minimised and ignored.

      • Actually I accept what was printed is fact; however there was much which was conveniently not printed.

        Firstly, lets face it ScoMo is not a ‘statesman’ such as Whitlam, Hawk or even Howard. During times like this, people need a person they can lean on – not a talking spin head. (my apologies if offended). Another big 2 issues are hazard reduction burns and risk mitigation.

        Hazard reduction burning has been taken place around the country, In SE Qld the Hazard reduction burn season as been shorted dramatically due to adverse conditions – storms, drought, fire bans, etc. I know this as my burn was on the books for 2 years until it got done this year. Let me make it bloody clear, I am a farmer and the delay in burn has nothing to do with Geenies, green tape, green blood, or green skin, Palmer or Pauline puddings, nor the lack of resources or appetite to hazard reduce – simply put mother nature was doing a damn fine job ensuring it could not be done.

        Risk mitigation program(s) looks current and future risks of low/medium/high importance. Our governments over recent years have ignored professional advise by many of Australia top State Emergency Experts which were warning everyone we were heading in this direction, they even shut down environment departments. This is fact; yet the talking heads in Canberra are only interested in jobs, growth, and rolling political dice and leaders – all which have distracted attention away from the risks. This has meant there was very little bipartisan support or intra-governmental mechanisms to address risks of this predicted nature; but grossly under-predicted magnitude. Every business and corporate board looks at current, short-term and future risks and puts in measures to mitigate them. Yet our brains pool has ignored top experts in their fields for years.

        Scott Morrison and his troops are getting raked over the burning embers and I personally feel they deserve much of the heat. This heat is not directed at the individuals; but should heed as a shot over the bow of the major party cartels and buffins. People who have been affected don’t want spin, shaking of hands, photo moments, they are needing a leader who understands their plights, is proactive, and who genuinely gives a dam. The job for a ‘statesman’ remains vacant – let’s hope the right person sees the advert next time.

    • If you refuse to look at facts and comment and condemn people based on ignorance then while troll is technically the wrong term it is nice enough term for what you are doing.

      If it is not political and fire fighting is a state responsibility where is the condemnation and outrage over Qld premier going on holidays while fires burning in Qld? She is labor party person and an athiest. Considering some of the stupid pathetic excuses for her going on holidays then it is a agenda. Not sure if it is anti-liberal or anti-religion agenda. Feel free to give a plausible alternative as to why the qld premier is being defended when people bring that up and why there are no articles condemning her especially from ABC who have done numerous articles condemning Morison.

      Yes now is the time for leadership and despite it being a different leaders responsibility the federal govt have done all requested of them.

      • King O'Malley // January 4, 2020 at 10:44 am //

        The absence of serious condemnation of Palaszczuk is likely because holidaying 30km from Brisbane while several isolated and relatively minor fires burn is in a different league to being 9500km across the Pacific, in a different country, in a different time zone, while the balance of the country is seeing unprecedented risk. It’s also the Morrisons’ second overseas holiday in a year which saw just 45 sitting days of Parliament.

        Ultimately optics were all LNP had to get them up in the last election, no plan, no policy, just a baseball cap dad and an overactive meme unit, what they giveth they also taketh away.

      • Anonymous // January 4, 2020 at 2:13 pm //

        Andrew D speaking of trolls….it would take a keyboard hero to accuse another person of being one when they don’t know anything about them apart from their possible political leanings….the labour atheist premier…so we can conclude that you’ve played your part buy praying to Gawd, how have your prayers and thoughts panned out? as we can see Gawd has done a wonderful job of responding…..

      • Anonymous // January 5, 2020 at 2:31 am //

        Andrew D …Get your facts right, The premier of Qld was not on a cruise. She was on a boat to Moreton Island which is close at hand to Brisbane, She was Not far away if required, Obviously you believe in the crap of the Murdoch press and SkyNews, Certainly nothing like our incompetent PM.

    • Hear! Hear!

  9. The PM is the elected leader of our country & therefore deserves respect….whether everyone approves of him or not is another story & is their democratic right….

    • I don’t vote for him I do not respect him or his policies. Simple as that. He is not the prime minister or the party I want to run Australia so I shouldn’t have to give my respect if he will not resect me

      • John Lovell // January 4, 2020 at 7:37 am //

        Yes LEADER you have got it, but that is the problem with Scotty from marketing.

