[Australian & NZ Politics] Australia Decided. Hm.

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  • tynictynic PICNIC BADASS Registered User, ClubPA regular
    yeah just fuck off, frankly. Fighting fires is a community effort and in Australia, walking away from it isn't an option unless we just abandon large chunks of the country to the fires.

    What IS an option is pressuring the government to recognise the incredibly difficult and dangerous work firefighters do and set up structures that support them accordingly. Just because we're currently run by sociopaths doesn't mean everyone else has to act like one. We don't want to turn into the US.

    Happy Little MachineelectricitylikesmeNechriahchrishallett83Mr RayAegerioxblow
  • MorganVMorganV Registered User regular
    kaid wrote: »
    kaid wrote: »
    discrider wrote: »
    That's what I would've expected extrapolating from all the 'volunteers want to be there, they don't want compensation' noise.
    As opposed to renumerating them according to the gap they fill in our employed regular fire service.

    This is why you should never volunteer for stuff like this. If they want you to do the work of a professional then they should hire you like a professional.

    1: Do you have any idea how cliquey it is to get into a paid firefighting position in Australia? You'd better hope the last three generations of your family were all firefighters, oh, and you married the station chief's kid, too.
    2: Rural fire services are almost all volunteer. Only a tiny percentage of the country (by area) is covered by paid fire services.

    It is like this in the US as well. This is why I say don't volunteer for a job that they want you to work and act like a professional for. If the job needs doing then it should be compensated. If people refused to volunteer then payment and compensation would be offered. But why bother compensating people for what they are doing for free.

    Facts not in evidence. Not saying they wouldn't have any fire service, but I could absolutely see the relevant jurisdictions not maintaining anywhere near the coverage the volunteer fire brigades now have.

    Take Victoria (my home state).
    The MFB (urban Melbourne) has ~2300 full time employees, and cover ~1000km².
    The CFA (everywhere else) has ~2700 full time employees, and ~55,000 volunteers, and cover the remaining ~217,000km².

    Now, the MFB and CFA are going to merge into the FRV later this year. But there's simply no way that the Victorian government will permit the more than tenfold increase on recruitment required to keep this number of people trained and ready.

    Meaning, even if they double or tripled the budget, you've got to accept a significant drop in fire prevention coverage.

    So, it's either volunteer service, or accepting a significant percentage of the state just isn't going to be covered. Not sure the people in the rural towns who are most likely to be affected, are willing to accept the latter.

    tynicHappy Little Machinechrishallett83
  • PhillisherePhillishere Registered User regular
    tynic wrote: »
    yeah just fuck off, frankly. Fighting fires is a community effort and in Australia, walking away from it isn't an option unless we just abandon large chunks of the country to the fires.

    What IS an option is pressuring the government to recognise the incredibly difficult and dangerous work firefighters do and set up structures that support them accordingly. Just because we're currently run by sociopaths doesn't mean everyone else has to act like one. We don't want to turn into the US.

    As someone who has worked for the U.S. Forest Service during a massive fire season, this is one area where you could benefit greatly from being like the U.S. Fighting forest fires is an intensive and highly professionalized job here, split between multiple federal, state, and local agencies with differing levels of training and equipment. That includes private firms and fire teams that travel the nation professionally to work the front lines of these fires.

    What binds them together is that they all managed under a federal command center that not only provides them with direct command and logistical support, but provides direct pay, healthcare, and other benefits to everyone working on the fire teams. We don't play the kind of compensation games you are seeing.

    mrondeaupainfulPleasance
  • MorganVMorganV Registered User regular
    LikeaBosh wrote: »
    Just curious because I haven't seen a good explanation anywhere. People are blaming the fires on arson, but if it was arson I don't understand why people are starting these fires. Does anyone know the thinking behind this?

    Psycopathy/sociopathy. There's probably no other reason. As Michael Caine said, "Some people just want to watch the world burn". Had a roommate that was fascinated by fire. Always made me feel uncomfortable when he spoke of it.

    Also, potentially, thrill/fameseekers. Set the fire, see if they get caught, become famous if they do.

    Trying to ascribe rational motivations to irrational actors, just isn't going to work.

  • mrondeaumrondeau Montréal, CanadaRegistered User regular
    MorganV wrote: »
    kaid wrote: »
    kaid wrote: »
    discrider wrote: »
    That's what I would've expected extrapolating from all the 'volunteers want to be there, they don't want compensation' noise.
    As opposed to renumerating them according to the gap they fill in our employed regular fire service.

    This is why you should never volunteer for stuff like this. If they want you to do the work of a professional then they should hire you like a professional.

    1: Do you have any idea how cliquey it is to get into a paid firefighting position in Australia? You'd better hope the last three generations of your family were all firefighters, oh, and you married the station chief's kid, too.
    2: Rural fire services are almost all volunteer. Only a tiny percentage of the country (by area) is covered by paid fire services.

    It is like this in the US as well. This is why I say don't volunteer for a job that they want you to work and act like a professional for. If the job needs doing then it should be compensated. If people refused to volunteer then payment and compensation would be offered. But why bother compensating people for what they are doing for free.

    Facts not in evidence. Not saying they wouldn't have any fire service, but I could absolutely see the relevant jurisdictions not maintaining anywhere near the coverage the volunteer fire brigades now have.

    Take Victoria (my home state).
    The MFB (urban Melbourne) has ~2300 full time employees, and cover ~1000km².
    The CFA (everywhere else) has ~2700 full time employees, and ~55,000 volunteers, and cover the remaining ~217,000km².

    Now, the MFB and CFA are going to merge into the FRV later this year. But there's simply no way that the Victorian government will permit the more than tenfold increase on recruitment required to keep this number of people trained and ready.

    Meaning, even if they double or tripled the budget, you've got to accept a significant drop in fire prevention coverage.

    So, it's either volunteer service, or accepting a significant percentage of the state just isn't going to be covered. Not sure the people in the rural towns who are most likely to be affected, are willing to accept the latter.

    You could also, you know, hire people. Fairly certain that's what we do in Canada. Right now, they are only "volunteers" because you don't pay them.

