'Tis devastating to read about. I'm in a bushfire prone area meself (though not in Victoria, and it was a relief that it rained just last night).The thing is, lately we are hearing lots about money redistribution and donations, which I'm not totally against but a bit like the Rudd spending spree, I'm wondering where it could best be spent, specially any government allocated large bits with long lines of zeros after them in response to something like this.As many people have said, don't bother sending over furniture and your fridges they haven't got any houses to put them in (which is terrible to hear really, as it's a lot harder to package up an apartment and send it over).And then of course you hear about how much people need help - well, of course that should be an issue, but shouldn't it also be a very important issue to put in preventative measures too - if possible?And resources into plans for evacuation, firefighting, education, backburning etc?The other thing is, of course a lot of people's kneejerk reaction is that arsonists should be rotting in gaol for many years to come and that judges and the judicial system fails them over and over again by being 'soft' and this is something else that needs to be addressed.Trouble is, it's easy to say 'let them rot in gaol' - but where are all these gaols coming from, I'd like to know?Speaking to a barrister recently, she said gaols in NSW are overflowing and she had some very tough judges recently let her clients out on bail - she suspected more because of the practicality than anything else - where were they going to put these people?Many would balk at the idea of them giving up their handout to pay for crims to be installed behind bars - why should they lose out because someone else broke the law - but someone has to pay in order to keep the process maintained.
I am deeply opposed to anyone's rotting in gaol. It seems very likely to me that if (as they're saying) people deliberately lit some of these fires, these people were either very unintelligent, or very angry, or very unwell, or very bad at foreseeing consequences. These are all good reasons to put such people where they're not in a position to keep doing harm (and such harm), but I can't see any good coming of deliberately harming them in turn.As for where to spend monies: yes of course hazard reduction is important (though hazard reduction's only going to be so useful when the air is hot enough to make the forests combust).Seems pretty obvious to me (and others) that the stimulus package could and should be redirected to resettling the people who've lost their homes. ('Course, I'm hoping that insurance companies help there too.)
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