      • Empathy is listening to someone’s concerns, not grabbing a hand for a photo opportunity. Leadership is being seen to act to alleviate the problem. The PM has mishandled this massively. He has missed the point and has missed several opportunities to calm the nation by discussing the measures already taken by the ADF. He has been both defensive and smug. The optics of his actions and the content of his words have not enhanced his standing in any way.
        We did not elect him per se. There was an election. The LNP won on preferences and he is the leader of that party after a leadership spill. We hold our leaders to greater standards than the general population. He chose to push for the power and ‘prestige’ of being the nation’s PM. There is a price to pay for that. He does not seem willing to put in the work or to act as a positive role model.
        What I ask myself, is who benefits from his being removed. What is behind the massive push for it?

      • Respect is earned if you force yourself on people simply for a photo op instead of sitting down listening to their concerns even if you cant do anything about it at least listen. He is paid the big bucks now do something to earn them

    • So you make a practice of respecting callous, black hearted incompetent scumbags like Scumo? that’s a good approach to life, let us know how that pans out for you

    • Richard Raines. // January 5, 2020 at 9:22 am // Reply

      Well said.

  10. For a website called Thoughthub, you really didn’t put much thought into this

  11. So just because he was elected PM he deserves our respect? Pull the other one, respect is earned not demanded. A title regardless of what one it is PM or otherwise doesn’t make you any better than any other Citizen.

    The Volunteer fire fighters have earned my respect about time ScoMo pulled his finger out, showed some leafership, compasion and did something to earn our respect… a bag of f###ing biscuits and sports drinks is an insult.

  12. Fact number 6: we are the largest emitter of carbon per capita in the world. If everyone took the attitude: “yeah but we’re only emitting a small amount in the grand scheme of things”… what you’d find is 80% of emissions would result from countries that emit 2% whose emissions should be more relative to their populations. Others don’t have that attitude, and that’s why other smaller countries (and bigger ones) contribute less than we do per capita. We should be setting an example for other countries given we’ll be among the biggest losers in the short term, and using that example to encourage them to lower their emissions. Instead, they point the finger at us and say “do your part”.

    We should be respectfully critical of our leaders. But we should also be more willing to hold them to account rather than simply talking about it. If you’re concerned about the conditions we find ourselves in, do something about it. Ask your representatives what their climate strategy is. If they don’t have one, or it doesn’t sound like it’s going to make the difference in ten years or more, vote for someone else. I won’t tell you who to vote for, but I will tell you to get angry, and use your vote wisely! This is the great challenge of our time, and we need to rise to meet it or Australia won’t be liveable anymore.

    • Pure trash. Why are we big emitters of (harmless) CO2? No nuclear, very little hydro, subject to the tyranny of distance like no other Country on Earth and a harsh environment to boot.

      There is no clear, repeatable experimental evidence that CO2 is causing much if any warming, and none that any such warming is dangerous. Belief that there is is an exercise in Faith. Now it’s fine to be religious, but it’s very rude to try to force it on others. Stop it.

  13. What this pro-Liberal writer forgot to mention in their bid to kiss ScoMos arse was fact 1: when we as a nation looked for support and leadership from our elected officials in a time of crises – they were not there!
    These fires started burning in November. The Ministers that were put into their highly paid positions to serve their constituents disappeared on holidays in late December.
    Our elected leader dissapearred on holiday during a national crisis.
    That lack of care, empathy & leadership leaves a bitter taste when people are dying.
    Never should a nation have to ask where it’s government is at a time of tragedy.

  14. RESPECT!!!!! I was born in 1957 so was taught to respect my elders, teachers, pastoral leaders and finally in later life anyone governing South Australia and Australia even if it was not what was what we wanted voted. I kept this teaching and tried to implement this into my boys lives as they grew up in the 80’s and 90’s, with sport ect. Trying to make them see that to respect an umpire and not to question or to argue with them was hard but that is RESPECT!!!!. This word has been lost or misunderstood. I am so tired of the people blaming our PM. He did NOT start the fires. He has been voted in whether we like it or not. He is our PM. Like it or lump it!!!!!!!! RESECT him while he is in. Help him during this horrific time. Not down him. It is so horrible for everyone. Everybody is downing him for his praying but what is left????? I am not saying I believe but in the second world war this is all that kept Australia going…… Praying. Maybe we should be praying now. I say this to all the people that do not know what the word respect means!!!!. Maybe you need a lesson in respect and praying!!!

