The Blame Game

Time for a new topic.

I’ve spent all day looking at comments on Facebook and Twitter and in the media from deadheads who say the whole bushfire catastrophe was entirely the fault of the Greens and/or “greenies”, depending what you read. They all seem to believe the Greens have been in government for years because they all rave about Greens policies “locking up” national parks. Some idiot on Twitter assured me Tony Burke and Adam Bandt had personally “locked the gates” of all our national parks. I pointed out the federal government controls only six national parks, none of which are in NSW and none of which are on fire. The states control all our other national parks. He then started blaming the Queensland government for the fires in both Queensland and NSW.

I was going to write a thread starter on this, but then I found something which says it all far better than I could have.

I found this letter on Facebook, I think it’s brilliant. I have corrected the spelling, fixed capital letters, but I have not changed the words. It’s exactly as Bruce Walker of Wytaliba RFS wrote it.

Hi everyone.

My name is Bruce Walker, you might remember me from ABC TV yesterday, I’m one of the survivors of the Wytaliba fires of last Friday, 8th November 2019, responding to this well informed fuckwit here – Anthony ×××××××

So mate – first up, I’ve been an RFS volunteer for close to 20 years, and am part of the highly regarded Wytaliba RFS – one of the most respected and hardened crews on the Northern Tablelands and beyond. Our crew number over 50 and include decorated vets of Ash Wednesday and many other national disaster catastrophic level fires.

Regarding hazard reduction. let me fill you in.

For my time here, we used to do managed hazard reduction whenever it was viable in winter. However – sadly, the moment Gina and Rupert went halves and purchased the LNP wholesale, we saw a MASSIVE increase in wholesale industrial logging across the nation.

Tell me, Anthony – do you garden? Do you use MULCH?

Compare a mulched garden to a non-mulched garden. You’ll see a near instant difference. If you’re not schooled on how soil works, try standing all day in the sun with no hat on. What happens?

That’s right, Anthony. Your head gets fucking hot.

That’s what’s happened to the planet. Now as anyone who’s dabbled in, you know… physics, will spell out better than I can – an increase of just one degree is quite significant.

Another neato thing physics talks about is the water cycle, Anthony.

You see, part of the water cycle is this cool thing called “transpiration”

It’s part 4 of this essential way in which trees send up moisture to meet clouds, creating low pressure troughs which draw rainfall inland In fact, it’s physically impossible to get rain on the lee side of a mountain, without trees doing this very thing. Impossible. Ask the residents of the Atacama Desert in Chile – who haven’t had rain for one THOUSAND years. Why? No fucking trees, Anthony.

So anyway, back to the Greens enacting a ban on burnoffs – that time we elected them to majority government and they had the final say.

When was that again, Anthony? I’ll wait.

Nah. lets move on, since we ALL know this was never a thing . Ever.

So anyway – here in Wytaliba, we used to have an incredibly green lush valley – right up until industrial loggers finally broke in to compartments to our north. Right about this time there was a near instant and significant drop to our vital streamflow.

This happened again after each and every highland logging operation – and with LNP slashing and burning every national park in sight, well… you know, let’s not go there. Climate change is a hoax, right?

So wholesale burn quotas came in with LNP too. This… well.. I just want to pause here and say “wow” because this did indeed make us say wow.

In recent years, we’ve seen hazard reduction burns take place completely surrounding our once green, lush valley. So much so that after the last July burn of an area once supplying most of our water – well… 27 years of no burn had left a healthy and regenerating semi-arid rainforest. Now it’s simply arid nothing.

Despite this burn and 3 more last year, we got the following result – fires flared up in this dry, mulchless wasteland and burned for 6 weeks, destroying 2 more former rainforest areas, leaving them also tinder dry and unable to transpire – hasn’t actually rained a drop since then. Weird. almost like cause and effect took place.

Clouds pass over, for sure. they get rain on the tablelands even – but – as physics reminds us, when air drops, it warms, expands, and rather than raining, sucks even more moisture from trees and soil.

Oh well.