    Phillishere
  • PhillisherePhillishere Registered User regular
    edited January 10
    MorganV wrote: »
    kaid wrote: »
    kaid wrote: »
    discrider wrote: »
    That's what I would've expected extrapolating from all the 'volunteers want to be there, they don't want compensation' noise.
    As opposed to renumerating them according to the gap they fill in our employed regular fire service.

    This is why you should never volunteer for stuff like this. If they want you to do the work of a professional then they should hire you like a professional.

    1: Do you have any idea how cliquey it is to get into a paid firefighting position in Australia? You'd better hope the last three generations of your family were all firefighters, oh, and you married the station chief's kid, too.
    2: Rural fire services are almost all volunteer. Only a tiny percentage of the country (by area) is covered by paid fire services.

    It is like this in the US as well. This is why I say don't volunteer for a job that they want you to work and act like a professional for. If the job needs doing then it should be compensated. If people refused to volunteer then payment and compensation would be offered. But why bother compensating people for what they are doing for free.

    Facts not in evidence. Not saying they wouldn't have any fire service, but I could absolutely see the relevant jurisdictions not maintaining anywhere near the coverage the volunteer fire brigades now have.

    Take Victoria (my home state).
    The MFB (urban Melbourne) has ~2300 full time employees, and cover ~1000km².
    The CFA (everywhere else) has ~2700 full time employees, and ~55,000 volunteers, and cover the remaining ~217,000km².

    Now, the MFB and CFA are going to merge into the FRV later this year. But there's simply no way that the Victorian government will permit the more than tenfold increase on recruitment required to keep this number of people trained and ready.

    Meaning, even if they double or tripled the budget, you've got to accept a significant drop in fire prevention coverage.

    So, it's either volunteer service, or accepting a significant percentage of the state just isn't going to be covered. Not sure the people in the rural towns who are most likely to be affected, are willing to accept the latter.

    The U.S. has what's called a "red card" system for state and federal employees in agencies that have fire fighting arms. What that means is that a huge percentage of the staff in these agencies have training to work in a fire-fighting role, and they are retasked from their normal duties to fire service when needed.

    Phillishere on
    painfulPleasance
  • PhillisherePhillishere Registered User regular
    MorganV wrote: »
    LikeaBosh wrote: »
    Just curious because I haven't seen a good explanation anywhere. People are blaming the fires on arson, but if it was arson I don't understand why people are starting these fires. Does anyone know the thinking behind this?

    Psycopathy/sociopathy. There's probably no other reason. As Michael Caine said, "Some people just want to watch the world burn". Had a roommate that was fascinated by fire. Always made me feel uncomfortable when he spoke of it.

    Also, potentially, thrill/fameseekers. Set the fire, see if they get caught, become famous if they do.

    Trying to ascribe rational motivations to irrational actors, just isn't going to work.

    During the Western North Carolina fire season a couple years ago, one of the arsonists who started a fire late in the season said it was because he wanted to see fire trucks in his neighborhood. The perverse thing is, like suicide clusters, the success of one seems to inspire others.

    MorganV
  • daveNYCdaveNYC Why universe hate Waspinator? Registered User regular
    A volunteer system can work in a small town or city where the worst you have to worry about is a single building going up. I don't see how it's sustainable when you're facing massive fires capable of wiping out entire towns, especially when the government is looking to screw people over regarding any sort of pay. Which, BTW, doesn't bode well for the games that are going to be played when it comes to providing funds to rebuild.

    The government is basically demanding that the public make all sorts of sacrifices to fight these fires because otherwise they'll lose everything they own, which is all sorts of messed up.

    Shut up, Mr. Burton! You were not brought upon this world to get it!
    mrondeauPhillishereTeeManGvzbgulKafkaAUelectricitylikesme
  • MorganVMorganV Registered User regular
    mrondeau wrote: »
    MorganV wrote: »
    kaid wrote: »
    kaid wrote: »
    discrider wrote: »
    That's what I would've expected extrapolating from all the 'volunteers want to be there, they don't want compensation' noise.
    As opposed to renumerating them according to the gap they fill in our employed regular fire service.

    This is why you should never volunteer for stuff like this. If they want you to do the work of a professional then they should hire you like a professional.

    1: Do you have any idea how cliquey it is to get into a paid firefighting position in Australia? You'd better hope the last three generations of your family were all firefighters, oh, and you married the station chief's kid, too.
    2: Rural fire services are almost all volunteer. Only a tiny percentage of the country (by area) is covered by paid fire services.

    It is like this in the US as well. This is why I say don't volunteer for a job that they want you to work and act like a professional for. If the job needs doing then it should be compensated. If people refused to volunteer then payment and compensation would be offered. But why bother compensating people for what they are doing for free.

    Facts not in evidence. Not saying they wouldn't have any fire service, but I could absolutely see the relevant jurisdictions not maintaining anywhere near the coverage the volunteer fire brigades now have.

    Take Victoria (my home state).
    The MFB (urban Melbourne) has ~2300 full time employees, and cover ~1000km².
    The CFA (everywhere else) has ~2700 full time employees, and ~55,000 volunteers, and cover the remaining ~217,000km².

    Now, the MFB and CFA are going to merge into the FRV later this year. But there's simply no way that the Victorian government will permit the more than tenfold increase on recruitment required to keep this number of people trained and ready.

    Meaning, even if they double or tripled the budget, you've got to accept a significant drop in fire prevention coverage.

    So, it's either volunteer service, or accepting a significant percentage of the state just isn't going to be covered. Not sure the people in the rural towns who are most likely to be affected, are willing to accept the latter.

    You could also, you know, hire people. Fairly certain that's what we do in Canada. Right now, they are only "volunteers" because you don't pay them.

    Huh? Did you read my post? How many do you suggest we hire? If we hire 55,000 firefighters, then you're looking at a payroll expansion of approximately ELEVEN times the current amount. If you hire less, you're losing coverage. The people who live in the areas who would lose coverage, and are most at threat, are the people volunteering.

    Sure, I'd love for the entirety of the fire prevention system to be paid. I'd love for a doubling of active police. A tripling of primary and secondary teachers. That shit costs money.

    The 2017 budget for the MFB (approx half the paid firefighters, as stats above) was $343M. If you assume only a third of that is salary (about ~50kAU/35kUS per staff), then you'ld be looking at quadrupling that budget. Or you have large areas of the country uncovered or undercovered.

