Friday 5th of June 2020

our thoughts are with you...


Three dead, seven missing as PM warns of worse bushfire news to come

Three people are confirmed dead, seven are still missing and more than 150 houses have been lost as firestorms raged from the New South Wales mid-north coast to the Queensland border.

As unprecedented blazes decimated small towns across NSW, Prime Minister Scott Morrison warned Australians to prepare for “worse news” to come.

Firefighters are only beginning to access areas hardest hit by the fires, including the tiny hamlets of Wytaliba near Glen Inness and Bobin near Taree.

Mr Morrison said army reservists could be deployed “if necessary” as emergency services continue to battle some 80 blazes across the state. About 40 are not contained.

“These fires will burn for some time,” he said at Kirribilli House.

There were two fires still at emergency warning alert level on Saturday night at Hillville near Taree and Cooperabung north of Port Macquarie.

One of the bushfire victims was 69-year-old Wytaliba resident Vivian Chaplain. It’s been reported the other victim of Friday’s firestorm near Glen Innes was an elderly man.

A third person was confirmed dead late Saturday night after a body was discovered in a burnt-out home in the town of Johns River some 40 kilometres north of Taree on the mid-north coast.

The home belongs to a 63-year-old woman, although NSW Police say a post-mortem is needed to confirm the deceased’s identity.

Ms Chaplain was treated for burns before being transferred to a Sydney hospital where she later died. Friends have posted emotional tributes on social media.

A relative of Ms Chaplain told ABC she died while trying to protect her home north-west of Coffs Harbour on the NSW north coast.

Her daughter-in-law, Chrystal Harwood, said Ms Chaplain would be “greatly missed” by her two children and six grandchildren.

“She was a strong woman who died protecting the home and animals she loved,” she said.

“The loss of her has devastated our family, there was nothing we could do.
“She was stuck and we couldn’t get to her.”

The second victim was found in a burnt-out car on the same Kangawalla fire ground with police working to formally identify the body.

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changing the lightbulbs is still worth it...

The battle between climate change deniers and the environment movement has entered a new, pernicious phase. That is the stark warning of one of the world’s leading climate experts, Michael Mann, director of the Earth System Science Center at Pennsylvania State University.

Mann told the Observer that although flat rejection of global warming was becoming increasingly hard to maintain in the face of mounting evidence, this did not mean climate change deniers were giving up the fight.

“First of all, there is an attempt being made by them to deflect attention away from finding policy solutions to global warming towards promoting individual behaviour changes that affect people’s diets, travel choices and other personal behaviour,” said Mann. “This is a deflection campaign and a lot of well-meaning people have been taken in by it.”

Mann stressed that individual actions – eating less meat or avoiding air travel – were important in the battle against global warming. However, they should be seen as additional ways to combat global warming rather than as a substitute for policy reform.

“We should also be aware how the forces of denial are exploiting the lifestyle change movement to get their supporters to argue with each other. It takes pressure off attempts to regulate the fossil fuel industry. This approach is a softer form of denial and in many ways it is more pernicious.”

Over the past 25 years Mann has played a key role in establishing that rising fossil fuel emissions and increasing levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide are heating the planet at a worrying rate. He was also involved in the 2009 Climategate affair in which thousands of emails – many to and from Mann – were hacked from the University of East Anglia’s [UEA] Climate Research Unit. Climategate marks its 10th anniversary this month. At the time, deniers on both sides of the Atlantic claimed the emails from UEA showed climate scientists had been fiddling their data, claims that may have contributed towards delay in the implementation of measures to tackle climate change over the next decade, say observers.


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the worst of the worst PM...

Despite bushfire conditions easing today, the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) say there will be no reprieve for firefighters, who will be focusing their efforts on existing fires.

Key points:
  • Three houses have been lost at Cobraball and one at Cooroibah
  • QFES says despite weather easing, hundreds of firefighters would stay in the field
  • They will be carrying out precautionary measures and preparing for worse weather on Tuesday and Wednesday


Bushfire conditions in the central and south-east parts of the state are expected to worsen tomorrow as officials predict winds to pick up, fanning dozens of flare-ups that have already forced thousands from their homes.

QFES has confirmed three houses were lost in the fire at Cobraball fire south-west of Yeppoon. One was destroyed by the blaze at Cooroibah, on the Sunshine Coast.


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the best...

don't stop breathing though...

The air quality in Brisbane is currently worse than Beijing as haze from bushfires burning across Queensland and New South Wales blankets the south-east corner.

The Department of Environment and Science's live air data rates air quality conditions as very poor across Brisbane and into the Gold Coast. 