    • The blind respect (please forgive my lack of completely unnecessary caps and punctuation) you talk about allowed paedophiles and other abusers in positions of power to destroy countless lives Di, so I’ll say no thanks to that if it’s all the same.
      It’s not the 50s anymore; times change and these days respect must be earned.
      As for prayer, I’m sure there has been plenty of that being sent up into the smoke-filled sky in recent months by people who later discovered that it did not, in fact, bring their loved ones home safe or stop their homes from burning to the ground, so I reckon I’ll give that a miss too.
      Scomo didn’t start the fires, but he is supposed to be our leader and as such we expect, not unfairly I don’t think, for him to be in it with us in times of crisis.
      When thousands of Australians are sacrificing so much to fight these fires I think our Prime Minister can be expected to sacrifice a family holiday to Hawaii. Sure, that sucks for him and his family, but you get that on the big jobs.

      • Anonymous // January 4, 2020 at 6:17 pm //

        Hey Dom, as to your reply to Di, couldn’t of worded it better!
        So to exaggerate the point (I will admit) but along the same line of reasoning Di, if you were living in Germany in WW2 and had found out about what Hitler was doing you still would of respected him because he was voted in and held high office
        By the way I was born in 1959 but fortunately I was allowed to have critical thinking and judgement, something you sadly missed out on
        Mike

  15. Kylie B /// i actually thought the fires started before November in some areas …but the way the PM up and left the country has no respect from me at all …he didnt even say he was going on holidays or tell the people where he was going ……money would of been better spent on buying water bombers and our farmers instead of giving aus money away to Nasa ….what has he done sold off Australia’s water our country is being sold slowly but is still being sold … not listening to people who know the country and the bush and what to do to eradicate these large fires Liberal Labor or the greens i have no respect for there policies want a leader who puts Australians first at all times

  16. Stephen Binnington // January 4, 2020 at 12:21 am // Reply

    Where are India and China getting their coal from ? What % of green house gases produced in the world comes from the coal or gas Australia is exporting ? Figures read recently showed that if this is taken into account, Australia would be ranked at number 5. ( saying Oz exports “clean ” coal belies the fact that they wash it with fresh water, during the worst drought in our recorded history, on the driest continent on earth. That many of these extractive companies pay little to no company tax here that would assist governments financing proper and adequate equipment and kit for the fairies and our environment. The CSIRO produced a report in 1987 showing exactly what would happen here in the future, they predicted what is now happening. To say that some nutters, worried about a spotted drop bear population somewhere are the cause of these infernos is ludicrous and ignores who’s been driving the bus for many years and it’s not the Greens. As for Scott Morrison, after paying $180,000.00 for Empathy Consultants then trying to grab peeps hands for a photo op, he Is no leader, has not the fortitude of a leader and after this shamozzle will never be considered a leader , by, I feel, the majority of Australians.

  17. ScoMo has laid his own bed here. He is copping criticism for 3 main reasons here

    1. His track record on not giving a toss about the citizens of this country ( banking royal commission, Disgusting handling of NDIS don’t spend the money and claim a surplus, criminal mismanaged of Murray darling to name just a few)
    2. His comments and actions around the claims that the fire fighters wanted to be there etc
    3. If you are the leader of a country and the country is going through a national disaster you don’t leave the country. Kind of like the captain abandoning ship before considering passengers and crew. For one, he could have been sorting out financial assistance before Xmas as an example. He didn’t even initially apologies for abandoning the country at such a time, his an initial apology was ‘for any offence he may have caused’

  18. Thoughthub is pro Liberal-National Party politics and opposed to Labour-Greens politics hence their particular defence of ScoMo – reflected in all their articles.

  19. Go fuck yourself scomo and friends // January 4, 2020 at 8:55 am // Reply

    Almost believed you till I realised this is propaganda.
    Shame on you.

