Caporegime
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The 2019-2020 bushfire season is shaping up to be the worst in Australian history.

By the numbers:

* >100 different fires
* >30,000 people forced to evacuate
* >2,500 buildings destroyed
* 5.9 million hectares destroyed (that's ~1.8 million hectares larger than Switzerland)
* ~480 million mammals, birds and reptiles lost
* at least human 27 lives lost

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My own state of South Australia has suffered devastating losses in the Adelaide Hills region, with 30% of vineyards completely wiped out.

Smoke from the east coast fires has crossed the Tasman Sea, and is now blanketing New Zealand:

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As usual, our amazing volunteer firies are risking their lives on the front line:


The US and Canada have sent some of their own firefighters to help. Australian military forces have been deployed in some areas.


In the midst of the tragedy, some amazing stories of courage and community spirit:

A New South Wales South Coast man has been hailed a "local hero" for ferrying stranded campers to safety on his boat, forced to watch as his own house burnt down.

While fleeing the approaching firestorm on Tuesday, Lake Conjola resident Brett Cripps, 51, noticed tourists stuck on the shore near their caravans.

"I knew I had to help. I yelled out, 'come on, you've got to get out of here'," Mr Cripps told the ABC.

He loaded two families onto his 5-metre boat, including seven children aged from three to 10, and whisked them away from the oncoming flames and to the centre of the lake.

(Source).

The entire town of Mallacoota was evacuated to a local beach.

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A Mallacoota mother, whose photo of her 11-year-old son fleeing bushfires has been splashed across news websites and front pages, says she had no idea how much impact it would have when she took the photo.

Allison Marion took the photo of her son Finn driving a boat to safety after the sky in the far-east Victorian seaside town turned blazing red on Tuesday.

The striking image of Finn showed him steering the boat as it carried Allison, her other son Caleb and the family dog, away from the shore of the popular holiday spot to shelter on Goodwin Sands.

(Source).

We've had an ongoing heatwave for several weeks now. It's currently 43°C here in South Australia; we hit 46°C last week.

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Soldato
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My nephew is a doctor in Australia, and is also a deputy captain in Station 376 Merewether, Fire & Rescue New South Wales.

Every other day I see the photos and videos of what he's dealing with, and it is terrifying. Obviously, I'm here in the UK and he's there being toasted, but the government response feels woefully inadequate. The country has been on fire for two months.
 
Caporegime
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Obviously, I'm here in the UK and he's there being toasted, but the government response feels woefully inadequate.

It is, and the PM is getting absolutely hammered for it. Unfortunately this is not an election year, so he seems to think he can just ride out the storm. Incredible arrogance, and a shocking failure of leadership.

The country has been on fire for two months.

Even longer than that, the fires started in August.
 
Soldato
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It is, and the PM is getting absolutely hammered for it. Unfortunately this is not an election year, so he seems to think he can just ride out the storm. Incredible arrogance, and a shocking failure of leadership.



Even longer than that, the fires started in August.

Not a surprise there, considering he's a staunch climate denialist.

How ironic that Australia will be one of the first countries to be made uninhabitable due to it and yet he would persist in accelerating it.
 
Soldato
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Genuinely upsetting to see what's happening over in Australia. I have a cousin who lives in Victoria that is keeping me updated. Her area has now been declared a state of emergency. :(
 
Man of Honour
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Feel for those who are facing upheaval of their whole life because of it. Fortunately looks like the death toll is relatively low compared to what it could have been if some of those communities had been cut off.
 
Soldato
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It is, and the PM is getting absolutely hammered for it. Unfortunately this is not an election year, so he seems to think he can just ride out the storm. Incredible arrogance, and a shocking failure of leadership.



Even longer than that, the fires started in August.

What exactly is he meant to do about the fires?
 
Caporegime
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What exactly is he meant to do about the fires?
This probably isn't the time or place to show once again your wilful misunderstanding of easily understandable events, particularly not when they have very real life ramifications. It's crass even by your standards.

To your question: he is supposed to lead, mobilise, and remove as much pain from those affected as possible. Not go on holiday

Stay safe Evangelion & family.
 