    And again, it's the people in those areas most likely to be affected that are volunteering. Should they just sit idly by and go "Fuck it, if I'm not gonna get paid, I'll let my community burn"?

    Cause that's essentially the argument. Either the government quadruples the fire service budget, keeps essentially the status quo, or lets at least a good 3/4 of the state be under significantly greater fire threat.

    And given that the majority of funding for fire service is a levy ($111 for residential, $226 for non-residential), that's not going to be great for whoever votes that through parliament (not going to argue the merits of paying more for government services, just pointing out the political suicide it'd be to implement).

    chrishallett83
  • mrondeaumrondeau Montréal, CanadaRegistered User regular
    MorganV wrote: »
    mrondeau wrote: »
    MorganV wrote: »
    kaid wrote: »
    kaid wrote: »
    discrider wrote: »
    That's what I would've expected extrapolating from all the 'volunteers want to be there, they don't want compensation' noise.
    As opposed to renumerating them according to the gap they fill in our employed regular fire service.

    This is why you should never volunteer for stuff like this. If they want you to do the work of a professional then they should hire you like a professional.

    1: Do you have any idea how cliquey it is to get into a paid firefighting position in Australia? You'd better hope the last three generations of your family were all firefighters, oh, and you married the station chief's kid, too.
    2: Rural fire services are almost all volunteer. Only a tiny percentage of the country (by area) is covered by paid fire services.

    It is like this in the US as well. This is why I say don't volunteer for a job that they want you to work and act like a professional for. If the job needs doing then it should be compensated. If people refused to volunteer then payment and compensation would be offered. But why bother compensating people for what they are doing for free.

    Facts not in evidence. Not saying they wouldn't have any fire service, but I could absolutely see the relevant jurisdictions not maintaining anywhere near the coverage the volunteer fire brigades now have.

    Take Victoria (my home state).
    The MFB (urban Melbourne) has ~2300 full time employees, and cover ~1000km².
    The CFA (everywhere else) has ~2700 full time employees, and ~55,000 volunteers, and cover the remaining ~217,000km².

    Now, the MFB and CFA are going to merge into the FRV later this year. But there's simply no way that the Victorian government will permit the more than tenfold increase on recruitment required to keep this number of people trained and ready.

    Meaning, even if they double or tripled the budget, you've got to accept a significant drop in fire prevention coverage.

    So, it's either volunteer service, or accepting a significant percentage of the state just isn't going to be covered. Not sure the people in the rural towns who are most likely to be affected, are willing to accept the latter.

    You could also, you know, hire people. Fairly certain that's what we do in Canada. Right now, they are only "volunteers" because you don't pay them.

    Huh? Did you read my post? How many do you suggest we hire? If we hire 55,000 firefighters, then you're looking at a payroll expansion of approximately ELEVEN times the current amount. If you hire less, you're losing coverage. The people who live in the areas who would lose coverage, and are most at threat, are the people volunteering.

    Sure, I'd love for the entirety of the fire prevention system to be paid. I'd love for a doubling of active police. A tripling of primary and secondary teachers. That shit costs money.

    The 2017 budget for the MFB (approx half the paid firefighters, as stats above) was $343M. If you assume only a third of that is salary (about ~50kAU/35kUS per staff), then you'ld be looking at quadrupling that budget. Or you have large areas of the country uncovered or undercovered.

    And again, it's the people in those areas most likely to be affected that are volunteering. Should they just sit idly by and go "Fuck it, if I'm not gonna get paid, I'll let my community burn"?

    Cause that's essentially the argument. Either the government quadruples the fire service budget, keeps essentially the status quo, or lets at least a good 3/4 of the state be under significantly greater fire threat.

    And given that the majority of funding for fire service is a levy ($111 for residential, $226 for non-residential), that's not going to be great for whoever votes that through parliament (not going to argue the merits of paying more for government services, just pointing out the political suicide it'd be to implement).

    Yes, so fucking pay them. It's not hard. Also, why the fuck are you using municipal governments to deal with large fires. That's better addressed at the state or federal level. Even the US managed to solve that problem, and they can't figure out something simple like healthcare!

    "We are doing it wrong" is not an excuse to keep doing it wrong.

  • PhillisherePhillishere Registered User regular
    edited January 10
    MorganV wrote: »
    mrondeau wrote: »
    MorganV wrote: »
    kaid wrote: »
    kaid wrote: »
    discrider wrote: »
    That's what I would've expected extrapolating from all the 'volunteers want to be there, they don't want compensation' noise.
    As opposed to renumerating them according to the gap they fill in our employed regular fire service.

    This is why you should never volunteer for stuff like this. If they want you to do the work of a professional then they should hire you like a professional.

    1: Do you have any idea how cliquey it is to get into a paid firefighting position in Australia? You'd better hope the last three generations of your family were all firefighters, oh, and you married the station chief's kid, too.
    2: Rural fire services are almost all volunteer. Only a tiny percentage of the country (by area) is covered by paid fire services.

    It is like this in the US as well. This is why I say don't volunteer for a job that they want you to work and act like a professional for. If the job needs doing then it should be compensated. If people refused to volunteer then payment and compensation would be offered. But why bother compensating people for what they are doing for free.

    Facts not in evidence. Not saying they wouldn't have any fire service, but I could absolutely see the relevant jurisdictions not maintaining anywhere near the coverage the volunteer fire brigades now have.

    Take Victoria (my home state).
    The MFB (urban Melbourne) has ~2300 full time employees, and cover ~1000km².
    The CFA (everywhere else) has ~2700 full time employees, and ~55,000 volunteers, and cover the remaining ~217,000km².

    Now, the MFB and CFA are going to merge into the FRV later this year. But there's simply no way that the Victorian government will permit the more than tenfold increase on recruitment required to keep this number of people trained and ready.

    Meaning, even if they double or tripled the budget, you've got to accept a significant drop in fire prevention coverage.

    So, it's either volunteer service, or accepting a significant percentage of the state just isn't going to be covered. Not sure the people in the rural towns who are most likely to be affected, are willing to accept the latter.

    You could also, you know, hire people. Fairly certain that's what we do in Canada. Right now, they are only "volunteers" because you don't pay them.

