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Why the Adelaide Hills weren’t as relaxing as I’d planned!

Ok, the people I was staying with had only moved into the area in the past few months, so not all the names that were being listed as in danger from the fire were familiar, but the smoke was ominous and they were implementing their fire plan, so I decided to spend Saturday night down by the coast.

Of course, times like this bring out the best in people. On the radio, offers of help were pouring in, including offers of accommodation, and I couldn’t help but think how strange the human psyche is. In a disaster, most of us help the less fortunate, but when that “disaster” is something that happens in the normal course of things, most of the community turns its back.

If someone loses their home because of a fire, we help, but if they’re homeless because of economic reasons, we tend to think of it as their own fault. If someone was trapped in a natural disaster, we wouldn’t weigh up the costs of sending in a rescue helicopter, yet we’re frequently told that the government doesn’t have the money to “save” some groups of people.

Someone commented that we hadn’t heard from Tony Abbott about the bushfires in the Adelaide Hills. The next day the reason became clear: He was in Iraq, telling the troops how valuable they are, even if the pay rise was only 1.5%. Not only that, but he was giving the Iraqi Government five million dollars – who says he’s not a generous man?

And this also explains why he hasn’t visited South Australia or Victoria in his fireman uniform because we know how much that boosts everyone’s morale.

So will Tony Abbott feel it’s necessary to visit when he gets back, or will Queensland be his first port of call given the potential disaster there, once Newman calls the election.

PS: The PM has just announced that he doesn’t rule out committing more troops to Iraq even though he said he had no intention of committing ground troops just a couple of months ago. But he underestimated the strength of the surge in support for the Labor Party.


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  1. Peter Ball

    Abbott , I think he won’t be PM too much longer

  2. Graeme Rust

    For sure he should go to QLD, he always helps to lose elections, so definitely ho should go. then go help in NSW.

  3. Delia Lord

    I wish the Australian soldiers had given Tony Abbott the reception that the New York Police gave to the Mayor of New York. Thousands of backs turned on him.

  4. Eric J Mujica

    But they are soldiers and are trained to be a governments cannon fodder without question! No back turning when they’ve had a full brain cleanse!

  5. Rossleigh

    Actually, given that there were no independent media, just Abbott’s approved photographer, do you think we’d have seen it if they did!

  6. Kaye Lee

    Tony is no favourite of the firemen and women either.

  7. nettythe1st

    Abbott claims that he left the Australian media in Dubai ‘for security reasons’. To secure his domestic and international reputation from his inevitable gaffes no doubt! Like calling Haider al-Abadi President instead of Prime Minister! Oh the embarrassment!

  8. DanDark

    Oh I hope he goes to QLD and gives no can Newan a big man hug like he did Daneil Andrews, Tones sure knows how to help state liberal gov’s lose elections, he has made no move to come to Vic or SA because they are Labor States, and Tones will make them pay for not voting Liberal, they will be ignored by Tones.
    tones will be gone by end of February, he has to run to the other side of the world so he can feel liked.
    Andrews looked like a fish out of water, what a joke the pair of Christian crusaders they are…

  9. Kaye Lee

    Mr Abbott was joined on the trip by new Defence Minister Kevin Andrews.

    Speaking alongside Mr Abadi, Mr Abbott reiterated Australia’s commitment in the fight against the jihadist group.

    “We are determined to deepen our cooperation with the Government and the people of Iraq in the weeks and months to come, not because we are a country which goes forward, seeking foreign fights, but because where our vital national interests are threatened, where universal values are at stake, Australia should be a strong partner,” he said.

    But In September Mr Abbott reiterated there would be no combat troops per se committed to the conflict.

    Mr Abbott did not rule out expanding the commitment as time wore on but said he did not envisage it occurring.

    “I don’t anticipate the need for a stronger force but obviously these situations are things which are constantly kept under review.”

    Before making the announcement, there was a meeting of the National Security Committee of ­cabinet and the full cabinet and the Prime Minister rang Mr Shorten.

    Mr Shorten said the decision to back conflict was not taken lightly.

    “But we support the government’s decision that Australia has a role to play in eradicating this evil and we are reassured that our support is being provided at the request of, and in full coordination with, the Iraqi government,’’ he said.

    Then in October we had this….

    Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has again said Australia has no plans to send ground troops into Iraq.

    Ms Bishop is in Baghdad for talks with Iraqi officials about Australia’s involvement in the fight against Islamic State extremists, and in a press conference with her counterpart Ibrahim al-Jaafari again ruled out boots on the ground.

    ‘We’ve not been asked and we’ve not offered to, so I do not envisage that being part of our arrangements with Iraq,’ she told reporters overnight in Baghdad.

