During the fires (2019/2020) the Emergency Management Commissioner for Victoria, Andrew Crisp, on 28th December 2019 said “If you’re planning on visiting East Gippsland tomorrow, don’t. If you’re already there, leave now. Residents should leave early tomorrow and register on Register.Find.Reunite. Emergency services can only do so much and we need the community to take action to stay safe. Take care”. This warning was all over Twitter, Facebook and other social media. It was also consistently broadcast on free to air TV and radio. It was also all over the VicEmergency app which is available for smart phones.
Two days later there were up to 4,500 people cowering on the beach while Mallacoota was under attack from fires. Mallacoota is at the east end of East Gippsland and has a permanent population of just above 1,000. That means that there were over 3,000 people who didn’t bother with following the advice of the Emergency Management Commissioner.
Now, a couple of days later, these same people are moaning that they have no resources. The fires were extreme and the town is cut off by road and the Australian Defence Forces have been called on to ship supplies in by sea and air. They are also ferrying fire-fighters in and out to relieve those that have been on the front line for far too long.
Resources are extremely stretched and are being more and more stretched by the extra 3,000 or so people who simply shouldn’t be there.
Why are people so stupid ? The advice to get out of there was given by someone who has vast knowledge of emergency management and is surrounded by a large number of people with expert knowledge of fires and logistics.
By staying, when they should have left, these people are a drain on resources and they put themselves and others at risk. The community and emergency services have much, much better things to worry about than a bunch of people who should not have been there.
While I feel for the people caught up in this situation, I have no real sympathy for them. Their situation is a problem of their own making. Maybe next time they’ll listen.
Prescribed Burns and Protestors
A local person in a position of influence and who should know better has reposted a Facebook post about protesters stopping prescribed burns. These misguided people tried to stop the burns but ultimately failed. One burn went ahead after more community consultation and the other was reduced in size. It needs to be mentioned that neither of the burn areas have been impacted by the current fires (as at 2nd January 2020).
And the anti green replies started. Talk about a Firehose of Falsehood. Noone seems to have noticed that the Australian Greens support prescribed burning and yet the people posting the comments would have you believe that the greens (radical or not) need to be at least burnt at the stake.
The blatant lack of fact checking displayed in the post is breathtaking.
I guess this is the face of social media these days. Anything that can promote community outrage is posted in order to garner likes or even votes in the next election.