As we tuck into Christmas fare and prepare to welcome a new decade, the Eastern States are enjoying cool reprieve from the heat. Spare a thought for our firies still on duty.

With a thousand houses lost, they haven’t had a break, they don’t get a break. The State and Federal leadership have taken leave at a time of crisis when a sense of true leadership and duty should have all the relevant Ministers front and centre.

This is the same New South Wales minister who in 2016, referred to our volunteer heroes as “Dad’s Army” a reference to a 1960’s sitcom about an shambolic and incompetent home guard unit in rural England. The term itself has come to be associated with well-meaning incompetence. This is the same Minister who rejected payment of the struggling firies.

Wildfires are still burning out of control and brave volunteers are still on the frontline and have been for months, unable to earn a living or pay mortgages while they protect us. While towns burned and heroes died, the Prime Minister, Scott Morrison who calls himself “Scomo”, nicked off for a family holiday to cool green Hawaii, igniting public outrage and debate about his ability to lead, suitability for the top job and climate change. No sooner has Scomo return when David Elliot, the New South Wales Minister for Police and Emergency Services has scomo’d off on a holiday frolic of his own. David Elliot’s responsibilities regulation of all police and services personnel and agencies as well as fire and fire rescue services in New South Wales.


Usually knee deep at this time of year, grass is about three centimetres long and thinner than the hair on a bald man’s head. Hay is as expensive as gold. The farmers have town water to fill their trough once a day.

Our countryside is dying. Farmers are selling their breeding stock and reducing numbers while praying rain, which will come… one day but that day might well be too late.

The people who provide our food, our Christmas dinners are starving, losing their livelihoods and going out of business in this terrible “Millenium Drought.”

Take a second to think about that… the people who feed us have not got the water or money to keep feeding us. How sustainable do you think that situation is? The water restrictions are just starting to hit the cities… we can’t wash our cars. Our farms are dying and the government has sold lots of our water to Chinese and Canadian interests. What happens when the water goes?

This year, fire the worst fire season in generations has hit during the Millenium Drought, ravaging what is left destroying lives, homes and livelihoods. Almost 1000 homes and millions of hectares have been destroyed with no end in sight. The fires have not stopped for Christmas and with temperatures set to soar in the coming days, threat levels remain high. Our noble leader was snapped having drinkies in Hawaii while the country burned, he failed to come home, instead delegating his responsibility to someone else. This is the same man who pilloried former Victorian Police Commissioner, Christine Nixon for having dinner during a bushfire.

Not only did Scomo fail to turn up to rally the troops,he refused to pay the volunteers, to compensate them for months of unrelenting effort away from jobs and family commitments. We have had bad fires before and each time, the Leadership is there, opening the coffers and offering support. That leadership appears to be missing at a State and Federal Level.

Sending thoughts and prayers but not financial aid demonstrates lack of leadership that is arguably incompatible with the top job. Even on his arrival home he did not address the poor judgment… he spoke instead of the anxiety of the people. Scomo’s falling short transcends party politics. As does David Elliot’s. Tony abbot was there on the front lines risking himself to save others. It wasn’t a media stunt, love or hate the ex PM, nobody can fault his dedication or bravery as a part of “Dad’s Army.”


Leadership in a crisis is a different thing to everyday leadership. The role of a leader is to help normalise the situation and restore order. Scomo was uniquely placed to bring together State and Federal Leadership to look at remuneration for firies and further funding of the RFS.

While mid crisis is not necessarily time to look more closely at climate change and its role in the worsening drought and fire situation. It is something that needs to be addressed rather than ignored.

Right now, we need to look at the funding of the RFS and remuneration of the brave souls who put themselves in harm’s way to protect us and out property. We are only a little way into the worst fire season on record with more catastrophic conditions to come.

Aussies are angry. The Chat’s song “I hope Scott’s house burns down” encapsulates the feeling. See link here. (very strong language warning). Obviously, nobody would or should wish harm on the PM or his family.

Ed Krown for Forbes Magazine addressed qualities of leadership and the message for our politicians who choose to be out of touch with the wants and needs of the people:


If politics teaches us anything, it’s that you can be a highly respected leader one day and ousted the next. In the private sector, if we don’t continue to stay focused on our skills to better serve, we will find ourselves unable to serve our people as leaders.”

As to Dad’s Army. Perhaps we can look at a badge of Honour.

Bushfires bring a range of legal problems. Increasingly we are seeing people charged with lighting fires that kill and also destroy homes. Deliberately lighting bushfires is criminal offence, and can result in long gaol terms that can ruin your life. Many of the people lighting bushfires this year are children. They are dealt with under different legislation to adults and often seem to get off with “a slap on the wrist.” What are your thoughts when children light fires?

There are increasing calls for people to be gaoled for lighting bushfires. If you are accused of lighting fires, you need the best advice you can get.  Call Michael Moussa and his team of expert lawyers at National Criminal Lawyers on  02 9893 1889 |  0415 179 794


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