Is Tony Abbot rushing off to help fight bushfires really
helpful? I am aware that Mr Abbott has been part off of the
Davidson Rural Fire Brigade as a volunteer since 2000, because
the *Australian kindly informed me.
Now, I am sure that being an active sort of guy, Mr Abbott is a valued member of his Rural Fire Brigade, what I am not sure of is the benefit of Mr Abbott causing a distraction in what is a very serious circumstance down there near Nowra? Every photo we have seen so far, and yes there are photo’s online already, most are almost putinesque in their ‘action man’ shots of our Opposition Leader in his Fireman garb, with the obligatory camera or microphone shoved in his **face?
If Mr Abbott was at a staging area, not getting in the way, calling for more support for Rural Fire Brigades, happy days... I live in an area that is reliant on them and know how much work they put in, volunteering thousands of hours, often missing out on pay & holidays to help others that in many cases they don’t even know. To be a volunteer with the local Rural Fire Brigade is a commendable thing to do and I admire them greatly. For all I know, Mr Abbott thoroughly enjoys his time spent with the Fire Brigade and as he is on holidays, he has every right to volunteer his time as he wishes, (in fact having lived in Mr Abbotts area decades ago, the Rural Fire Brigade is an apt choice for the sporty-type volunteer) but, did he have to tell everyone about it? Here is where my problem is. No-one knows the names of these guys, they are taking time out of their normal lives at the moment to help others, putting themselves in danger, and along comes Mr Abbott with the accompanying media scrum? Really? That is appropriate at this time when vast swathes of the country are burning?
Both the Queensland & New South Wales Governments have really knocked around the Rural Fire Brigades in recent times, so maybe I could have a little bit more respect for Mr Abbott taking time off his holidays to volunteer if he was raising that as an issue and helping to resource them further? Hell, even just helping with a bit of PR for ‘them’ and calling for more to take an interest in the Rural Fire Brigade? Unfortunately Mr Abbott does not seem to be taking the opportunity to do either of these things, so as a punter, I am therefore left with the cynical feeling that I am just looking at a PR stunt pulled directly from the Vladimir Putin playbook. Hopefully we Australians, unlike the Russians, are a little less inclined to applaud open manly bravado? Or not?
Best wishes to all our Volunteer Fire Fighters out there, stay safe and thankyou!
* "Volunteer firefighter Tony Abbott joins the bushfire front line", RICK MORTON From: The Australian January 09, 2013 10:33AM
PS. Is it just me, or has anyone else noticed that any article in the Australia which is flattering to Mr Abbott is never behind the paywall? Or am I being cynical and in the interests of ‘balanced reporting’, that courtesy is also paid to Prime Minister Julia Gillard when the Australian writes a flattering article about her? :)
For National Information on Fires: http://www.abc.net.au/news/emergency/
For Queensland Fire and Rescue Service- :http://www.ruralfire.qld.gov.au/ or Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/QldFireandRescueService or Twitter: @QldFire
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