I mean, this is normal for Australia, isn’t it? Watching 200 or more year old trees slowly wither and die right in front of you. That’s normal. Happens all the time. Rivers dry up too, even though ours is home to platypi – who aren’t known for travelling much – and hasn’t dried up in probably 100,000 years minimum.

Until last summer, and it’s been bone dry since August.

This has never happened in my entire 25 or so years here. No local elders remember such a thing. Wow!

Now, we all know about the Bees Nest and Kingsgate fires and the hundreds more around the state. My crew and many other heroic RFS volunteers have been fighting them for months on end.

Yet another backburn actually got lit up about a month ago, on our south side, just half an hour before high southerly winds were due. The responsible paid agency then ran out of paid hours, packed up and left it to spot onto our property and threaten 80 homes.

We’re like the Mujahadeen of firefighting though, so we got it after about 10 days nonstop hectic battle.

This brings us up to date, Anthony. We’ve got bare, blacked-out dust for 50 km in all directions. Right up to the actual eaves of half the homes here, which is why Friday’s hellstorm caught all of us by surprise, Anthony

A mushroom cloud went up at 3 pm, 20 or so km away. Within 30 minutes, high winds turned that into a 20 km long front – strangely, this front was on ground burnt black as recently as 3 weeks ago. Crown fires too, since every tree was literally a giant matchstick with dead leaves and nothing else.

This then switched to 80km/h southerlies and rained hell on 3500 acres of already blacked out ground.

Well… you can’t say we didn’t prep or do hazard reduction redneck style, can you, Anthony? Or can you?

Curiously, within 1 hour we’d lost 20 homes, a school, a fire shed, and a concrete fucking bridge – meaning only 2 outside units even got in to help. Falling trees in the hundreds blocked the old Grafton road, so no one could even help neighbours.

By dawn, of 80 homes in our community, 52 were lost, 2 dead (one a Sex Party voter, the other apolitical – this one is for you, Barnaby fucking Joyce. 😉 We had many injured, thousands of local animals died, and it looks like a war zone here. Which it did almost before, except we had homes.

So, Anthony ××××××× and ALL you fucking armchair experts out there, tell me again. How was this the Greens fault?

Thanks. Looking forward to your well thought out response.

Bruce Walker, Wytaliba RFS member and survivor. 🙊🙉🖕”


660 thoughts on “The Blame Game

  1. This is insane

    Anti-terror police armed with assault rifles will patrol Brisbane and Canberra airports this Christmas.

    The squads will then be added to seven more airports over the next 18 months.

    The extra 135 officers will be armed with MK18 short-barrelled rifles and trained to assess hostile threats and behaviour.

    They will be accompanied by bomb-detection dogs.

    “These highly trained officers run towards dangerous incidents, not away from them,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Friday.

    “It is vital they have every resource necessary to help them do their job and protect the community.”

    Australia’s terror threat remains at “probable”.

    Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton said recent global events served as a reminder the threat of terror had not diminished.

    “We know that for whatever reason terrorists will always look at airports as a target point,” he told reporters.

    “I want … all those that are travelling this Christmas through our airports to be reassured by the presence of these officers.”

    Money for the gradual security boost was included in the federal budget earlier this year.

    The officers will eventually be stationed in all capital cities except Hobart, as well as airports in Cairns and the Gold Coast.

    Über Tuber tells us there will be “canine dogs.”

    • What the …..!

      So nice of them to warn any potential terrorists about their precautions.

      The real terrorists are already here – they are members of the government.

      Speaking of terrorist government – has anyone watched the SBS series “Years and Years”?

      I highly recommend it if you haven’t seen it. It is horrifying.

      I’ll try to avoid spoilers, but as I watched it over the last two days I kept thinking how easy it would be for Australia to be conned into electing the same horror. We are already part of the way there, the repugnant populist character kept reminding me of Hanson and Lambie, spouting the same sort of rubbish they spout.

      We live in very dark times, and it’s not the threat of terrorism that worries me. It’s our fascist/totalitarian (take your pick) government that scares me.

