In May 2016, when Scott Morrison was Treasurer, the National Aerial Firefighting Centre called for a “national large air-tanker” fleet to confront a growing bushfire threat. Despite a Senate inquiry backing the proposal, the government rejected it in September 2017, “noting that bushfire responsibility is a matter for each state and territory.”
Are firetrucks or planes to come to a screeching halt at the border? Do we ignore another state’s need to keep our resources in case we need them?
Smoko has defended his decision not to meet with former fire chiefs last year, who were also calling for more aerial firefighting capability, saying he chooses to listen to those ‘in their jobs now’.
Then up pops NSW Rural Fire Service Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons who says the federal government has sat on a business case for a boosted national aerial firefighting fleet for at least 18 months.
Former fire chief Greg Mullins confirmed that.
“The Prime Minister keeps saying that whatever the fire chiefs request, they get, but that’s not true,” Mr Mullins said. “The business case has been on the desk for two years. Had the fire chiefs had certainty with the $25 million, we would have more aircraft in the sky.”
Last November, Mullins was saying that, not only had the government refused to meet with former fire chiefs, but those currently in the job were not included in discussions and were told not to mention global heating.
“This government fundamentally doesn’t like talking about climate change,” Mullins said. “We would like the doors to be open to the current chiefs, and allow them to utter the words ‘climate change’. They are not allowed to at the moment.”
Our leader (cough) has gotten the international attention he craved but I don’t think 2GB and the Murdoch rubbish are going to help this time.
Those who know are calling bullshit, Scotty.
And it’s only gonna get louder.
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