Welcome to this week’s editorial,
The fires we are witnessing on the South Coast bring home the realities that the North of NSW and Queensland have been experiencing. Massive fires in difficult inaccessible terrain with small remote communities doing all they can with limited resources if they chose to Stay.
Arriving to their assistance is the Rural Fire Service. To many of our community this is just a generic name for an emergency service that we hear of doing amazing things in other communities. But this time many of our community have come face to face with just who the RFS is. They are us. Our community members training every week to fight the unimaginable. And this week we have seen it pouring into our news feeds.
Fire after fire of catastrophic proportions with limited crews doing the best they could to save life and property. Each and all of them have fought fires for days on end with little rest.
They are truly heroes who, after these fires abate, will return to live among us.
To each and all of them we say Thank You for all that you do.
This week also saw the Member for Bega, Andrew Constance announce that the Batemans Bay Bridge was to remain closed while the fires raged.
The community had voiced strong concerns that the bridge was opening twice daily to allow the local tourist ferry to pass under and that with families attempting to evacuate and others leaving work to rush home to evacuate the delays for a bridge opening were not at all acceptable.
Many are now of the opinion that the bridge should remain permanently shut and that the Ferry operator, being pretty much the sole vessel that cause the bridge to open and shut twice daily, should relocate its operation to the Nelligen side of the bridge. There is some sense in this as an unprecedented summer approaches.
Stay safe out there and be sure to hug the next RFS volunteer you see.
Photo by Josh Burkinshaw.