  2. Adam Bandt is a bit cranky tonight.

  3. I watched Planet America

    They interviewed the editor-in-chief of Wikileaks.

    One interesting observation he made was that security agency people are taught and paid to lie. Yet, when they speak in public, we take their words as gospel.

    The whole interview is on ABC iview. Recommended.

    • Ducks it has been total FMD FMD FMD for me that ,especially the anti Trump peasants, so many take all the shit the CIA etc etc pump out as gospel when they have shown for decades to be a bunch of drug trafficking torturing coup arranging human rights abusing lying arseholes.

  4. And wandering over to the Pub’s jukebox I think of the PM and

    And Gladys sings along

  5. This is what happens when there is a “crown” fire and the sort of thing the poor bastard’s in NSW are facing,

  6. Did I see a Greater western Sydney zoo being built or expanded?great idea,then we can relocate the animals from Taronga and sell off the land.

    • Which is exactly what Gladys has in mind. She is turning Taronga into some sort of resort for the wealthy where they can go for a few days, gawp at whatever animals are left and enrich her developer puppet-masters while they are there.

      Many of the animals have been shipped off to Western Plains Zoo at Dubbo.

      Here’s her latest addition –

      Taronga Zoo’s New Luxury Retreat Sets Opening Date
      Wildlife Retreat at Taronga to feature 62 rooms across five lodges

  7. Good morning Dawn Patrollers.

    A seminal explanation from Laura Tingle of what is driving Morrison and the Coalition.
    A disillusioned Peter Hartcher says that there is no emerging crisis so big that the government cannot find a way to look past it.
    Ross Gittins reminds Morrison that the economy can’t grow much without higher wages.
    This contribution from Tony Wright warns the hubristic Morrison that he should use the summer break to reflect that pride cometh before the fall.
    In this worthwhile contribution Katharine Murphy says that every time Morrison invokes the ‘Canberra bubble’, he undermines parliament itself.
    David Crowe reviews the end of the year for Morrison and the issues that will be there waiting for him when he returns.
    Morrison will pump millions of dollars into upgrading technology systems and streamlining bureaucratic processes as he launches the biggest overhaul of Australia’s public service in three decades. Yes, Coalition governments have done SO well with IT in recent times!
    Mike Seccombe tries to get to the bottom of the secret Medevac deal.
    And Paul Bongiorno has his say on the Medevac deal.
    More from Seccombe who writes that as governments and police increasingly rely on algorithms and automation, legal experts warn these systems could undermine key discrimination protections.
    In this excellent op-ed Nathan Rees, who was deposed as premier ten years ago, says it’s high time for NSW Labor to clean up its act.
    The SMH editorial agrees that NSW needs to be shaken up and next week’s ICAC hearings might just accelerate that.
    Rob Harris writes that Anthony Albanese will warn a “complacent” Facebook is putting Australia’s democratic values at risk, while urging all sides of politics to “step back” from social media and return to “rational discussion”.
    From a suitcase full of cash to dodgy racehorse schemes; from bogus defamation threats to “astro-turfing”, the Victorian IBAC anti-corruption hearings in the past three weeks have had it all.
    Facing funding shortfalls, public schools have turned to fundraising and parental contributions, prompting debate about whether our education system remains free.
    Dana McCauley writes that the lawyer for two asylum-seeker children transferred from Nauru to Australia for urgent medical treatment says their negligence cases have become “even more vital” following Thursday’s repeal of the so-called “medevac” laws.
    Anthony Galloway reports that the politically sensitive decision on whether to shift lucrative submarine maintenance work from South Australia to Western Australia is set to be made next week amid lobbying by MPs from both states.
    Adele Ferguson puts the questionable behaviour of the burger chain Grill’d under the microscope.
    Josh Bornstein expounds upon the subject of underpaid workers and wage theft.
    The Saturday Paper’s Rick Morton writes that as the ACCC digs into the data use of digital platforms, the government is caught in a faceoff between News Corp and the tech giants.
    The eminently believable Angus Taylor claims Australia is progressing well towards Paris targets.
    Christian Porter has seized on a landmark $370,000 fine imposed on John Setka’s branch of the CFMMEU to renew calls for crossbench support for the government’s union-busting legislation. That crowd is doing Labor no favours.
    How we structure principals’ salaries must be part of the conversation if we are to improve our international education rankings writes NSW Minister for Education and Early Childhood Learning Sarah Mitchell.
    Karen Middleton outlines the disgraceful treatment a badly injured AFP officer at the hands of the Defence department.
    The founder of NSW’s Rural Fire Service Phil Koperberg says NSW faces “a very dire situation” and the worst is yet to come, as authorities are stretched to the limit battling raging bushfires including a megablaze bigger than Sydney.
    Paula Matthewson explains why Jacqui Lambie’s style of politics is getting results.
    Caitlin Fitzsimons tells us how ASIC has found widespread problems in the timeshare industry and is gearing up for regulatory reform and enforcement action in the new year. This country has no shortage of spivs!
    The Washington Post reports that more than 500 legal scholars have signed on to an open letter asserting that President Donald Trump committed “impeachable conduct” and that lawmakers would be acting well within their rights if they ultimately voted to remove him from office.
    Bevan Shields tells us how John Major has told Britons to strategically vote against the Tories in three key seats, somewhat angering Boris Johnson.
    The Tories want to keep Johnson – and their scary manifesto – away from scrutiny writes Marina Hyde.
    John Crace’s dismantling of the odious Nigel Farage is well worth reading for the prose alone!