    Huh? Did you read my post? How many do you suggest we hire? If we hire 55,000 firefighters, then you're looking at a payroll expansion of approximately ELEVEN times the current amount. If you hire less, you're losing coverage. The people who live in the areas who would lose coverage, and are most at threat, are the people volunteering.

    Sure, I'd love for the entirety of the fire prevention system to be paid. I'd love for a doubling of active police. A tripling of primary and secondary teachers. That shit costs money.

    The 2017 budget for the MFB (approx half the paid firefighters, as stats above) was $343M. If you assume only a third of that is salary (about ~50kAU/35kUS per staff), then you'ld be looking at quadrupling that budget. Or you have large areas of the country uncovered or undercovered.

    And again, it's the people in those areas most likely to be affected that are volunteering. Should they just sit idly by and go "Fuck it, if I'm not gonna get paid, I'll let my community burn"?

    Cause that's essentially the argument. Either the government quadruples the fire service budget, keeps essentially the status quo, or lets at least a good 3/4 of the state be under significantly greater fire threat.

    And given that the majority of funding for fire service is a levy ($111 for residential, $226 for non-residential), that's not going to be great for whoever votes that through parliament (not going to argue the merits of paying more for government services, just pointing out the political suicide it'd be to implement).

    The United States does it by training huge swathes of its federal, state, and local government workforces to be an adjunct fire-fighting service who can switch duties while drawing their current salaries + hazard pay. Other nations use their military in the same way.

    Volunteer services are notoriously brittle, especially under sustained fire conditions. Family and financial needs force them to prioritize their efforts, and their commitment cannot be assumed during a months-long fire season.

    Phillishere on
    mrondeauGiantGeek2020
  • kaidkaid Registered User regular
    mrondeau wrote: »
    MorganV wrote: »
    kaid wrote: »
    kaid wrote: »
    discrider wrote: »
    That's what I would've expected extrapolating from all the 'volunteers want to be there, they don't want compensation' noise.
    As opposed to renumerating them according to the gap they fill in our employed regular fire service.

    This is why you should never volunteer for stuff like this. If they want you to do the work of a professional then they should hire you like a professional.

    1: Do you have any idea how cliquey it is to get into a paid firefighting position in Australia? You'd better hope the last three generations of your family were all firefighters, oh, and you married the station chief's kid, too.
    2: Rural fire services are almost all volunteer. Only a tiny percentage of the country (by area) is covered by paid fire services.

    It is like this in the US as well. This is why I say don't volunteer for a job that they want you to work and act like a professional for. If the job needs doing then it should be compensated. If people refused to volunteer then payment and compensation would be offered. But why bother compensating people for what they are doing for free.

    Facts not in evidence. Not saying they wouldn't have any fire service, but I could absolutely see the relevant jurisdictions not maintaining anywhere near the coverage the volunteer fire brigades now have.

    Take Victoria (my home state).
    The MFB (urban Melbourne) has ~2300 full time employees, and cover ~1000km².
    The CFA (everywhere else) has ~2700 full time employees, and ~55,000 volunteers, and cover the remaining ~217,000km².

    Now, the MFB and CFA are going to merge into the FRV later this year. But there's simply no way that the Victorian government will permit the more than tenfold increase on recruitment required to keep this number of people trained and ready.

    Meaning, even if they double or tripled the budget, you've got to accept a significant drop in fire prevention coverage.

    So, it's either volunteer service, or accepting a significant percentage of the state just isn't going to be covered. Not sure the people in the rural towns who are most likely to be affected, are willing to accept the latter.

    You could also, you know, hire people. Fairly certain that's what we do in Canada. Right now, they are only "volunteers" because you don't pay them.

    Basically guilting good people to doing a job that the government should be paying for. I am pretty sure if there were no or insufficient fire services insurance companies would scream so loudly it would force local/federal governments to covering the cost of at least part time/on demand firemen. It dosn't mean they would get a year round salary but when they are on the job fire fighting they should be payed and insured.

    Phillisheremrondeau
  • MorganVMorganV Registered User regular
    kaid wrote: »
    mrondeau wrote: »
    MorganV wrote: »
    kaid wrote: »
    kaid wrote: »
    discrider wrote: »
    That's what I would've expected extrapolating from all the 'volunteers want to be there, they don't want compensation' noise.
    As opposed to renumerating them according to the gap they fill in our employed regular fire service.

    This is why you should never volunteer for stuff like this. If they want you to do the work of a professional then they should hire you like a professional.

    1: Do you have any idea how cliquey it is to get into a paid firefighting position in Australia? You'd better hope the last three generations of your family were all firefighters, oh, and you married the station chief's kid, too.
    2: Rural fire services are almost all volunteer. Only a tiny percentage of the country (by area) is covered by paid fire services.

    It is like this in the US as well. This is why I say don't volunteer for a job that they want you to work and act like a professional for. If the job needs doing then it should be compensated. If people refused to volunteer then payment and compensation would be offered. But why bother compensating people for what they are doing for free.

    Facts not in evidence. Not saying they wouldn't have any fire service, but I could absolutely see the relevant jurisdictions not maintaining anywhere near the coverage the volunteer fire brigades now have.

    Take Victoria (my home state).
    The MFB (urban Melbourne) has ~2300 full time employees, and cover ~1000km².
    The CFA (everywhere else) has ~2700 full time employees, and ~55,000 volunteers, and cover the remaining ~217,000km².

    Now, the MFB and CFA are going to merge into the FRV later this year. But there's simply no way that the Victorian government will permit the more than tenfold increase on recruitment required to keep this number of people trained and ready.

    Meaning, even if they double or tripled the budget, you've got to accept a significant drop in fire prevention coverage.

    So, it's either volunteer service, or accepting a significant percentage of the state just isn't going to be covered. Not sure the people in the rural towns who are most likely to be affected, are willing to accept the latter.

    You could also, you know, hire people. Fairly certain that's what we do in Canada. Right now, they are only "volunteers" because you don't pay them.

    Basically guilting good people to doing a job that the government should be paying for. I am pretty sure if there were no or insufficient fire services insurance companies would scream so loudly it would force local/federal governments to covering the cost of at least part time/on demand firemen. It dosn't mean they would get a year round salary but when they are on the job fire fighting they should be payed and insured.

