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"Playing political games with lives"

Posted by: Neil Mitchell | 30 October, 2012 - 9:12 AM
Gillard and Baillieu are playing games with lives

This one really really irritates me.

Remember the tears, remember the promises and the grand words about suffering and standing beside people.

Remember the Black Saturday Bushfires.

173 people died.

173 people, horrific, horrendous, devastating.

Remember that because today there is an indecent, obscene political fight going on around those same bushfires; An obscene and indecent fight around the safety of those same people they all cried about and pledged to help.

PLAY: Deputy Premier Peter Ryan says the lack of bandwidth leaves Victoria dangerously vulnerable

Remember Julia Gillard, February 9 2009, she was Deputy Prime Minister.

Two days after the fires she stood in the parliament, very emotional and promised things like this:

"The Australian government stands shoulder to shoulder with the Victorian government in this emergency response and rebuilding effort.  To the Premier of Victoria and the people of Victoria, we stand with you."

Well, that’s gone.

The victims are being dudded either by Julia Gillard or Ted Baillieu. You decide who to blame.

But they can't get their act together enough to lead.

Ted Baillieu and Julia Gillard are exchanging insults.

The Premier says Canberra is refusing to give Victoria the radio bandwidth they need for bushfire emergency safety.

He says Canberra is refusing to provide Victoria with the broadband band width needed to do the job protecting people from bushfires.

In return, Nicola Roxon, who seems to be the federal head kicker these days, says Ted Baillieu is playing politics.

Playing politics around saving and protecting lives.

That is offensive stuff: Playing politics with  lives? Well somebody is.

The same lives they pledged to protect.

The whole damn thing is offensive.

We have the chance here to reduce the possibility of that happening again by improving communication and the politicians are fighting about it, pointing fingers and blaming each other.

The details are in the Herald Sun today but we have been talking to victims in bushfire areas.

Some of them are furious and rightly so.

Remember the promises, remember the horror, remember the pain.

Here is a chance to reduce the chance of that happening again and these people are playing politics with it.

I just repeat one thing:

If this doesn’t force them to get their act together, if this doesn’t force them to talk their way through this, to fix this, if this doesn’t make them do it, nothing will.

173 people dead.

What else do these politicians need? 

The Gillard speech was very powerful, very emotional.

She talked about the guts and integrity and decency of people fighting the fires, facing the fires.

So where is the decency today with our political leaders?

Where is the guts and the honesty and decency and commitment? 

It really disgusts me.

Somebody is playing political games with the lives of Victorians.

And remember the grand words from Julia Gillard?

What happened to that? 


PLAY: Black Saturday survivor Anthony McDonald

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Mornings with Neil Mitchell

Neil Mitchell Neil Mitchell is one of Australia’s most experienced journalists. He sets the Melbourne news agenda every day from 8:30am to 12pm.



Blog comments Your Say

  • Neil, I was up in a fire tower on Black Saturday looking for fires and smoke, I heard it all start, first in Horsham then Bendigo, followed by the fires Murrindindi, around 30 fires in the first hour, this day of nearly 50C and strong winds, these fires were not going to be stopped with more bandwith or more fire trucks, Mother nature overwelmed us that day, most of the 173 that died did so because they left to late, the ones that went to safe havens survived, also over 300 died away from the fires because of power outages, and the reason the politicians cannot agree on anything, again no amount of resources were going to stop these fires.

    gez Monday 11 February, 2013 - 4:18 AM
  • If The Hon Tanya Plibersek MP, Minister for Health cannot manage the health system then she should let someone else have a go. Her interview with J Smith was a disgrace- a whole lot of words more like a crossword than policy. The extra money for dental care is long overdue and will be eroded by inflation.

    Azinnia Tuesday 22 January, 2013 - 10:47 AM
  • The Firefighters union said Ted was covering his backside because of all the cutbacks he'd made. Betcha Neil doesn't chase this up like he went after Christine Nixon.

    mylene Tuesday 30 October, 2012 - 9:22 PM
  • Gillard and Co. are apparently declaring war on all Liberals, including State Liberal Governments. Their personal attacks, plus their severe lack of cooperation on both State and Federal levels is evidence of this. The disadvantages Victoria has suffered under the Gillard rule are manifest. This is a very unfortunate result of Labor's current political policy.

    David T. Tuesday 30 October, 2012 - 5:37 PM
  • Well said neil if you cannot get the message to these political grubs what hope have we got ted gets his instructions from abbot no doubt they are both talking the same language. This is the WORST bunch in australias history I said Australia NOT THE NATION gillard does not say australia much anymore its the nation

    barry Tuesday 30 October, 2012 - 5:30 PM
  • It all comes down to money.
    Always has and alway's will.
    About time we Australian's started to know and realise that Human lives are worthless as these pollies don't care, as long as they get budget surpluss and make money for their big business mates & corporations it's all good. The rest is bullocks, they only seem half interested about the people at election time because they need our vote, but then we are quickly forgotten!
    About time to give politically correctness the middle finger, and get rid of Goverments, they are corrupt, they don't work, and are only there to fill there pockets, and to advance their careers. How many times do we need to hear about millions upon millions of tax payers money getting wasted on nonsense. I am sure that if they were actually spending their own hard earned money these things would not happen.
    Just ask Bob Carr? if he had any morals he would grab from his own account the reported $ 120,000 wasted on paying for his wife to travel with him and give it back to a number of charities.
    I encourage anyone to have a look on the ABC and watch them up in parliament! then you may ask yourself how on earth are these people, the one's making the important decisions on the future of our country and our children?

    Mighty Mick Tuesday 30 October, 2012 - 3:35 PM

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