This isn't good enough
So this is the new normal - summer times of death, heartache, loss and devastation.
This is the price Australians are now paying, and will into the future pay, for the government's refusal to engage with scientists and other experts to develop an effective policy to deal with climate change. This refusal to engage has persisted for more than a decade. Commentators speculate that our government has prioritised vested interests of coalition parliamentarians. Could this be true?
Our government claims to be doing its best to deal with climate change. I am unconvinced. Australia seeks to have "carryover" credits, from the Kyoto Protocol, to be counted in our Paris emissions target. Put another way; cheat! Paris emission targets are a whole-of-world project. If Australia counts its Kyoto excess emissions, so too will all other parties to the Paris agreement. What will that do to the world's objective of meeting the Paris targeted emissions by 2030? I think it's about time our government got fair dinkum with climate change action. Firstly it must stop deluding itself that Australia's fossil fuel emissions are just 1.07 per cent of world emissions. Australia is the third largest exporter of fossil fuels and the largest coal exporter (source; IEA 2018 world energy balance).
Our government has obligations, to the international community and more importantly to Australia and its people. It has a lot more work to do.
Ray Gawen, North Albury
Not so cute anymore
The $50 million rescue package for wildlife and the $76 million mental health package in the wake of the Australian bushfires will expose Australia's inhumane treatment of the most vulnerable once the smoke has cleared.
There has been $18.6 billion spent turning back boats and on offshore detention of human beings by a Coalition government increasingly at odds with the values of the nation. Stacked against an estimated $4.4 billion for Adani subsidies, the "native animal rescue package" is little more than digging around in the treasury ashtray.
In contrast to the contempt with which fire chiefs and environmental experts have been treated by the Prime minister, communities and individuals have rallied in compassionate heroism in the face of disaster which helps to explain why government policy lacking empathy and humanity toward refugees sits so uneasily outside the party room.
The focus on the vulnerability of burnt koalas noting their individual worth and our responsibility to assist them is a tragic comment on the moral blindness of our Bible wielding leaders. It would be unthinkable to put koalas in detention, to discriminate against them on religious grounds, to require a royal commission before treating them properly, or for them to be thrown out of their tree without acknowledgement.
The Morrison government's "cute" has dried up. If a dollar for every Hawaiian pizza sold across the nation was donated toward bush fire relief it would feed a growing appetite for genuine local leadership.