    More likely response is the insurance companies just deciding that certain areas are uninsurable (the fire equivalent of "pre existing conditions"), and just keeping their markets in places much more profitable. Meaning the people in those areas get doubly fucked when a fire does destroy their shit.

    I'm not saying that paying the volunteers is a bad thing. I'm just saying the reality of the situation is that it's neither financially (government can't afford an extra billion in funding) or politically feasible (raising taxes to cover that funding), and the people most likely to get fucked by trying to transition, are the very people fighting fires voluntarily in the first place.

    I'd happily pay more in taxes if I could get more fire/police/healthcare/teachers/infrastructure. But the general electorate aren't, and until they are, the politicians aren't going to change. It's very much the Simpsons PTA Meeting when it comes down to it. The public want more services. The public will excoriate any politician who raises taxes to do so. Just yelling into the void "Just pay them" isn't going to accomplish anything.

    tynicchrishallett83
  • PhillisherePhillishere Registered User regular
    MorganV wrote: »
    kaid wrote: »
    mrondeau wrote: »
    MorganV wrote: »
    kaid wrote: »
    kaid wrote: »
    discrider wrote: »
    That's what I would've expected extrapolating from all the 'volunteers want to be there, they don't want compensation' noise.
    As opposed to renumerating them according to the gap they fill in our employed regular fire service.

    This is why you should never volunteer for stuff like this. If they want you to do the work of a professional then they should hire you like a professional.

    1: Do you have any idea how cliquey it is to get into a paid firefighting position in Australia? You'd better hope the last three generations of your family were all firefighters, oh, and you married the station chief's kid, too.
    2: Rural fire services are almost all volunteer. Only a tiny percentage of the country (by area) is covered by paid fire services.

    It is like this in the US as well. This is why I say don't volunteer for a job that they want you to work and act like a professional for. If the job needs doing then it should be compensated. If people refused to volunteer then payment and compensation would be offered. But why bother compensating people for what they are doing for free.

    Facts not in evidence. Not saying they wouldn't have any fire service, but I could absolutely see the relevant jurisdictions not maintaining anywhere near the coverage the volunteer fire brigades now have.

    Take Victoria (my home state).
    The MFB (urban Melbourne) has ~2300 full time employees, and cover ~1000km².
    The CFA (everywhere else) has ~2700 full time employees, and ~55,000 volunteers, and cover the remaining ~217,000km².

    Now, the MFB and CFA are going to merge into the FRV later this year. But there's simply no way that the Victorian government will permit the more than tenfold increase on recruitment required to keep this number of people trained and ready.

    Meaning, even if they double or tripled the budget, you've got to accept a significant drop in fire prevention coverage.

    So, it's either volunteer service, or accepting a significant percentage of the state just isn't going to be covered. Not sure the people in the rural towns who are most likely to be affected, are willing to accept the latter.

    You could also, you know, hire people. Fairly certain that's what we do in Canada. Right now, they are only "volunteers" because you don't pay them.

    Basically guilting good people to doing a job that the government should be paying for. I am pretty sure if there were no or insufficient fire services insurance companies would scream so loudly it would force local/federal governments to covering the cost of at least part time/on demand firemen. It dosn't mean they would get a year round salary but when they are on the job fire fighting they should be payed and insured.

    More likely response is the insurance companies just deciding that certain areas are uninsurable (the fire equivalent of "pre existing conditions"), and just keeping their markets in places much more profitable. Meaning the people in those areas get doubly fucked when a fire does destroy their shit.

    I'm not saying that paying the volunteers is a bad thing. I'm just saying the reality of the situation is that it's neither financially (government can't afford an extra billion in funding) or politically feasible (raising taxes to cover that funding), and the people most likely to get fucked by trying to transition, are the very people fighting fires voluntarily in the first place.

    I'd happily pay more in taxes if I could get more fire/police/healthcare/teachers/infrastructure. But the general electorate aren't, and until they are, the politicians aren't going to change. It's very much the Simpsons PTA Meeting when it comes down to it. The public want more services. The public will excoriate any politician who raises taxes to do so. Just yelling into the void "Just pay them" isn't going to accomplish anything.

    Considering that the Australian federal budget is $191 billion, it is really distressing that conservative ideology has put you in a place where you cannot raise an additional billion to protect your national integrity. Rupert Murdoch's influence is going to end up being a civilization-destroying cancer.

    mrondeauHeatwaveKafkaAUelectricitylikesmeUnluckychrishallett83GiantGeek2020Mr Rayoxblow
  • AntoshkaAntoshka Miauen Oil Change LazarusRegistered User regular
    edited January 10
    LikeaBosh wrote: »
    Just curious because I haven't seen a good explanation anywhere. People are blaming the fires on arson, but if it was arson I don't understand why people are starting these fires. Does anyone know the thinking behind this?

    In this regard, it seems there is also a concerted effort to exaggerate the effect off arson as well. Basically, while there has been some, it also seems like it's being amplified as a cause, because it's not climate change.

    Particularly in a certain section of media

    Antoshka on
    n57PM0C.jpg
    tynicHappy Little MachineGvzbgulelectricitylikesmeUnluckychrishallett83McFodderMr Rayoxblow
  • PhillisherePhillishere Registered User regular
    Antoshka wrote: »
    LikeaBosh wrote: »
    Just curious because I haven't seen a good explanation anywhere. People are blaming the fires on arson, but if it was arson I don't understand why people are starting these fires. Does anyone know the thinking behind this?

    In this regard, it seems there is also a concerted effort to exaggerate the effect off arson as well. Basically, while there has been some, it als

    Right wing trolls are all over social media spreading the "Stupid libs! It's arson not global warming" line.

    mrondeautynicHappy Little MachineJragghenchrishallett83Mr Ray
  • MorganVMorganV Registered User regular
    MorganV wrote: »
    kaid wrote: »
    mrondeau wrote: »
    MorganV wrote: »
    kaid wrote: »
    kaid wrote: »
    discrider wrote: »
    That's what I would've expected extrapolating from all the 'volunteers want to be there, they don't want compensation' noise.
    As opposed to renumerating them according to the gap they fill in our employed regular fire service.