    Cartoon Corner

    David Rowe previews the UK election.

    And he looks at the impeachment process.

    Simon Letch and our new summer skies.

    Matt Golding

    Andrew Dyson on the disappearance of the Arts from ministerial responsibility.

    Alan Moir on the same subject.

    Jim Pavlidis turns the Canberra bubble onto Morrison.

    Jon Kudelka and the Medevac legislation.

    Zanetti on the state of Rugby Union.

    From the US

  8. The big problem for the Democrats is that there really were swarms of carpetbaggers and influence peddlers swarming around during and after the Obama backed coup in Ukraine and it really is one of the most corrupt places in the world. Plenty of reporters wrote about it back in the day. So you can guarantee that there will be some Democrat connected (no matter how tenuously) people brought to light by the Repugs. There will be a mountain of merde the Repugs can fling and the issue will become muddied beyond all recognition in the public’s mind.

    Besides I reckon Trump could play the simple line that he was obliged to investigate the ‘plausible’ reports of corruption.

  9. Our caring, concerned PM –

  10. This grew into a bit of a rant. Sorry, but I’m fed up with the media treating Sydney’s smoke as headline news while they have ignored the rest of NSW, especially my part of it, for a month.

    BK says “The founder of NSW’s Rural Fire Service Phil Koperberg says NSW faces “a very dire situation” and the worst is yet to come, as authorities are stretched to the limit battling raging bushfires including a megablaze bigger than Sydney.”

    Phil is right about the dreadful conditions NSW will face this summer, but as usual the Sydney-centric media get things wrong.

    The Gospers Mountain fire is huge, true, but it is nowhere near as big as the two monsters that have been burning up this way for a month. By now they have consumed over a million hectares of bush and farmland and no-one wants to talk about how much old growth forest and wildlife has been lost. Some of the areas affected may never recover,.

    These fires started off small, but over a couple of weeks joined to produce two huge fires. If the Gospers Mountain fire is classed as a “mega-fire” then the one up here, closest to me, must be at least a tera-fire. The damn things keep flaring up, again and again. The fire inland from me extends roughly from south of Port Macquarie all the way up to Nambucca and is burning through not only homes, villages and farms, it is destroying inaccessible bushland and national parks as well.

    The second-biggest fire stretches from around Coffs Harbour to Yamba, again, inland mostly, with a lot of national park burning.

