The horrendous fires have claimed the lives of two more Australians – volunteer firefighters with young children who had left their homes and families to lend a hand in battling wild blazes. The ABC reported that Geoffrey Keaton and Andrew O’Dwyer were travelling in a convoy when the fire truck was hit by a tree and rolled. The three other firefighters in the truck were taken to hospital.
Selfless, courageous, heroes.
No words can describe the heroic acts of the men and women putting their lives on the line for these communities.
Two more empty chairs on Christmas Day.#NSWfires https://t.co/sGUoJHQ76l
— Shaun Reardon (@reardon_shaun) December 19, 2019
The bushfires across NSW have been burning since well before summer even began. The land area that has been destroyed in it’s path dwarfs the UK nation of Wales. As in, the size of the whole fkn country. Just to offer more of a visual perspective:
The #NSWfires have burned and area that would run from NYC to well beyond Philadelphia…
… or all of South Eastern UK.
This is not normal.
It’s not to be ignored. pic.twitter.com/n9Cn54lNbb
— Nigel Lake 🧢 (@Nigel_Lake) December 10, 2019
And what has our PM done about all this? Hop on a plane and escape to the bluer skies of Hawaii. I’m not insinuating the bloke who runs the country doesn’t deserve a chance to frolic in the ocean with his family – everyone needs and deserves a break from work at some point. But this particular vacay couldn’t have been timed any more poorly. And it’s not even really the fact that he’s left the country that makes us all see red – it’s his total and utter lack of leadership on the bushfire crisis since it first began.
The reason people care about Scott Morrison going on an overseas holiday is he’s shown dazzingly bad leadership for pretty much the entire bushfire crisis and it’s a crystallisation of that. It’s not about whether he’s “allowed” to go on holiday or not
— Bridie Jabour (@bkjabour) December 17, 2019
I don’t mind Scott Morrison going overseas for Xmas.
It’s him coming back I have a problem with.
— Dave Donovan (@davrosz) December 17, 2019
It speaks volumes about the leader of a nation when it takes the death of two young fathers for the level of danger these fires pose to those fighting them for reality to finally set in. Clearly the 6 people to previously lose their lives, the communities razed into oblivion and thousands of people choking on thick bushfire smoke were not reason enough to stand up and lead, contribute proper firefighting resources and wake up to very real impacts that climate change is having.
#wherethebloodyhellareya @ScottMorrisonMP just doesn’t get it does he. This is not about a holiday, this is about the leader of the country that does not want to be supporting the Australian public in it’s darkest hour. This man has no understanding of what leadership is.
— 💧 Dr Rhonda Garad (@elyasgarad) December 20, 2019
Though ScoMo has said he’s v sorry for the offence he caused in jet-setting overseas at a time like this, it’s unlikely anything will actually change when he arrives back in Sydney after cutting his holiday short. Thoughts and prayers don’t douse flames. If Mr PM really gave a damn, he’d be out talking to first responders and communities on the ground, as our former PMs did in times of crisis. He’d be allocating proper funding. He’d be actually attending meetings with former and current fire chiefs to discern what they need in order to prevent the fires from escalating further.
I’m not holding my breath.