Climate change, anyone?
As Member for Western Victoria Bev MacArthur's talent is wasted at state level politics.
She would fit in well at Federal level.
Like her Federal Liberal counterparts she perpetuates the lie that green ideology is preventing hazard reduction activities such as prescribed burning off and clearing of the forest floor.
As she well knows (or should) hazard reduction activities have been exempted from national environmental law, even if they "have the potential to have a significant impact on nationally protected matters".
Also, large amounts of prescribed burning and hazard reduction have gone ahead in Victoria and NSW.
Philip Zylstra, from Wollongong University, said: ''the reality is we are at a peak of prescribed burning by state agencies. More has been done in the past decade than in many, many decades."
'It is not the greenies who have prevented further hazard reduction.
The rising temperatures (climate change anyone?), old equipment, shortage of man power and funds (Liberal government cut 35 per cent from the NSW branch of Fire and Rescue) all mean less burning off can be done.
Furthermore, hazard reduction does not stop 90 per cent of fires and as the weather gets worse, research shows its effectiveness diminishes.
By playing the blame game, playing politics in a crisis, ignoring the facts that don't suit her (climate change anyone?) and cherry picking the ones that do Bev McArthur demonstrates the qualities needed to succeed at the Federal level.
She could even be prime minister.
Peter Martina, Warrnambool
Children's well-being a priority during bushfire crisis
The horrendous fires that have raged across Australia over the last few weeks have shocked and deeply shaken all of us, but the effect of rolling news coverage and anxiety on children is particularly concerning.
As Australians brace for another week of catastrophic fire conditions, child's rights agency Plan International Australia has today launched a guide with simple and practical tips to help parents talk with their children about out-of-control fires and disasters.
Just some of these tips include validating children's fears and feelings, but from a position of reassurance and strength; answering questions honestly and informatively; highlighting the community of emergency workers and people doing good in the world; and guiding children towards acts of kindness, which encourages them to feel helpful rather than helpless.
It is critical that we build resilience in the next generation.
Through our work with children in the aftermath of disasters, we have learnt that they are better able to comprehend and cope with emergencies when they are reassured of their safety, that they are not alone in their feelings, and of the positive stories of communities helping each other out.
Hayley Cull, Director of Advocacy, Plan International Australia
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