  20. The toxix political hate is worse than rude it is damaging and disgusting. Shameful.

  21. All these facts are absolutely true and nobody can deny them but also what can’t be denied is that this Prime Minister has shown now leadership during what is a national crisis and has shown little to no empathy with those affected. It is correct that he isn’t the cause of the fires but it is also correct that this government has been neglect in the management of our water systems that have added to the effects of the drought making the fires much worse. His absolute denial of climate change is also something that this government needs to seriously address because fire seasons in the future are only going to get worse and longer. Another fact to consider is that he big noted himself for giving $11m for fire fighting planes. But neglected to talk about the $250m spent on upgrading his own plane. Fact check that one. #scottyfrommarketing

  22. Thomas Wheeler // January 4, 2020 at 10:51 am // Reply

    Sorry while yes the federal government is not responsible for directly fighting fires they are responsible for the funding of Emergency Management Australia and the National Aerial Firefighting Centre. Actually when the centre was set up, the federal govt was supposed to provide the majority of funding but there have been cuts and minimal investment by the feds since it was started.

  23. David Jacobs // January 4, 2020 at 11:15 am // Reply

    At least in this thought hub you acknowledge “climate change is exacerbating the fires”. That’s the first step..to acknowledge we have a problem.Australia has a responsibility to reduce coal exports,especially to India.The state based firefighters are doing an amazing job but more co_operation between all agencies will be necessary in the future.A bushfire plan is a climate change plan, an urban smoke pollution respiratory plan is a climate change plan.Get used to it.

  24. Raymond Manser // January 4, 2020 at 11:18 am // Reply

    Fact One: Former experienced Fire Commissioners from all Australian fire agencies; AFAC and me in a small way were predicting that these fires would occur with more frequency and have higher intensity heat energy output.

    Fact Two: These same people including RFS Commissioner placed before Federal Govt. a request for funding for more fixed wing fire suppression aircraft. This was two years ago and still awaiting for a response (NSW provided 11m for one aircraft) refer to Shane Fitzsimmon’s media briefing 8am 4th Jan.

    Fact Three 37 fixed wing fire suppression aircraft are sitting idle in Canada. The fires are in all states and territories in Australia and these former fire officers advice that more of the aircraft were required back in May 2019, were ignored by the state and federal governments. A phone call by the Fed Gov asking Canada for these aircraft be used in Australia could have been arranged at the end of Canada’s fire season in November. The fires are out of proportion to the norm and involve all States and Territories therefore it is a Federal issue.

    Fact Four: Emergency management Australia is now defunct and buried somewhere in the homeland security department. A reform to save money.

    Fact Five NSW Govt cut the budgets of both the RFS and FRNSW, Gladys and her ministers shut fire stations rather than pay overtime and or increase staffing levels. Yet found funding for stadiums which turn out to be a hole in the ground.

    Opinion arising from the five fact checks above is that there will be another inquiry and as usual all the recommendations will be ignored or deemed to costly. Governments are responsible for the safety and security of the whole population of Australia and it seems the preparedness phase of emergency planning is ignored as too costly. In this instance the planning starts with a catastrophic event followed by under response and no idea on how to conduct the recovery phase expecting everything being done by volunteers and charity donations.

  25. Harold Hayward // January 4, 2020 at 11:47 am // Reply

    Nobody expected the holidaymakers caught up in this catastrophe to cancel their holidays. It was school holidays, they had paid money and tomorrow it could rain. But we expected the Prime Minister to be different. Control of emergency services is a state matter. But at least two state premiers were also on leave and returned in a hurry. They somehow have escaped condemnation.

  26. Gordon Williams // January 4, 2020 at 11:54 am // Reply

    No simple answers- complex problems have simple WRONG answers. It is about working together and ALL stakeholders making longer term strategic plans, and adapting those as time passes as conditions change or new info comes to light. The current bushfires are a disaster for everyone involved but continual destructive criticism by those who think they have all the answers, and continue to tell others what “should’ have been done as if they are some world authority on everything, is non productive.

  27. “FACT ONE – The Federal Government has been responding since November 8.”
    Well, yes, but that actually demonstrates incompetence. What about requests prior to that?
    A business case was put in 2 years ago via the NAFC to increase water bombing capabilities given the impending horror fire seasons as predicted by the experts.
    The Fed Gov has sat on this business case since.
    So to state they have been responding since Nov 8 is actually a statement of failure by the government. In addition to this the very recent funding provided by the commonwealth government only demonstrates an ability to be reactive rather than be proactive. They new about the need quite some time ago and respond only when it’s too late. I’m sure someone will find a way to put a positive spin on it anyway.

