A funny old day of fire news

johnboy 27 February 2007 21

The Stanhope Government doesn’t generally like to talk about why they gagged public warning of the impending 2003 fires.

Here at RiotACT we suspect that the stubborn resistance to all independent calls for Emergency Services to be run by an independent statutory authority is for fear such a move would be a tacit admission of the political interference in the lead up to the fires hitting.

We don’t think there was any evil plan with maniacal laughs to see the city burn, more mediocre political hacks who’ve seen too many episodes of the West Wing and think owning a mobile phone makes them Josh Lyman. So we imagine simple things like issuing warnings got micromanaged to a standstill and minute political considerations became more important than genuine operational issues. Be that as it may Mr. Stanhope thinks it’s him and his staff against the world and will stand by them no matter what sins of ommission or commission they may commit (the tale of Aidan Bruford is instructive in this matter). We suspect that’s what was going through his head when he famously announced we should blame him. He wasn’t thinking about the firefighters, he was thinking about his staff who’d intervened disastrously in the planning meetings.

So, that’s what the available evidence leads us to infer. Today three very interesting things happen which in a decent polity would have been very surprising to see on the same day.

–Debate is starting on the no-confidence motion arising from the coroner’s finding.

— This morning we learned [ABC] that the same public servants who tried to de-rail the coroner are going back to court to argue the same old thing and presumably lose. Watch to see who finally picks up the tab for this. It’s no more likely to succeed than their challenge last time around but it muddies the water nicely while the Government tries to discredit its own coroner.

— Then miraculously the Government released [Age] its response to the coroner’s report. The cost of HR and IT is deemed to be too expensive to allow for independent bodies (bodies beyond the immediate control of the Stanhope cabal) despite this capability being within the grasp of even the smallest and meanest small business in the ACT.

So, faced with discussion of their actions, whatever they do, a wannabe West Winger decided to take out all the trash and hope the public gets too confused to understand the issues.

Simon Corbell has now declared himself the arbiter of what matters are political and which are not. Conveniently political matters can only be dealt with by Mr. Stanhope’s majority assembly.

All Power To The Great Leader!

It makes me sick. Obviously a bill of rights doesn’t run to transparency, accountability, or checks and balances in Government.

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21 Responses to A funny old day of fire news
neanderthalsis neanderthalsis 10:33 am 01 Mar 07

Is there any substance to the rumour that Chairman Stanhope of the PRC had violin lessons in the lead up to the fire? (for the uneducated: Nero, burning of Rome. look it up)

Bundybear Bundybear 7:04 pm 28 Feb 07

Beautifully played unbeliever, a big round of applause. You have diverted attention from the issue – Stanhope, the fires, and accountability – to a broad generalised discussion on democracy and third world poverty.

“Stanhope….John Stanhope…..Chief Minister, human rights champion, naysayer to all who disagree, ducker and weaver extraordinaire, etc…”

Binker Binker 4:22 pm 28 Feb 07

Maths louise. It took 500 homes out of the market not 1000. The 500 homes that were burnt down were occupied so they were already out of the market (and hence can’t be counted as being removed from the market again post fire)

louise louise 3:28 pm 28 Feb 07

No, no, Unbeliever has a point. Other people are worse off than us, and so obviously we should willingly give up everything that marks us out as a developed, democratic nation. No worries mate.

assailant assailant 3:11 pm 28 Feb 07

AMEN Barking Toad!!!!

Unbeliever Unbeliever 3:08 pm 28 Feb 07

How about:

‘ACT democracy – it’s not real, but we want to pretend anyway’?
‘Vote for me Canberra – at least I won’t burn down Duffy: Stefaniak’?

Or what about:
‘Vote for the dictator Stanhope, you know you like it, oh yeah!’?

barking toad barking toad 3:02 pm 28 Feb 07

You sound like a nohope acolyte unbeliever.

Are we meant to excuse his incompetence because we are not a third world country?

And schoolyard taunts of “do it better yourself” don’t cut it.

johnboy johnboy 2:55 pm 28 Feb 07

“other people are more crap than us”?
“burning down duffy was no big deal”?

Wow, can’t wait to see those stanhope bumper stickers next year.

Unbeliever Unbeliever 2:35 pm 28 Feb 07

Seepi, the majority of the world’s population live in the third world – it’s not just ‘some’ people. We already have it better and higher than MOST people. My point is to keep a sense of perspective – instead of being parochially insular. Oh that and to act instead of simply just shooting off at the mouth. Don’t like the current mob, then step up and do a better job – because leaving it to the next mob in our ‘vote once in a while and wait for them to direct society on our behalf’ democracy only achieves so much.

seepi seepi 2:26 pm 28 Feb 07

Ok – so some people inteh world are worse off thn us – but surely we can aima bit higher than that.