    This is why you should never volunteer for stuff like this. If they want you to do the work of a professional then they should hire you like a professional.

    1: Do you have any idea how cliquey it is to get into a paid firefighting position in Australia? You'd better hope the last three generations of your family were all firefighters, oh, and you married the station chief's kid, too.
    2: Rural fire services are almost all volunteer. Only a tiny percentage of the country (by area) is covered by paid fire services.

    It is like this in the US as well. This is why I say don't volunteer for a job that they want you to work and act like a professional for. If the job needs doing then it should be compensated. If people refused to volunteer then payment and compensation would be offered. But why bother compensating people for what they are doing for free.

    Facts not in evidence. Not saying they wouldn't have any fire service, but I could absolutely see the relevant jurisdictions not maintaining anywhere near the coverage the volunteer fire brigades now have.

    Take Victoria (my home state).
    The MFB (urban Melbourne) has ~2300 full time employees, and cover ~1000km².
    The CFA (everywhere else) has ~2700 full time employees, and ~55,000 volunteers, and cover the remaining ~217,000km².

    Now, the MFB and CFA are going to merge into the FRV later this year. But there's simply no way that the Victorian government will permit the more than tenfold increase on recruitment required to keep this number of people trained and ready.

    Meaning, even if they double or tripled the budget, you've got to accept a significant drop in fire prevention coverage.

    So, it's either volunteer service, or accepting a significant percentage of the state just isn't going to be covered. Not sure the people in the rural towns who are most likely to be affected, are willing to accept the latter.

    You could also, you know, hire people. Fairly certain that's what we do in Canada. Right now, they are only "volunteers" because you don't pay them.

    Basically guilting good people to doing a job that the government should be paying for. I am pretty sure if there were no or insufficient fire services insurance companies would scream so loudly it would force local/federal governments to covering the cost of at least part time/on demand firemen. It dosn't mean they would get a year round salary but when they are on the job fire fighting they should be payed and insured.

    More likely response is the insurance companies just deciding that certain areas are uninsurable (the fire equivalent of "pre existing conditions"), and just keeping their markets in places much more profitable. Meaning the people in those areas get doubly fucked when a fire does destroy their shit.

    I'm not saying that paying the volunteers is a bad thing. I'm just saying the reality of the situation is that it's neither financially (government can't afford an extra billion in funding) or politically feasible (raising taxes to cover that funding), and the people most likely to get fucked by trying to transition, are the very people fighting fires voluntarily in the first place.

    I'd happily pay more in taxes if I could get more fire/police/healthcare/teachers/infrastructure. But the general electorate aren't, and until they are, the politicians aren't going to change. It's very much the Simpsons PTA Meeting when it comes down to it. The public want more services. The public will excoriate any politician who raises taxes to do so. Just yelling into the void "Just pay them" isn't going to accomplish anything.

    Considering that the Australian federal budget is $191 billion, it is really distressing that conservative ideology has put you in a place where you cannot raise an additional billion to protect your national integrity. Rupert Murdoch's influence is going to end up being a civilization-destroying cancer.

    While I don't disagree with the basic sentiment, I just wanted to clarify the numbers. That $B figure I used was for one fairly small (<5% size), fairly populous (~20%) state. Not sure how that'd scale up (also factoring in significant portions of desert that wouldn't need coverage), but it'd be a significantly larger amount.

    chrishallett83
  • lonelyahavalonelyahava Call me Ahava Move to New ZealandRegistered User regular
    So, of your want to pay your fire services (which you absolutely should), but your tax payers won't give any more money, where do you get the money from?

    What civil services are you going to cut? What state services? Federal?

    The money has to come from somewhere. It can't just be magicked up out of the ether.

    And what do you do about those jobs that were being done by the fire services that were volunteer but are now professional? Because not everybody wants to be a full time firey. So how do you adjust for the changes in social employment structure?

    Saying "they should all be paid and be professionals" is a good goal, and a nice idea, but how do you achieve it?

    MorganVchrishallett83
  • PhillisherePhillishere Registered User regular
    edited January 10
    So, of your want to pay your fire services (which you absolutely should), but your tax payers won't give any more money, where do you get the money from?

    What civil services are you going to cut? What state services? Federal?

    The money has to come from somewhere. It can't just be magicked up out of the ether.

    And what do you do about those jobs that were being done by the fire services that were volunteer but are now professional? Because not everybody wants to be a full time firey. So how do you adjust for the changes in social employment structure?

    Saying "they should all be paid and be professionals" is a good goal, and a nice idea, but how do you achieve it?

    Well, as I said, the U.S. does this by making huge swathes of its professional bureaucracies into a forest fire reserve force. Other nations do it by retasking the military.

    The idea that the choice is between having tons of full-time firefighters versus the status quo feels like a conservative misdirect. It's a solved problem elsewhere, to the point that finding out that Australia relies on volunteers to fight these fires is kind of insane to me.

    It is the big issue with climate change, though. It doesn't care about our budget priorities or political philosophies.

    Phillishere on
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  • mrondeaumrondeau Montréal, CanadaRegistered User regular
    So, of your want to pay your fire services (which you absolutely should), but your tax payers won't give any more money, where do you get the money from?

    What civil services are you going to cut? What state services? Federal?

    The money has to come from somewhere. It can't just be magicked up out of the ether.

    And what do you do about those jobs that were being done by the fire services that were volunteer but are now professional? Because not everybody wants to be a full time firey. So how do you adjust for the changes in social employment structure?

    Saying "they should all be paid and be professionals" is a good goal, and a nice idea, but how do you achieve it?

    The same way you deal with a shortage of required professionals: you pay them and raise taxes.
    Unless you want volunteer teachers, paramedics, and public servants in general.

  • lonelyahavalonelyahava Call me Ahava Move to New ZealandRegistered User regular
    Don't get me wrong, I'm all for raising taxes to pay for things.

    But even raising taxes there's only so much water from a stone, Prince John.

    And like it or not, right now Australia has a right wing government. So they won't raise taxes, they'll cut services.

    MorganVchrishallett83
  • MorganVMorganV Registered User regular
    So, of your want to pay your fire services (which you absolutely should), but your tax payers won't give any more money, where do you get the money from?

