As NSW and far east Gippsland is ablaze with fires out of control, the Prime Minister tweets at the cricket:
Scott Morrison@ScottMorrisonMP Going to be a great summer of cricket, and for our firefighters and fire-impacted communities, I’m sure our boys will give them something to cheer for.
Cheer for? Really? And as to the cause of those fires, he can’t think of anything other than lightning strikes …..
If this is not a national emergency, it’s hard to imagine what one would look like.
It’s not enough to offer arbitrary and inadequate payments to firefighters. The Prime Minister must act, set up a war cabinet, call in the defence forces, work with the states and their fire chiefs. In short, show leadership.
According to the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, NSW will have extreme heatwaves over much of the state for the next three days, as will far east Victoria.
Dr Andrew Watkins, the head of long-range forecasts at the bureau, told Guardian Australia that the fire damage was caused by the two weather patterns – the positive phase of the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) and a negative Southern Annular Mode (SAM) – and these would likely remain in place for several months.
While outlooks for drier than average conditions ease heading into 2020, several months of above average rainfall would be needed to see a recovery from current long-term rainfall deficiencies.
Australia desperately needs long term planning and resources for fire disaster mitigation and response.