No time to be stingy
AS the people of NSW, indeed Australia, anxiously watch on as fires cause havoc in this state, our thoughts and prayers are with the residents caught up in the natural disaster and the firefighters charged with keeping them safe.
Already the stories on incredible bravery and sacrifice are coming from the fire zone and we are all holding our collective breath while we wait for the real toll from fire-ravaged towns, some of which rescue operations haven’t yet been able to reach.
Added to the emergency is that all reports suggest the situation is only going to get worse next week and the weeks beyond.
Authorities are urging everyone in the fire zone to be cautious and obey all instructions from firefighters. The priority now is for people to stay safe.
And for governments, the onus is on them now to ensure our firefighting squads are well resourced and given everything they need without hesitation.
The NSW government finds itself in the enviable position of having ready cash — and there is no better way of spending it then on containing a natural disaster. Already there are 1400 firefighters on the frontline and they face a long battle ahead.
This is a dangerously early blaze — it is only spring after all — and the weather forecasters are struggling to find any signs of significant rain on the horizon.
The government needs to open the purse strings as a matter of urgency and accept all offers of help from interstate governments as a matter of priority.
It is going to be a long summer ahead.