    The Sydney media though just focus on the city. Sydney has a few days of smoke and it makes headline news, regional NSW suffers worse pollution for a month and it doesn’t get a mention. There are headlines about Sydney schools keeping kids inside and not allowing them to run or exercise so they wouldn’t take deep breaths. Well, at least those kids got to school. Up here schools closed for almost a week, not just because of the smoke but also because some of the schools were in the predicted paths of raging, out of control fires. Others closed because kids could not get to them. So there you are – Sydney kids can’t play outside is headline news, country schools close because it’s too damn dangerous for kids to attend and the media give us crickets.

    The local TAFE closed for a week, two weeks ago, because the smoke was so thick it made working there hazardous. I live just around the corner.

    Now we have adapted, we all just get on with whatever we have to do. We wake up each morning to another day when we won’t see the sky for smoke. We go to bed at night with smoke settling over us. Our throats hurt, our eyes hurt, those with respiratory problems and heart problems suffer. My neighbour tells me a friend of hers died because the smoke affected her heart. We’ve been living like this for a month. Even worse, we have been dealing with smoke-filled nights since July, when a bushfire on the edge of town got into an area of peat soil and just kept on smoking. Days were not too bad but nights were dreadful, the cooler air at night caused the smoke to settle over town. That fire still burns, it is slowly being extinguished by council re-hydrating the area with recycled water, but that is slow work and the western edges of that fire flare up and spread every time we get a strong wind. You won’t see any of that in the Sydney papers, of course.

    The one good thing about city people being subjected to smoke pollution just like the rest of NSW is it might wake some of these comfortable city-dwellers up to the huge danger hanging over this country right now. It might make a few city people think about things they have never considered, like climate change and water supplies.

    I can’t help thinking Labor dodged a huge bullet by losing that election. If they had won a Labor government would now be dealing with the lack of planning and inaction of the ATM government. I just wish Albo would make more noise about the government’s lack of planning and refusal to talk to emergency leaders. All he is doing is flapping around making useless noises about Facebook.

    FFS! The country is on fire, the parts that have been spared so far will soon go up in flames and all Albo can think of is an imaginary threat from the evil Facebook monster.

    • Excellent rant.
      Here in country Victoria we say that nothing exists past the ends of the tram tracks.

    • I saw my “honey lady” at the markets this morning. Her area (Oakdale) is in flame. She’s distraught. How to save her bee hives? She said it’s the Green’s faults because they don’t allow fire trails in the forests. I couldn’t help myself mentioning the govt’s negligence. She said “No, it’s theGreen’s fault”. I don’t mind that the Greens are accused but I think I would prefer this govt to be held responsible.

    • We call them villages because that’s what these tiny rural paces are – just a few homes, a shop selling only basics, perhaps the shop also does duty as a post office, maybe a one or two-teacher school serving farming families further out. These places are not large enough to be towns.

      They are usually so small they make retirement villages look like big towns.

      There are a lot of these tiny places here, these days people who live there often work in the big towns but like the peace and quiet of their more remote homes.

      We could call them communities, I suppose, but to me that term sounds like somewhere a weird religious sect would live.

    • Yes, when did that start. Anything with two houses , with or without a horse has always been a ‘town’ among the people I’ve hung out with. Is the malign influence of all that pommie tv , they have villages galore or maybe the yanks, although “villages” tend to be what they bomb and where expendable brown people live .

    • It’s been in use in Australia since white settlement started. I have old family records from the early 1800s for the Upper Hawkesbury area with the word “village” used referring to places like Ebeneezer and St Albans.

      I’m thinking of places in my area like Long Flat, on the Oxley Highway, just a handful of houses, a shop and a pub. Or Huntingdon, just a school and some homes on farms.These places are so small they could not be called even “small towns”.

      Another word that gets used a lot is “hamlet”, which I dislike.

      These days the retirement industry has taken over the word to describe their establishments.

  11. L2

    December 7, 2019 at 9:14 AM
    This grew into a bit of a rant. Sorry, but I’m fed up with the media treating Sydney’s smoke as headline news while they have ignored the rest of NSW, especially my part of it, for a month.

    You’d have loved how some headlines described the fires yesterday , how big ? “Bigger than Sydney” 👿

  12. Albo has finally woken up –

  13. A shipping container full of fireworks? Really?

    This is from AAP:

    A shipping container loaded with fireworks has exploded and residents have been warned to flee as an unpredictable fire closes in on homes in southeast Queensland.