  28. Tired of biased media reporting.. finally some decent thought provoking article. Thanks for pointing out the facts.

    • The article literally states that’s realistically our reduction in emissions is only 6% and that the emissions figure in Taylor’s don’t account for our export of coal. Another spin doctor in the COALition try to NG to manipulate figures and statistics to pull the wool over people’s eyes. You boomers gotta put on those reading glasses and pull your thumbs out of your asses

  29. Just another LNP spin doctor load of garbage. None of what you post are ‘facts’. Just because you put it in an online forum does make it true. And I see the died in the wool climate deniars and COALition supporters are lapping it up. More fool them. Nero fiddled while Rome burth too #Auspol

    • facts lol, when have climate deniers and right wing imbeciles cared for facts! they just get in the way of their black hearted ideology…

  30. On “fact” five, the ABC Gippsland Facebook post has not been deleted.

  31. Septic Sceptic // January 4, 2020 at 1:00 pm // Reply

    No name associated with this ‘fact check’ piece? Yeah, no thanks.

    Get some journalistic integrity and then it might be worth reading.

    • Was curious on this and just went on their FB page and scrolled down – could not find it on the 23rd of October or any of the dates around that. Can I ask where you see it on their page? Is it on a different date than in the photo?

    • Sorry wrong post I replied to! Haha Have a great day:)

  32. I love when people don’t like what they hear or read they call it **** propoganda. Facts are facts. duh

    • yeah facts…as decided by pro right wing and LNP sites…yeah I’m sure we can trust them…and gobbled up by people who can’t critically think intelligently and try to put a spin on any criticism, remind you of anyone?

  33. In a crisis, I dont envy the role of Prime Minister for one second. The opposition leader should put a stop to the unhelpful criticism of the office and cease playing party politics and join the PM in showing a united front. Thats exactly what Australia needs right now instead of the embarrassment we’re seeing by all parties right now.

    • Oh yes, could not agree more!

    • Hey Bat
      Can you let us know when the opposition leader made these so called unhelpful criticisms, of all the appearances I’ve seen on tv or radio he’s conducted himself impeccably without resorting to what you claim, I haven’t sat in front of the tv continually like you maybe but enough to see him at these locations helping out and comforting while at the same time our Dear Leader sipped on a Pina Colada on a Hawaiian beach.”

  34. The sight of women, very capable and brave women, fighting inferno’s, to defend their homes and families, with only garden hoses should have been enough for any right thinking person in a position of authority to call in the Defence Forces. Why did they wait so long, the whole world was shouting at their tv screens. When there has been disasters overseas, the Australian Government has send amazing amounts of aid but when its own people are burning it hasn’t asked quickly enough. Congratulations to all the amazing brave fire fighters, condolences to all who have lost love ones and property, maybe one day our politicians of all persuasions will measure up to you.

    • You have to be retarded to hold that view. ADF members are not trained fire fighters, they don’t not hold the equipment or skill to deal with these situations. Yes they can assist within there key areas but fight fire, NO. Asking (more so ordering) them to fire will end up getting non-qualified people killed, that is called manslaughter for the person commanding them. Joe blow down the road risking there life to stay and fight is a choice, they accept that risk.

      Ps have a read of this before you run your mouth. https://news.defence.gov.au/national/defence-boosts-bushfire-support

  35. Annette Hardy // January 4, 2020 at 3:06 pm // Reply

    It is what it is, a catastrophe! Most people don’t believe the media these days do they? Fact check is available, maybe the Guardian is often more balanced if you can’t do this. This happened because of a conflation of many situations bad enough on their own but in combination disastrous. Now the worst has happened the experts can get together and map out some actions that can be taken to mitigate the severity of this, beef up the capacity to deal with it, use the Hercules aircraft and fit a couple out for water bombing during the summer months, hope the drought breaks and back burning can happen again under forest management plans, etc. etc. less blame it’s not helpful and more planing for future disasters which will happen.

  36. Obviously this crisis is not one single persons fault it is a collective of failures that has cost lives and livelihoods.
    The person we are supposed to look toward in a crisis though, is a truly inept individual. Scomo lacks the much needed empathy that a leader should demonstrate and is severely out of touch with everyday people. Imagine suggesting to a people facing total devastation that they should turn to a cricket match for inspiration. Imagine arriving in a disaster zone and forcing handshakes upon exhausted, grieving people for media attention with only a single Woolies bag in hand.
    Imagine running when faced with peoples pain.
    Why is our leader not leading?