    What civil services are you going to cut? What state services? Federal?

    The money has to come from somewhere. It can't just be magicked up out of the ether.

    And what do you do about those jobs that were being done by the fire services that were volunteer but are now professional? Because not everybody wants to be a full time firey. So how do you adjust for the changes in social employment structure?

    Saying "they should all be paid and be professionals" is a good goal, and a nice idea, but how do you achieve it?

    Well, as I said, the U.S. does this by making huge swathes of its professional bureaucracies into a forest fire reserve force. Other nations do it by retasking the military.

    The idea that the choice is between having tons of full-time firefighters versus the status quo feels like a conservative misdirect. It's a solved problem elsewhere, to the point that finding out that Australia relies on volunteers to fight these fires is kind of insane to me.

    It is the big issue with climate change, though. It doesn't care about our budget priorities or political philosophies.

    I do like this idea. And it's one of the criticisms the Prime Minister received when he didn't implement it earlier for support services. But implementing it at an operational service level, at least with regards most military personnel isn't a bad idea either. Even if it's purely "voluntary" in that regards (ie, you sign up to do so, get a minor pay increase, kind of like what First Aid Officers get in workplaces).

    Comparing the US and AU federal responses is a bit of an apples and oranges thing though. While the landmasses are roughly equivalent, and even though the US has significantly more arable/forested type areas than Australia, it doesn't come close to making up for the significant population differences (approx 13 times).

    Like I said, I'm all for more paid firefighters. And the dicking out of compensation over trivialities covered earlier, needs to stop. My point was "Just pay them" doesn't work politically, and it doesn't work because people who for the most part are already covered (75+% of the population of my state are covered by the paid fire service that covers 3% of my state) won't accept a politician increasing their taxes in such a manner. The bitching over the Black Saturday levies (a significant fire a decade ago) was pretty intense.

    That's the problem. The people who would be disproportionately unaffected would either pay significantly more, and the people who would be disproportionately affected would be significantly more at risk. As long as solutions get around the politics of the first group, fine. But if it doesn't, then it's pie in the sky thinking.

    tynicForarHappy Little Machinechrishallett83
  • LikeaBoshLikeaBosh Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    MorganV wrote: »
    LikeaBosh wrote: »
    Just curious because I haven't seen a good explanation anywhere. People are blaming the fires on arson, but if it was arson I don't understand why people are starting these fires. Does anyone know the thinking behind this?

    Psycopathy/sociopathy. There's probably no other reason. As Michael Caine said, "Some people just want to watch the world burn". Had a roommate that was fascinated by fire. Always made me feel uncomfortable when he spoke of it.

    Also, potentially, thrill/fameseekers. Set the fire, see if they get caught, become famous if they do.

    Trying to ascribe rational motivations to irrational actors, just isn't going to work.

    Does anyone know the penalty for setting a fire of this magnitude in Australia? I know one person didn't cause the whole thing, but when you've contributed to this much destruction and death of both humans and animals, not to mention a severe increase to climate change (and who knows how many health problems people will see down the line from breathing this in) it feels like it needs to be pretty severe.

    WIll we see people who's lives were ruined by this calling for the death of any arsonists?

  • kaidkaid Registered User regular
    edited January 10
    MorganV wrote: »
    kaid wrote: »
    mrondeau wrote: »
    MorganV wrote: »
    kaid wrote: »
    kaid wrote: »
    discrider wrote: »
    That's what I would've expected extrapolating from all the 'volunteers want to be there, they don't want compensation' noise.
    As opposed to renumerating them according to the gap they fill in our employed regular fire service.

    This is why you should never volunteer for stuff like this. If they want you to do the work of a professional then they should hire you like a professional.

    1: Do you have any idea how cliquey it is to get into a paid firefighting position in Australia? You'd better hope the last three generations of your family were all firefighters, oh, and you married the station chief's kid, too.
    2: Rural fire services are almost all volunteer. Only a tiny percentage of the country (by area) is covered by paid fire services.

    It is like this in the US as well. This is why I say don't volunteer for a job that they want you to work and act like a professional for. If the job needs doing then it should be compensated. If people refused to volunteer then payment and compensation would be offered. But why bother compensating people for what they are doing for free.

    Facts not in evidence. Not saying they wouldn't have any fire service, but I could absolutely see the relevant jurisdictions not maintaining anywhere near the coverage the volunteer fire brigades now have.

    Take Victoria (my home state).
    The MFB (urban Melbourne) has ~2300 full time employees, and cover ~1000km².
    The CFA (everywhere else) has ~2700 full time employees, and ~55,000 volunteers, and cover the remaining ~217,000km².

    Now, the MFB and CFA are going to merge into the FRV later this year. But there's simply no way that the Victorian government will permit the more than tenfold increase on recruitment required to keep this number of people trained and ready.

    Meaning, even if they double or tripled the budget, you've got to accept a significant drop in fire prevention coverage.

    So, it's either volunteer service, or accepting a significant percentage of the state just isn't going to be covered. Not sure the people in the rural towns who are most likely to be affected, are willing to accept the latter.

    You could also, you know, hire people. Fairly certain that's what we do in Canada. Right now, they are only "volunteers" because you don't pay them.

    Basically guilting good people to doing a job that the government should be paying for. I am pretty sure if there were no or insufficient fire services insurance companies would scream so loudly it would force local/federal governments to covering the cost of at least part time/on demand firemen. It dosn't mean they would get a year round salary but when they are on the job fire fighting they should be payed and insured.

    More likely response is the insurance companies just deciding that certain areas are uninsurable (the fire equivalent of "pre existing conditions"), and just keeping their markets in places much more profitable. Meaning the people in those areas get doubly fucked when a fire does destroy their shit.

    I'm not saying that paying the volunteers is a bad thing. I'm just saying the reality of the situation is that it's neither financially (government can't afford an extra billion in funding) or politically feasible (raising taxes to cover that funding), and the people most likely to get fucked by trying to transition, are the very people fighting fires voluntarily in the first place.

    I'd happily pay more in taxes if I could get more fire/police/healthcare/teachers/infrastructure. But the general electorate aren't, and until they are, the politicians aren't going to change. It's very much the Simpsons PTA Meeting when it comes down to it. The public want more services. The public will excoriate any politician who raises taxes to do so. Just yelling into the void "Just pay them" isn't going to accomplish anything.