    The fast-moving blaze is burning in bushland at Bundamba, west of Brisbane, and travelling in a northerly direction from White Street towards the Warrego Highway.

    Police have declared an emergency situation for the area bound by Keith Street to Bognuda Street and Nelson Street to the Bremer River and Warrego Highway.

    Residents within the exclusion zone are being ordered to evacuate as the fire closes in.

    It should be noted there is significant debate in NSW about Sydney cancelling its spectacular, but spectacularly expensive, harbour fireworks display this New Year’s Eve, and dedicating the millions of dollars saved to those who’ve lost homes in the bushfires. Karma may have cast its vote here.

  14. No alerts issued here either, despite Port Macquarie once again topping the state with the highest levels of air-borne particles.

  15. Not satire, but could be –

    FauxMo pretends to put up Christmas lights at Kirribilli House. (As if the staff would allow a man of his bulk and state of unfitness to climb a ladder and hang lights!)

    And here’s his message.

    Christmas lights ✔
    Christmas tree 👍
    Jerry the elf has arrived 😀
    No matter what’s going on each year, getting in the Christmas spirit has always been such an important part of our family life. I do the lights, Jen and the girls do the tree, and Jerry turns up on the 1st of December. Wishing you and your family all the best for this Christmas season

    I feel ill after trawling through his Facebook page to find that. I feel even sicker knowing the PM encourages the dreadful, pointless US “elf on a shelf” crap for his family. There’s a photo of that, but I refuse to put it here.

    Did you know the Prime Minister of Australia refers to himself as “Scott Morrison (ScoMo)” on his official Facebook page? We have a moron as PM.

    Also – he has not mentioned bushfires at all this month, not even though Kirribilli House, like the rest of Sydney, is drowned in smoke. The last mention of fires was on 27 November when he briefly reported on a visit to the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services Centre. He was dressed in a suit, white shirt and ties so obviously had no intention of going anywhere near a fire. He might have got ash on his shirt.

    His previous mention of fires had been two weeks earlier, on 12 November, when he dropped in to the government’s Crisis Coordination Centre in Canberra for a quick briefing on the fires. That was the day NSW expected catastrophic fire conditions. On that day the NSW North Coast and the Blue Mountains were blazing. He told us all to “stay safe” and went back to not caring.

  16. FauxMo’s reward for attending Lachlan’s drinks soiree?

  17. From #5and5

    Taylor has gone from under pressure to beleaguered to besieged and is now embattled and subject to a police investigation. He should be “former”. Anthony Albanese told caucus on Tuesday Scott Morrison was experiencing his “Angus Horribilis”.

  18. Ingrid M’s regular Sunday morning run-down on Insiders.

    I don’t know how she does it, she deserves an award for bravery.

  19. This, from Zali Steggall, deserves some sort of reward for sheer, barefaced hypocrisy.

    She complains about the government forcing a vote without debate and then votes for that bill – the “Ensuring Integrity” bill – anyway, in the end. She voted with the government on the final division – for a third reading after voting with Labor in four of the other five divisions.

    If she felt so strongly why didn’t she vote against it in every division, why cave in at the end and vote to pass the legislation, or why not at least abstain? Her one vote would not have affected the outcome but at least she would have registered protest votes and would have avoided looking what she is – a Liberal pretending to be an independent.

  20. Catmomma across the road attended the Labor conference.

    Catmomma was impressed by the Townsville mayor who said that in her area people are really poor and desperate to follow any promise of a job. Those miners in work would face a $80,000 pay cut to take a job in renewables. The mayor also said that mine automation will displace most of those workers

    So I am not sure what Terri Butler said but I am quite sure that propping up coal mines which are rapidly shedding their workforces through automation is not the answer

    • It’s a worry to see a leader let the country down, with such indifference. The country is in real danger and would need a lot more resources. May be one day there’ll be a RC to find out what went so wrong and what Morrison failed to do.

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