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Time to bring in the Defence Force

28 December, 2019
Time to bring in the Defence Force  Image

As the fires rage across NSW devastating communities, we in Barwon have been fortunate to not have the same level of fires as our neighbours. Sadly, I don't think we will make it through summer without more fires.

To the many fire crews from Barwon communities who are currently deployed across NSW fighting fires, thank you all.

I do not say this to downplay the impact that the fires have had and are continuing to have – they are devastating, and their impact will be felt for many months and years to come.

Drought is like the slowest burning fire. It destroys lives, people lose their property, people are stressed beyond belief and some people can't bear the unbearable.

Why hasn’t the Australian Defence Force been deployed to help drought ravaged farmers and communities?

Months ago, the Defence Force could have been working on logistics support for water and food deliveries, desilting farm dams for stock, assistance with fencing (part of Army training actually involves some types of fencing).

All of this could have been happening to take some pressure of farmers and rural communities. It would also provide some support and relief to the many charities that have stepped up to provide assistance.

Last year topped the Bureau of Meteorology’s charts maximum temperatures as well as the lowest annual rainfall across the country.

The Bureau’s Summer Outlook has not forecast any significant rains stating that for most areas “several months of above average rainfall would be needed to see a recovery from current long-term rainfall deficiencies.”

With that outlook it’s time Government’s stepped up and provide additional support to our communities as we continue to battle this protracted drought.

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