    Iraqi officials have repeatedly said that while the warplanes were welcome, foreign troops on the ground in their country were not.

    Read more:

  10. Kerri

    DanDark I assume the man hug was for Napthine not Dan Andrews? I’m with you totally Delia Lord! Couldn’t think of an appropriate rebuff to the Abbott but turned backs would be perfect and oh Rossleigh (article great btw) you are so correct about his private media. Never let the pale, vulnerable underbelly show! Shame his caucus are watching that underbelly! When will the citizenship debacle commence? Has there been a world leader (and I know he is not) more capable of screwing up with every overseas jaunt?? Time is passing way too slow.

  11. Kaye Lee

    Indigenous Australians turned their backs on Brendan Nelson’s dreadful response to Kevin Rudd’s Apology to the Stolen Generation.

    I would love for AIMN readers to fill the public gallery in the HoR and to do the same whenever Abbott, Hockey, Pyne, Andrews, Dutton, Morrison got up to speak…in fact there isn’t one of them that I want to listen to. A silent protest showing our disdain would get noticed and it sure would make me feel better.

  12. nettythe1st

    Let me know when and I’ll be there!

  13. stephentardrew

    Bring him here we are very good at booing the shady misogynist liar.

    Just warming up my lungs.

  14. Michael Taylor

    Kaye, by memory – when Rudd gave that memorable speech – Dutton walked out. He refused to hear it. Prick.

  15. Kaye Lee


    Yes he did, as did nasty Sophie Mirabella.

    Randall, Mirabella, Schultz, Dutton and Jensen boycotted the event. Senator Fierravanti-Wells abstained, Senator Macdonald supported it but later claimed he could not apologise for a historical event for which he bears no personal responsibility, and Bernardi also supported the apology but later said he felt no guilt for what happened (and complained that he was, in fact, set upon by an Aboriginal gang when he was young). Former MP Wilson Tuckey also boycotted the apology. Another MP, Chris Pearce – while attending the Apology – did some personal reading during the official proceedings and remained seated during the standing ovation.

    ‘Saying sorry is not going to solve anything – it’s wallpaper.’
    Dennis Jensen

    ‘I do not feel any sense of guilt for what has happened during Australia’s brief history.’
    Cory Bernardi

    ‘I do not believe that I or other Australians can apologise for actions taken by former generations in different circumstances at a time of different attitudes, laws and Christian beliefs.’
    Ian Macdonald

    ‘If I thought for a moment that it was going to deliver positive outcomes to those kids, to their families, to those communities, then I would support it in a heartbeat.’
    Peter Dutton

  16. Möbius Ecko

    One of the most bastard acts by a political leader was enacted by Howard, and was worse as he was the PM at the time.

    Simon Crean on taking the Labor and LOTO leadership made his inaugural parliamentary speech as leader and by all accounts it was a great one. From the moment he started the speech Howard turned his back on Crean and remained facing away from him for the entire speech.

    I think even some of the right wing media mildly lambasted Howard for that contemptible behaviour. This was the first and only time a leader of one party had turned their back on the inaugural speech by the leader of another party.

  17. DanDark

    Kerri, oh shit yeah sorry wrong bloke, a bloke is a bloke to me, all politicians are the same,,, what’s a name lol

  18. Harquebus

    Every time that firefightes extinguish a bushfire, they set the scene for greater destruction from the next.
    In the whole history of this continent, only the last century has seen the extinguishing of bushfires. If allowed to self extinguish, the fuel loads would always be low to moderate and the devastating megafires that we have created will be history. Irregular low intensity self extinguishing bushfires leave habitats habitable.
    Our firefighters are not heroes, they are destructive villains.

  19. Roswell

    Mobius, I think Howard turned his back of Beazley as well. Might have been his farewell speech.

  20. John Fraser


    Highly unlikely the Abbott death cult will be visiting Queensland during the State election.

  21. Slippery Pete

    Good point Harbequequs, All we have to do is get 23 million people back to living in Gunyahs and it should work a treat, I suppose leaving bushfires burn themselves out on the outskirts of towns will quickly see to that so it should be a winner.

  22. Jane Emma Norris

    In The Hills we haven’t heard from our local federal member Jamie Briggs either. Disappointing lack of interest in his electorate.

  23. Annie B

    DanDark & Kerri ……

    while it was Napthine on the receiving end of the ‘ man hug ‘ [ ugh ] …. what got me was the look on Napthines face at the time. For a brief moment I thought he might throw up. The discomfort on his face was undeniable, he glanced sideways and then moved slightly away.