Caporegime
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What exactly is he meant to do about the fires?

He was asked to provide more money and resources for the fire crews fighting the bushfires. He refused, and took a secret holiday to Hawaii (which the media subsequently exposed).

He returned to Australia and offered a grudging apology, but still refused to provide the necessary support that our firies so desperately need.

He eventually visited some of the stricken areas, where he managed to enrage all the locals:


Yesterday, as tens of thousands were evacuated, he spent his time at Kirribilli House (the secondary official residence of the Australian PM) entertaining the Australian and New Zealand cricket teams.

His party has been in power since 2013, during which time they have consistently refused to take action against climate change, which has been a substantial contributing factor to the current bushfires.

Some of these fires are now so large that they are generating their own weather systems, causing bursts of dry lightning that ignite even more bushland beyond the usual reach of the fire.

Morrison's leadership on this issue has been so bad that even his own party is starting to criticise him for it.
 
Soldato
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But there must be a reason he's PM, can't be a fluke. How did people vote him in and why are they constantly voting in people that are incompetent.

I didn't know the details, holiday, lack of funding etc. Are these fires controllable even with unlimited resources or do they just have to burn themselves out?
 
Caporegime
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But there must be a reason he's PM, can't be a fluke.

Morrison is PM because he won the party leadership spill. We don't vote our prime ministers into office, we vote for their party, just like the UK.

How did people vote him in and why are they constantly voting in people that are incompetent.

He's in a safe seat popupated by die hard party supporters, he could spit on somebody's grandmother and they'd still vote for him.

I didn't know the details, holiday, lack of funding etc. Are these fires controllable even with unlimited resources or do they just have to burn themselves out?

Some of these fires are beyond control, but most would be containable if the resources were available.
 
Caporegime
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Some additional context:

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'Scotty from Marketing' is the national nickname for Scott Morrison, our lame duck prime minister. He has also been called 'the supply teacher Prime Minister.'
 
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Soldato
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Some of these fires are beyond control, but most would be containable if the resources were available.

You cannot jsut say that without evidence, at what cost? £1 mil and I agree wtf happened why were the resources not there.. Or did it need £1 trillion?

Would the people be happy to pay double taxes for fire defences (i don't have a clue if it would be 1% more tax or 500%)
 
Caporegime
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You cannot jsut say that without evidence, at what cost?

Some of these blazes are so big that even if we had an insane amount of money they still could not be controlled because we just don't have the necessary manpower or technology. There is no fire fighting equipment on this planet that can simply 'control' or extinguish a fire spanning 350,000 hectares (864,868 acres).

The fires that can be controlled, are being controlled. They could be controlled a lot faster if the resources were available.

£1 mil and I agree wtf happened why were the resources not there.. Or did it need £1 trillion?

The resources were not there because we have a conservative government which has decided that firefighting resources are not a priority. They're too busy giving tax breaks to the fossil fuel industry.

Would the people be happy to pay double taxes for fire defences (i don't have a clue if it would be 1% more tax or 500%)

We wouldn't even need to pay double taxes, it would cost the government a relatively trivial amount to fund the resources that are needed.

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Caporegime
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You cannot jsut say that without evidence

Just like you can't oppose it without evidence.

Why are you arguing over semantics that are completely irrelevant in this thread anyway? Hundreds of thousands of people have evacuated their homes, people are dying, animals are dying, literally half a continent is on fire but you want to start a discussion on what people should be paying tax for? Weird.

@Evangelion I've not been following the story much, I don't follow much news nowadays. Are you guys getting support from other countries? I'd have thought that NZ at the very least would be able to mobilize some tankers to help with dousing?

I'd have thought that Japan would be all over this too tbh. Your PM is a ***** anyway, at least he'll be out when next month's PM comes in.
 
Associate
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The numbers are insane. I have a few friends who have already lost their houses and more that are now being told to evacuate. I've tried to take a break from the news since the UK election as I think it was actually making me way more angry than what was healthy, but I have seen some comments from the Australian PM and it beggars belief.

Really hope something on such a scale, in a country like Australia can start to cause some real change.
 
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