Unbeliever Unbeliever 2:20 pm 28 Feb 07

I have little interest in barking from the sidelines. Want to hold your government to account? Then step up and act to your convictions. Otherwise you’re wasting your breath.

Ffs,rising taxes and rates? Increases in insurance premiums? – Yeah, like these things wouldn’t have been guaranteed to happen even without fires. And bad tasting water? Millions around the world don’t even have clean water – get a grip.

smokey4 smokey4 11:11 am 28 Feb 07

OK John S.
After last nights down poor and hail you really should start to examine what has upset the Gods.
Many businesses are looking at their disaster recovery plans from the perspective of implementation.
First you tried witch burning, only Maria would not co operate.
I suppose you are out now looking for virgins to sacrifice which is not an easy task in Canberra.
PS Keep away from the school girls they do not like you in these places

bonfire bonfire 10:54 am 28 Feb 07

the sooner this bunch of incompetents is gone, the better.

look at wa and nsw. as soon as the alp take office, the rot sets in.

pass all the feel good legislation you like mr stanhope – but fix the potholes first!

fire fighting should be handled by blokes who do it for a living, not by political hacks.

sometimes people ‘in charge’ make very poor decisions.

‘captain, you must listen…’

assailant assailant 9:43 am 28 Feb 07

Iraq, global warming, refugees… you really do just sound like the a ‘rank and file’ Labor party member turned out to ‘attempt’ to provide Stanhope with support… you do sound like him, trying to be the local but diverting all attention to federal issues – stick to the point.

Stanhope clearly mishandled the 2003 fires and as such people lost their lives, their homes and are still affected today. he should step down, he knows it and the meagre excuses he continues to put up are just not good enough!

seepi seepi 9:12 am 28 Feb 07

And the ‘minority’ of people who were directly affected were severly affected. Four people died, and 500 lost their homes – most losing all possessions as well. A lot of them moved in with family for the next 6 months – impacting on them. Hundreds (thousands?) more had partial damage to repair. A lot of people still have nightmares and will never be quite the same.

louise louise 9:05 am 28 Feb 07

“…this fire bizzo only affected a minority, of Canberrans.”

This fire bizzo affected more than a minority. For example:

1. it created an instant deficit of roughly 1000 dwellings in the ACT (500 homeless families had to find 500 houses to live in, effectively taking 1000 homes out of the market). 1000 is an lot, and it contributed to the pressure on rental accomodation, and the ACT govt. never caught up.

2. The insurance payouts were big, which always flows through to premiums

3. Didn’t the fire levy come in around this time?

4. The expenses around the coronial inquiry have been funded by our ever increasing rates, not to metion the basic shutdown of services (schools, libraries, buses…)

5. A long-term, if not permanent, change to the ACT’s water treatment system to something more active and more expensive. Every time you have a cup of tea or a glass of water you can taste the impact of the fires.

I’m sure there are more examples, but that’s a pretty good start.

barking toad barking toad 8:47 am 28 Feb 07

“…this fire bizzo only affected a minority, of Canberrans.”

This comment destroys the credibility of any further comment you make. On this or any other topic.

smokey4 smokey4 9:45 pm 27 Feb 07

Which recomendations have been implemented and which have not and why?
The “trust me we have your interests at heart” is not good enough.

Good communication and integration between all emergency authorities is needed to ensure Canberra is adequately protected when the next significant bush fire or emergency situation emerges.

Unbeliever Unbeliever 9:08 pm 27 Feb 07

‘All Power To The Great Leader!

It makes me sick. Obviously a bill of rights doesn’t run to transparency, accountability, or checks and balances in Government. ‘

But a guy with a website, who’s into emotionally-charged language to weigh his arguments is? 😉

But seriously JB this fire bizzo only affected a minority, of Canberrans. A bill of rights doesn’t guarantee transparent and accountable government. It was never designed to. What does make govt. accountable is the voting population. In an era of monumental Fuck-ups like the war in Iraq, political backflip on global warming, and all but ignoring our responsibilities under the UN refugee conventions, the majority of the voting population just doesn’t care for so-called accountable govt.

for my money , if Stanhope takes a lesson out of this about govt. not interfering with the public service then great. It’s definitely no basis for him to no longer be Chief Minister!

So long as wages are strong and our house value keeps going up _ that’s all that the majority cares about. Sadly!

Pandy Pandy 8:59 pm 27 Feb 07

Get over it. Absolute (majority) power corrupts. Vote independants next time. I will vote for Maxims

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