    Later on ( same interview I think ) …. Abbott loomed and leered over the left shoulder of Napthine while he was speaking. The jolting and rapid disappearance of Abbott, OFF that shot, was priceless – and I suspect but can never know – it was on the end of an elbow in the gut from Napthine. Or someone pulled on Abbotts’ coat tails. I’d prefer to think it was the elbow. …. was like something out of Laurel & Hardy. 😉

  24. Slippery Pete

    Harbequequs I think you spelt your nick wrong too, surely for a person proposing to let bushfires burn themselves out it should be Barbequesus.

  25. Win jeavons

    Harquebus; this is permission to let your property burn if threatened ? Or would you be a special case. Of course you only eat imported food too?

  26. Keitha Granville

    Abbott will appear in SA if there’s any good press to be had, or if one of the local volunteer brigades lets him put on a uniform and hold a hose.
    I reckon QLD will not be too keen to have him aorund for their campaign. We can only hope he is dumb enough to ignore advice and go anyway.

  27. nettythe1st

    South Australia and Victoria – the bushfire states – being governed by Labor, I doubt very much Abbott will make an appearance.

  28. Annie B


    You live in the 18th century mate. ….. While nature indeed does ‘burn itself out’ in the case of bushfires in remote non-populated areas – & since we were ” settled by the British ” ( the first people here according to Scabbott !! ) …… there’s been quite a fair amount of land clearing, agriculture, pasturing and stock – to feed and supply with the creation of farms, and everything agricultural.

    And there is living ……… in houses ………. near bush …. and even NOT so near bush – that have been impacted by bush-fire.

    I would hope you would re-consider your abrasive and rash comment posted January 6, 2015 at 1:58 pm – and while at it, apologise to the relatives of 173 people in Victoria who lost their lives in the dastardly bush fires of Black Saturday in February 2009 ….. and apologise to the devasted families who lost homes, stock, pets and possessions.

    And a huge and sincere ( if you are capable ) apology to the CFA and other fire-fighters from other States – while you are about it.

    OK ??

  29. Annie B

    nettythe1st …..

    I think you just might be right at that ……

    He might make a token appearance or ‘fancy & insincere’ statement at some stage ( but only to bolster his badly damaged image and failing reputation ) ….. he could care less about the welfare of the people of Australia – no matter the situation – or even perhaps the State – any State.

    After all – he is above all that – he is F.E.D.E.R.A.L …… don’tcha know.

    Stuff the States.

    In checking my post – I note two letters that could be removed !! ….. the man is in fact FERAL.

  30. Harquebus

    @Win jeavons and AnnieB
    Low intensity bushfires are much easier to fight and hence, property and farmland are easier to defend. Asking firefighters to defend property against the raging infernos that they themselves created is okay?
    It is not me that needs to apologize, it is those that create the never seen before destructive megafires.

  31. rossleighbrisbane

    But Harquebus, why would people be fighitng low intensity bushfires when – according to what you were saying – it’s fighting the bushfires that’s the problem?

  32. Annie B

    @Harquebus …….

    Low intensity bushfires ? ……. I WISH.

    ……” Asking firefighters to defend property against the raging infernos that they themselves created is okay?” …. AND …. “It is not me that needs to apologize, it is those that create the never seen before destructive megafires.”

    Reading that – it appears that you are blaming the volunteeer ( and metro ) fire-fighters for starting fires in the first place. …….. IF that is not your reasoning, or your intended reference – please repost what the hell exactly you DO mean ?


    Admittedly, there is a miniscule % of fire-fighters who are also arsonists…… they are usually caught quickly and dealt with. …. and there’s back-burning in Autumn and Spring – which in an extremely low percentage of cases, start a fire. ….. quickly dealt with at the time, as they take appropriate equipment to back-burning in the event something DOES get out of control.

    Then there’s the vile, creepy, sneaky arsonists from the mainstream public – who go out and deliberately start fires in appropriately messy areas that invite infernos – and try to stand back and watch their handiwork ( most likely getting some very sick satisfaction from it all ).

    And of course – Mother Nature herself – who strikes with alarming abandon with lightning – which sets fires alight across our land – many many times.

    And what of farm machinery sparking – unbeknown to the farmer that his equipment is faulty, and fires sparks to start a fire ….. THAT has happened.

    Indiscriminate turfing of cigarettes still alight – out of car windows into dry scrub by the roadside.

    What of all that – eh ?


    So who and what, EXACTLY, are you referring to in your post ? …

    And if – as it reads, you are blaming fire-fighters to begin with – then you need to do more than apologise.

    You need to ask forgiveness.

    I challenge you to answer.

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