According to "The World Air Quality Index" the air quality is rated as very unhealthy, across several areas of Brisbane including Rocklea, South Brisbane, Woolloongabba, Wynnum, Wynnum West, Lytton and Cannon Hill.

It is also assessed as unhealthy at Springwood in Logan, south of Brisbane.

What does that mean?

What those ratings mean is that the air quality is so bad it is at an emergency level, and likely to be affecting the entire Brisbane population to some extent.


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Read from top. See also: bushfire victims want Australia to know they are "suffering from climate change"...


pants on fire...

Around 6 million residents across eastern New South Wales are bracing for catastrophic bushfire conditions today, with strong winds, low humidity and high temperatures expected.

Key points:
  • "Catastrophic" is the highest level of fire danger authorities can declare
  • The Bureau of Meteorology has forecast temperatures in the high 30s across the danger areas
  • About 600 schools and TAFE campuses have been closed in anticipation of the extreme conditions


Catastrophic fire danger warnings are in place across Greater Sydney, Greater Hunter, and the Illawarra and Shoalhaven region and around 600 schools and TAFE campuses are closed.

It is the first time the Greater Sydney area has experienced such a threat since the catastrophic rating was introduced in 2009.

Across the danger areas, the Bureau of Meteorology has forecast temperatures in the high 30s, with gusting winds up to 65 kilometres per hour in some parts.

The NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) warned people in catastrophic danger areas to leave if their homes were not extremely well prepared.


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misunderstanding aboriginal land management...


From the CONservative Australian Morning Mail...


Barnaby Joyce says the policies of the Greens have increased the bushfire threat, as he claims a lack of hazard reduction burning has helped fuel fires in regional NSW and Queensland.
The former deputy prime minister said “people are once again talking about indigenous land management” because there were too many regulations around controlled burning ahead of bushfire season.
“The problems we have got have been created by the Greens,” Mr Joyce told The Australian.
“We haven’t had the capacity to easily access (hazard) reduction burns because of all of the paperwork that is part of green policy.
“We don’t have access to dams because they have been decommissioned on national parks because of green policy. We have trees that have fallen over vehicles and block roads, so people cannot either get access to fight a fire or to get away from fires. And we can’t knock over the trees because of Greens policy.
“So many of the practicalities of fighting a fire and managing it have been stymied by the Greens.
“A lot of people are talking once more about indigenous land management because they didn’t have to go through 1001 reports that they have to go through today.”
Mr Joyce said it was “infuriating” the Greens were attempting to score political points by saying the government’s “inaction” on climate change had contributed to the fires that have killed three people.
He said climate change action in Australia would do nothing to reduce the bushfire risk unless there was also action taken by China, India and the United States.
“There is nothing we have done in the Australian parliament that has brought about the absolute devastation on so many people’s lives,” Mr Joyce said.
“The only reason you are driving this agenda is for your own political purpose. Even if it were to succeed it would have, by itself, absolutely no effect.
“You need China to actually comply with it, which they don’t have to do until 2030, you need India to comply with it which they don’t have to do until 2030, you need America to sign up to it, which they never did.“
Deputy Nationals Leader Bridget McKenzie has accused the Greens of exploiting the misery of fire-affected communities for their political advantage, as large tracts of New South Wales burn and as the state braces itself for “catastrophic” fire conditions on Tuesday.
Senator McKenzie told Question Time on Monday there was no denying climate change was causing heatwaves and intensifying fire conditions, but argued the Morrison government was the first to put any “real money on the table” to help prepare for the next drought.
“We know that climate change is causing heatwaves, fire weather and drought to become more frequent and intense,” Senator McKenzie said. “That is why we have a raft of measures across government to actually deal with this.”
She said the most recent Agriculture Ministers’ Forum had developed a range of plans to tackle climate change.
“I recommend you read that document before standing up here and somehow using the misery of those who are in regional New South Wales and Queensland to your political advantage.”
Labor Senator Penny Wong said the immediate focus should be on firefighters battling the blazes, as well as people at risk and those grieving lost loved ones.
“But I will say, it is the responsible thing to when we are through this current crisis, to focus on what we have to do to keep Australians safe,” she told parliament.
“When I was climate minister, scientists were already warning of more intense fire seasons. Regrettably, these warnings have been proved correct.”
Greens Senator Larissa Waters echoed her colleague Adam Bandt’s sentiment that “thoughts and prayers” were not enough to combat worsening fire conditions.
She told the Senate that scientists had been advising governments since 2006 about climate change and its contribution to increased fire risk.
“We’re already in the future,” she said. “They told us the fire season would extend and the window for crucial prescribed burning would narrow. What Australian climate scientists predicted in 2006 has come to pass and governments have had every opportunity to act and have failed.”
Senator Waters said the government’s “complete lack of climate policy” was simply pouring fuel on these fires and making them more likely and more intense.
“The question for us is whether this parliament will continue to fail those comments communities,” she said.
Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack has lashed the “disgraceful, disgusting” behaviour of “raving inner-city lunatics” for linking climate change to the ferocious bushfires burning across Queensland and NSW.
Speaking on ABC Radio on Monday Mr McCormack said Australia had experienced bushfires since “time began” and defended the Morrison government’s decision not to meet with senior fire and emergency service leaders that have demanded action on climate change.
It comes as firefighters across Sydney and NSW brace themselves for predicted “catastrophic” conditions on Tuesday after three people were killed and 150 homes were destroyed over the weekend.
“What people need now is a little bit of sympathy, understanding and real assistance, they need help, they need shelter,” Michael McCormack told ABC Radio on Monday.
“They don’t need the ravings of some pure, enlightened and woke capital city greenies at this time when they’re trying to save their homes.”
Mr McCormack said it was “disgraceful” for Greens leader Richard Di Natale and his party colleague Adam Bandt to use the bushfires to score political points. He said he found it “galling” when people raised climate change in relation to bushfires.
But Mr Bandt told reporters in Canberra on Monday Mr McCormack was a “dangerous fool” who was putting lives at risk through inaction on climate change.
“Thoughts and prayers are not enough, we need science and action too,” Mr Bandt told reporters. “They’ve done everything in their power to make these catastrophic fires more likely.
“When you cuddle coal in Canberra, the rest of the country burns.”
Agriculture Minister David Littleproud defended his colleague on Monday, telling ABC News Mr McCormack was trying his best to get results for the communities that have been impacted.
“Let’s have those conversations in the cold, hard light of day after the event,” Mr Littleproud said of climate change’s contribution to the inferno. “But our focus and energy should be on the men and women fighting these fires and also the state, federal government and local, men and women, and children who are at risk.”
Glen Innes Severn council mayor Carol Sparks blasted Mr McCormack on Monday, telling ABC News the Deputy Prime Minister needed to listen to the science.
“Well, I probably couldn’t respond how I really feel on television but I think that Michael McCormack needs to read the science,” she said. “And that is what I am going by, the science. It is not a political thing. It is a scientific fact that we are going through climate change.”
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian, who has declared a state of emergency across the state over the next seven days, said that while there was “no doubt” drought had contributed, she cautioned against politicising the situation.
“There is no doubt the deep drought that contributed to the conditions we are seeing but I certainly don’t think it’s appropriate to get into a political argument into what the causes are,” Ms Berejiklian told ABC News Breakfast on Monday.
Labor frontbencher Penny Wong urged the feuding parties to dial down the heated rhetoric and instead engage in a more sensible discussion about bushfire preparedness and climate change.
“When we get through this, it is a responsible thing for us to focus on how we plan to keep Australians safe,” Ms Wong said.
“I’m a former climate minister … warnings about a longer bushfire season and more intense fires have been on the table for a long time.”
Senator Wong said right now the focus needed to be on the affected communities and a debate about the cause of the bushfires could come once the immediate threat eases.

