The Beagle Editor, Black,White or Brindle. First Nation,Australian born,immigrant,refugee,Australian. This is our moment,our Disaster,our Kokoda,our Gallipoli,our Cyclone Tracy, our Tsunami No recriminations, No He said She said, lets get together and put some plans in place. I'm from Batemans Bay. We are among the lucky ones and still have a house. But this is not about me. Some of our leaders have been found wanting, but then your Churchill, Menzies, Whitlams, JFKs and alike don't come round everyday. But you must admit the State Premiers have been pretty good in a crisis.And the heads of the fire and emergency crews have been very, very good. The Fireys, Power Linesmen and the average Joe Blow have been outstanding! I know this event has been unprecedented but some things need to be made bullet proof. Communications Transmission Masts need to be built so they don't fall down! If that means over built ugly and surrounded by 200 yards of concrete so be it. People sitting in cars for days trying to pick up a station with current info wont hack it. The Kings Hwy along with other roads crossing east to west across the Great Divide needs to be built to Bullet Proof stage, like the Sea Cliff Bridge. A nation building effort,to have one of the major crossing out for a month is just beyond belief. Firefighting The Army as part of their training should be taught CFA type firefighting, and equipment should be held at Bases and strategic places around the country. When a state has more than two fires of over 100,000 hectares (Or whatever the number the Boffins come up with) should be the trigger to bring the Army Crews into play. (Just think of the new volunteers after they leave the service and are at a loose end.) We also need more fire bombers full time (Jets at least 8-10) owned and operated by Australia. These should also be base at RAAF bases. Recovery Transportable pods/trailers with Generators (household size) in one end and a communication set up like the NBN Muster Utes and Toilet /Shower/Washing machine/Microwave should also be stored ready to go around the country. Ready to be driven in or delivered by air. Not sourced after or during the event. Cash Assistance Money and relief payments should be done thru Medicare Card connected to bank accounts,pension/child care rebate, tax file number linked to bank accounts. Which ever method is worked out to be the best. Not given to Charities to distribute this is just lazyness by Government and a huge burden on the charities and slow and time consuming. Government relief and grant payments should be done by government.This type of setup should be done and waiting to plug straight in 95 percent of Australians have a contact point with Government agencies. Car licenses Medicare etc etc. To say the Commonwealth has to wait for requests from the States for help from the Army is the greatest cop out I have ever heard. Trained Fire fighters and equipment ready to assist RFS, Bullet Proof Communications, Emergency relief Pods ready to go, Monetary aid ready and easily distributed. This will cost but not as much as watching the country burn to the ground. And then there is Climate Change which needs to be acknowledge as a main contributor to this current crisis and brought to the front of further planning. Good luck to all the poor buggers who now have years of stress and dislocation ahead ,and all our love and thanks to the families of the ones how gave their lives to save the rest of us. AND THE FIRIES SHOULD BE ALLOWED TO MARCH ON ANZAC DAY THIS YEAR AS A WAY OF SAYING THANKS FROM THE NATION. Mark Buckley
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