  37. Guys ,it’s to easy to blame one or others the reallity is about everyone have to do his job . The PM have designed people to fix the problems , If you expect for him to do the whole work , preparing , acting during and after fire, while he have to deal with others 100 different issues , it impossible for anyone , liber , labour or green . When a firefighter choose his job , he knows he have to fight fires , a policeman fight criminals and a doctor saves lives . To praise them is like giving an award to your cleaner for vaccum cleaning. Every one get paid for they job exept the volunteer firefighters or american firefighters that come here, they are the real heroes and the other ones who do the extra miles . After fireseason is gone , I wish all of them that fail doing 100% they job to be acountable for till criminal charges , from the one who stop the burnoffs, didn’t funded or supply all that was requested , for not requesting that what it needed.

    Climate changes is happened , we can’t stop a fire , or tornado , we have to be enviromental friendly and do our bits .
    thanks

  38. And yet it’s the firefighters, you know, those people actually involved that are the ones hitting out the most. A well manipulated ‘opinion’ piece trolling as fact

  39. Australia needs a leader who can see what is happening all around us, EMPATHISE with their suffering and present a vision for a brighter, PROGRESSIVE future. Burning coal, building Adani mines, felling the Tarkine, trenching the Great Barrier Reef while simpering about ‘God’s will’ and dismissing climate change is NOT going to get us to where we need to go. ScoMo’s position is religiously extreme. He refuses to acknowledge climate change. He is fundamentally incapable of designing a future for Australia that addresses the inescapable issue of climate change. Time to burn down his house!

    PS. Whatever YOUR preference, next election VOTE BELOW THE LINE or you will get someone else’s preferences.Stop giving away your vote with one number!

  40. The ‘facts’ laid out in this article are completely misleading, especially those surrounding Australia’s emissions and the responsibility the Federal Government bears for this crisis.

    Firstly, of course the Government is not directly to blame for the fires. But Morrison should be taking responsibility for our country’s complete inaction on climate change. Climate change exacerbates fires. Climate forecasting models have turned out to be accurate. The science is clear. As accurately described in this article (quoting The Conversation) the argument that Australia is only responsible for 1.3% of global emissions doesn’t hold up, because it doesn’t account for exports. We are the world’s largest exporter of coal, not the second as falsely claimed in this article. Accounting for this we are actually responsible for 4% of global emissions, and ranked 6th largest contributor to climate change. The ‘fact’ about our global emissions lowering is also problematic. While our greenhouse gas emissions decreased by 0.4% in the year ending March 2019, total carbon emissions rose 0.6%. And while Angus Taylor says there was a drop in emissions of 12.9% since 2005, a more honest calculation (not including LULUCF) actually indicates a rise in emissions of 6%. This is what publications like Think Hub do constantly, they spin.

    Regarding Australia’s relative contribution to emissions, yes 1.3% is a small number. But this does not mean that our emissions are too small to make a difference. We contribute more than our fair share and have a key responsibility in shaping global policy. Check out this article: http://theconversation.com/how-to-answer-the-argument-that-australias-emissions-are-too-small-to-make-a-difference-118825

    The ‘fact’ about protesters inhibiting hazard-reduction burning seems to be an attempt to distract from the main reason there is less back burning now, which as former fire chiefs have stated ‘has been very difficult to do because of climate change’. The link between ‘greenies’ and backburn reduction has been totally debunked.

    It’s also about leadership and empathy in times of crisis. Morrison’s Hawaiian holiday, his refusal to meet with fire chiefs, and yesterday’s political ad are all further demonstration of his complete inability to lead in a time of a national and global emergency.

  41. The stats mean shit all when our country is burning, we need emergency action now regardless of delivering on targets! Yes things need to change and politicians need to take more responsibility going forward but right now we need to come together to help, support, save lives and homes, and put out these fires!!

  42. I agree that the blame for the fires should not be on the prime minister. But his way of dealing with the whole situation cannot be denied – it has been awful. I go by what I see and by my gut instincts. They are what help me to formulate an opinion. From Mr. Morrison going on holiday in the midst of this crisis which EVERYONE I speak to who is older than me has said that there has been nothing like this experienced by them in their lives, to the televised interaction with the local Cobargo woman Zoey (unless someone can provide me with footage showing parts edited out to make it look as it does- otherwise, that is appalling behaviour on his part) and then to present a video ad outlining what is being done to assist the firefighters…. which really should have been actioned months ago (irrespective of state or federal) is, in my view, unacceptable.

