THE BLAME GAME
It's amazing isn't it, how Mr Koperberg starts letting fly with press releases about the possible coming fire season's uncontrollable ravages being as a result of the weather impeding controlled burns in areas of dire risk.
Like all politicians he is setting up the future so he will be able to say after homes are burnt, more bush lost, fauna incinerated and lives possibly lost, that he warned months earlier that there was nothing that could have been done that wasn't.
An article published in the SMH dated 26th November, 2005 by Robert Wainwright depicts Mr Koperberg blaming the drought first, then the wet second, for the huge risk this State is facing. A risk that both his RFS and all other governmental departments were warned existed long before the 2003 fires came to pass. Talk about having 2 bob each way and one of the Bobs has taken off like a rabbit with a dingo on its arse.
The cry since 2003 from those within authority have been, "No one could have foreseen the events of 2003." This was crap then and it is crap today. The authorities were warned by mountain fire fighters and associated communities continuously pre 2003 and SOS has written evidence proving this unequivocally. These people were ignored for political expediency, just to appease the radical green necks and hence keep their vote, along with appeasing the water barons and carbon credit future traders.
Now 3 years later the one man that has authorised the spending of millions upon millions on who knows what of the RFS mega million dollar budget, is setting himself up for an out when he has to answer to another blazing catastrophe.
For Mr Koperberg to try to wheedle his way out of the dismal control burning that has been carried out by stating that the public would cry if they burnt down some homes carrying our such work, is nothing short of emotional sensationalism to offset his and his 600 odd paid employee's lack of ability to achieve that which was successfully accomplished by those at the fire face for the last 100 years prior to the introduction of this mega tax dollar funded industry now called the NSW RFS. Previously such hazard control work was done efficiently with next to nil equipment unlike that which is now available in any amount to Koperberg and Co, and this work was conducted within equivalent weather patterns that are around today.
There are 60,000 volunteers out there (Mr Koperberg's slaves) that work free fighting these unnecessary infernos when they burst out of unmanaged national parks.
I doubt there would be one fire fighter who would not rather be fighting a controlled burn than a wild fire under poor decentralised leadership, a leadership where the top dog gets paid the equivalent rate of salary of our Prime Minister.
There are many parts of our bush still unburnt with massive fuel loads of 20 to 100 tonne to the hectare. But worse is the state of the south coast of NSW from
Eden to Wollongong and if this year that area gets away with a strong dry southerly up its backside, it will make the 500 homes burnt in Canberra look like a Teddy Bear's picnic - and leader Koperberg is well aware of this.
Don't blame the weather for the poor services during out of season action. Mr Koperberg, it's your constant ally Bob Debus, Minister for the Environment, that is
accountable for legislation that binds the hands of many a fine volunteer and as you sit at the top of the ivory tower of RFS officialdom, while your other agenda of
Minister For Bushfires In-Waiting takes much of your time, it is you that has failed the volunteers. This is the very reason that Mr Cannon and his colleagues started up the VFFA, as they could see no other option and rightly so. If it's not the pygmy possum, it's the corroboree frog and if it's not that it's the 6 leafed clover and if it's not that it's the insurance companies, what ever it is you guys have acceded to the demands of many people with an interest other than sensible, proven historical fire management practises and it can only be assumed that such accession suits your agendas.
The Canoblas Fire Management Plan is the first fire management plan that has been devised by congenial input from all parties affected and this plan appears to be excellent in nature while workable in practise. This plan Mr Koperberg was forced upon the people in ivory towers everywhere, as the fire-fighters, yes those people that actually get sooty and burnt refused to attend to any more national park fires unless something was done. Quite simply if it wasn't for Peter Cannon and his colleagues in the VFFA, this would not have even been considered - and these people don't get $250,000 a year - they just want to save their lives, homes, farms, and they know how it has to be done. The Canoblas plan is one that shortly SOS is going to deliver to our thousands of readers in detail along with a detailed report from our on-going inquires into the NSW-RFS.
Human life and property comes first in all cases, that is unless you need votes.
As Minister In-Waiting Phil, I would not hold my breath if I were you, it requires support and we do not see very much of that in the near future. It may be a good time to adjust your Red Cordial Index Meter to very high.