Leftist media saturates the news.


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The "Aboriginal land management" was not a universal practice. Still practiced in the Cape York Peninsula, fire was used in selective areas, including the Bega region... in pre-European times Aboriginal people would have managed the land as grassland, with the dense forests being confined to mountainous country. What is burning presently is the dense forest spreading into the grasslands while the winds and the heat are somewhat increased by global warming...


The worse land management has been that of the "white man": Clear-felling, forest destruction and importation of "weeds" and ferals, including the cane toad, cats and foxes... The list is long. Bushfires are always blamed on the greenies by the right-wing destructionists such as Barnaby, the greenies trying to save what's left — basically only 5 per cent of Eastern forests — from more bulldozers and the cowpoop merchants. 


And the water! There is no water to speak off! the land has dried. Global warming is here and furious...

replacing the public service with scumdung charcoal...

Federal Government departments will be dismantled and top leaders dismissed as part of a major shake-up of the public sector.

Key points:
  • Five heads of departments will lose their jobs as Scott Morrison overhauls the public sector
  • The Prime Minister will merge some department and cut the overall number from 18 to 14
  • He insists the changes are to better deliver services rather than cut costs


Prime Minister Scott Morrison has moved to stamp his authority on the bureaucracy, with the number of departments cut from 18 to 14.

The overhaul will see the merger of some departments — including the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources with the Department of Environment — in a move Mr Morrison insists will cut bureaucratic red tape and lead to better services.

The ABC earlier today revealed the bureaucracy, particularly within the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, was braced for an overhaul.