    My viewpoint of Mr. Morrison could be changed for me(slightly!!) if he manned up and said sorry. Sorry to all the Australian people he has let down by not thinking clearly about the whole situation. As a business owner, I need to (and enjoy!) thinking on my feet with my clients. If I, and so many other Australians, can see that he has handled this situation in a very bad and uninspiring way and not be able to confront it head-on and just say ” I am sorry, I made mistakes here and will work hard to ensure that we move forward in ensuring this does not happen again” And then DO IT, then I have absolutely no confidence in this person running our country.
    This is what I expect of anyone or any party running our country and I will not accept anything less.
    (Note: If he HAS apologised, please feel free to send me video footage)

    And for those who are liberal supporters out there, I respect your beliefs in following Mr. Morrison, but if you cannot see and accept he has done wrong here, then I (in my point of view) believe you are being a bit narrow-minded. Sorry.

    Now, let’s move forward as best we can and work together in showing the world that we are a strong, united country.

    Thank you.

  43. Australian Criminology Institute study about Bushfires and Arsonists!
    https://aic.gov.au/publications/tbp/tbp027

  44. I have been in the project management game for many years. During my career I learnt that a good project manager quickly and decisively institutes solutions to problems that arise in the delivery of a project. A great project manager identifies issues before they occur and takes actions to prevent them becoming major problems. My reading of recent history in relation to bushfires is that there has been a significant amount of public comment by knowledgeable people warning of exactly the situation we are in now. To me this seems like our governmental project management systems have failed. The real challenge now is not just to fix up the disaster to date, but to change our management systems to stop it reoccurring. I reckon we have 6 months max to get it right or the next season may be just as bad. What do you think?

  45. The “facts” in this story are akin to the “alternate facts” championed by Donny Trump.
    IE “The Federal Govt have been involved since Nov 8th”. Except the fires have been going since early October!
    “Australian Government are not responsible”. Oh yes they are! The LNP have been in for 18 of the past 24 years and have done nothing to stem climate change but have reversed actions by Labor governments to aif their mining mates. I can’t share here the newspaper clip from a 1912 NZ newspaper that says at THAT time how much coal they were burning and how many tons of Carbon that put into the atmosphere and THEY said in 1912 “This will lead to problems in later centuries.”
    Then there is the (almost buried) “Climate Change Review” by Professor Ross Garnaut. Commissioned by Kevin Rudd in 2007 and delivered in 2008 that actually cites 2020 as the year the effects of NOT doing anything on climate will impact us with catastrophic fires. The LNP have been in government now for the past 7 years and have done nothing but dance around this issue and avoid confronting it or the experts. YES they are to blame!

  46. Where is the byline?

  47. Charles Gadsden // January 5, 2020 at 11:34 pm // Reply

    Scott Morrison is a low life that don’t care for his people yea he want to help why hell did he get on a plane and piss off for a holiday then brings one bag of shopping what a waste of space this mutt is who ever give him fresh air should of shot the mongrel he does not deserve to breathe think of all those people that ain’t with us now before you sit there and back a low scum bag that don’t even have a heart

  48. Please fact check properly. Number 5 about ABC Gippsland removing a post is untrue just go to https://www.facebook.com/ABCGippsland/posts/10157073716334825
    The report on it is about a missing Google cache link which can happen for many reason. They and you have been lazy in not actually just going to the ABC Gippsland page on Facebook and doing a simple search for ‘Nowa Nowa’.

  49. This article is incredibly short sighted and appears to have an agenda to defend the actions of the governments
    FACT: Australia is mining coal and selling it to countries like hmmm China whose emissions are off the chart exacerbating the climate change problem which is impacting Aus the worst. The PM is actively defending coal during the crisis.
    FACT: State governments have been requesting federal funding for additional emergency/disaster response fire equipment for a long time but the federal government has prioritised funding for turning back boats, religious agendas etc.
    FACT: The current Prime Minister of this country has shown piss weak leadership at a time that the country is in crisis… denying climate change, going on holiday, marketing a liberal party ad that leveraged off the current crisis etc.
    MORE FACTS: more than 2,000 Centrelink robodebt suicides, record number deaths in custody, Home Care not being funded resulting in more than 16,000 deaths in 17/18 alone……the list goes on.

    There is plenty to be pissed at the government for so get off your high horse “thoughthub” and tell the whole story not just a piece of it that pushes an agenda

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