Mr Morrison said five heads of departments would lose their jobs in the changes, which take effect on February 1.

He said there would be no changes to his ministry.

Which departments are merging?

The changes include the creation of:

  • The Department of Education, Skills and Employment: a merger of the Department of Education and Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business.
  • The Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment: a merger of the Department of Agriculture and environment functions from the Department of the Environment and Energy.
  • The Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources: a merger of the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science, energy functions from the Department of the Environment and Energy and small business functions from the Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business.
  • The Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications: a merger of the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development and Department of Communications and the Arts.
  • The Department known as Services Australia, formerly Human Services, will be established as a new executive agency within the Social Services Department.

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Don't be fooled. This is a way to change the middle of the road public service into a full-blown right-wing apparatchik... "Efficiency" means less dollars for the poor, the underprivileged and more cash for the rich. Less red tape means more power to crazy ministers more koala deaths, more buildings with faults and more deaths in custody, while singing praise to the god of the pentacostalcoholics. This will mean more secrecy, more governmental bad deed going unpunished and a disdain for you, the public, while feating the IPA's dismantling of the fair go values...

help yourself because scumshitson isn't...

The prime minister has rejected calls for more help for firefighters as the New South Wales bushfire crisis is expected to worsen.

There were 85 fires burning across NSW on Tuesday, and 42 were uncontrolled. With predictions of temperatures surpassing 40C and a wind change for the afternoon, firefighters expected conditions to deteriorate.

About 2,700 firefighters are in the field, many from volunteer NSW Rural Fire Service brigades.

As smoke brought the city’s air quality to more than 11 times the hazardous level, Scott Morrison spoke in Sydney about the religious discrimination bill.


NSW fires: wind change fans bushfires as Sydney smoke causes hazardous air quality – live Read more


Asked about concerns over how long the tens of thousands of volunteer firefighters – many who have been away from work for weeks now – were expected to continue without pay, Morrison said they “want to be there”.

“These fires have been going on for some months now and when I was speaking with the commissioner on the weekend out where we have the megafire at the moment we were talking through the crew rotations,” he said.

“And the fact is these crews, yes, they’re tired, but they also want to be out there defending their communities. And so we do all we can to rotate the shifts to give them those breaks but … in many cases you’ve got to hold them back to make sure they get that rest. And I thank them all for what they’re doing, particularly all those who support them.”

He rejected suggestions that volunteer firefighters – who reportedly make up the largest volunteer firefighting force in the world – should be professionalised.

“The volunteer effort is a big part of our natural disaster response and it is a big part of how Australia has always dealt with these issues,” Morrison said.

“We are constantly looking at ways to better facilitate the volunteer effort, but to professionalise that at that scale is not a matter that has previously been accepted and it’s not currently under consideration by the government.”


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Yep, it appears that the volunteers from the NSW Rural Fire Service brigades are reduced to sell calendars of their naked bodies, in supermarkets...


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as scummuckson farts through his lip service...

On climate action, the Coalition is the party of wreck, defer and obfuscate, the party with a shameful and indefensible record.

Katharine Murphy 


Let’s start by acknowledging a few things. December, for prime ministers juggling agendas and commitments on multiple fronts, can be trying. Parliament is over for the year and people want things to be quiet, but politics in the run down to Christmas is about as orderly and elegant as a bus hurtling in the direction of a hairpin bend.

So this is my way of saying Scott Morrison is a busy bloke with a lot on his mind. He’s got a minister under police investigation. He’s got the midyear economic forecast next week. On Monday, cabinet was wrestling with big issues, like the location of defence work and the price regulations governing airports – and that was before a volcano eruption in New Zealand loomed shockingly into view.

The prime minister also managed to avert what would have been a full-on brawl in his party room last week by kicking the release of the latest iteration of the government’s religious discrimination bill into this week. The price for deferring an unseemly fight at an inconvenient juncture was coughing up the new version of that proposal, pronto – hence Tuesday’s hey presto press conference.

While the country was burning.

I mention this final element of the story now not to invoke a gratuitous Nero reference – although that analogy is tempting, if obvious.

I mention it because it’s a fact.

Swathes of the country are burning, and we’ve only just entered summer. While Christian Porter was working through his various concessions on religious discrimination on Tuesday, trying to contain blowback from the churches and from colleagues, dot point by dot point, thick smoke was choking Sydney.

In Canberra, the heat is also blistering, and the smoke from Braidwood rolls in and out, triggering memories of that traumatic January in 2003 that many of us lived through, our treasured possessions tucked in boxes, babies on hips, sheltering friends displaced from the western suburbs of the city; a city ready to flee, watching a red sky, raining ash and burning cinders, houses on fire, trees on fire.


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