    Considering that the Australian federal budget is $191 billion, it is really distressing that conservative ideology has put you in a place where you cannot raise an additional billion to protect your national integrity. Rupert Murdoch's influence is going to end up being a civilization-destroying cancer.

    Also missing the point if large swaths of area are uninsurable than there is a lot of incentive for people wanting to use those areas to acquire the services of firemen so that they can be insured. If you don't value people enough to risk their lives fighting your fires then maybe you don't need buildings in that area.

    Also not paying your fire fighters a lot of times winds up penny wise and pound foolish. How much is it costing you to rebuild and in lost forests/habitations having an insufficient unpaid/underpaid force that has no real incentive to put themselves at risk or stay on the job period. You get what you pay for.

    kaid on
    Phillishere
  • kaidkaid Registered User regular
    MorganV wrote: »
    So, of your want to pay your fire services (which you absolutely should), but your tax payers won't give any more money, where do you get the money from?

    What civil services are you going to cut? What state services? Federal?

    The money has to come from somewhere. It can't just be magicked up out of the ether.

    And what do you do about those jobs that were being done by the fire services that were volunteer but are now professional? Because not everybody wants to be a full time firey. So how do you adjust for the changes in social employment structure?

    Saying "they should all be paid and be professionals" is a good goal, and a nice idea, but how do you achieve it?

    Well, as I said, the U.S. does this by making huge swathes of its professional bureaucracies into a forest fire reserve force. Other nations do it by retasking the military.

    The idea that the choice is between having tons of full-time firefighters versus the status quo feels like a conservative misdirect. It's a solved problem elsewhere, to the point that finding out that Australia relies on volunteers to fight these fires is kind of insane to me.

    It is the big issue with climate change, though. It doesn't care about our budget priorities or political philosophies.

    I do like this idea. And it's one of the criticisms the Prime Minister received when he didn't implement it earlier for support services. But implementing it at an operational service level, at least with regards most military personnel isn't a bad idea either. Even if it's purely "voluntary" in that regards (ie, you sign up to do so, get a minor pay increase, kind of like what First Aid Officers get in workplaces).

    Comparing the US and AU federal responses is a bit of an apples and oranges thing though. While the landmasses are roughly equivalent, and even though the US has significantly more arable/forested type areas than Australia, it doesn't come close to making up for the significant population differences (approx 13 times).

    Like I said, I'm all for more paid firefighters. And the dicking out of compensation over trivialities covered earlier, needs to stop. My point was "Just pay them" doesn't work politically, and it doesn't work because people who for the most part are already covered (75+% of the population of my state are covered by the paid fire service that covers 3% of my state) won't accept a politician increasing their taxes in such a manner. The bitching over the Black Saturday levies (a significant fire a decade ago) was pretty intense.

    That's the problem. The people who would be disproportionately unaffected would either pay significantly more, and the people who would be disproportionately affected would be significantly more at risk. As long as solutions get around the politics of the first group, fine. But if it doesn't, then it's pie in the sky thinking.

    The national guard often gets called out to assist fire fighting activities in the states if nothing else they have the equipment and man power to do a lot of the brute fire brake clearing/clean up work so the actual fire fighters can concentrate on doing that and have a large PAID manpower pool to do the grunt support work.

  • FishmanFishman You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means. Registered User regular
    edited January 10
    Forgive me if I'm wrong, but my understanding is that Australia does have a professional firefighting service that does represent the bulk of the bushfire response, which the (mostly Rural) volunteer service supplements.

    The professionals are the equivalent of the force that @Phillishere is talking about, and in a normal firefighting season, they perform the bulk of the bushfire containment on a full-time organised fashion.
    The volunteers assist, rotating in for a couple weeks for the worst of the bushfires, helping mostly as a pressure release and elevated response unit. Usually this might represent a couple weeks out of the year at the peak of the season, which they're happy to give for their community.

    The problem is that this year is anything but 'normal'.

    The professional fire service usually gets to move with the fire season; it usually starts in Queensland, and they deploy there. Then the Summer reaches NSW, so the season moves there. Finally, Victorias turn comes, and the professional force shifts with regional fire seasons, sending extra professionals and trucks every year between the states to help.

    This year, we have significant bushfires in Queensland, NSW, Victoria, South Australia... the whole damn continent is in fire, and the professional service is having to be spread thin to meet the demands of being everywhere at once. They need a significantly greater supplements from the volunteer service because each state is having to deploy their full professional force to their own fires, and can't send extra trucks and crews around to follow the fires.

    Additionally, they can usually count on off-season equipment from California, which again is being held up with their own shit and acting as it's own hinderance.

    Instead, the exceptional nature of this fire season has resulted in an excessive way-outside-of-envelope demand on the Volunteer service, simply because it's the only way to meet the significantly abnormal demands of this fire season. Many volunteers have been on the line for what, 6-8 weeks now. They're being tasked well beyond what they usually give; but the whole damn country is on fire, what are you going to do?

    Australia does rely on the Volunteer Fire Service; there's simply no other way to meet normal fire demands in sparsely populated regions. It's unfeasable to suggest otherwise.

    The volunteer fireservice also forms a reserve pool for bushfires, but the core is the professional service. So they basically are the 'bureaucratic reserve' that @Phillishere is talking about.

    The point here is, they are being tasked beyond their normal operating boundaries by what is a fire season so far beyond what has ever been experienced before so as to break down the functional systems of operation. And the initial point being made is that maybe, just maybe, it's time to start compensating them for it, which I think we're all in agreement on.

    Fishman on
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  • MorganVMorganV Registered User regular
    kaid wrote: »
    MorganV wrote: »
    So, of your want to pay your fire services (which you absolutely should), but your tax payers won't give any more money, where do you get the money from?

    What civil services are you going to cut? What state services? Federal?

    The money has to come from somewhere. It can't just be magicked up out of the ether.

    And what do you do about those jobs that were being done by the fire services that were volunteer but are now professional? Because not everybody wants to be a full time firey. So how do you adjust for the changes in social employment structure?

    Saying "they should all be paid and be professionals" is a good goal, and a nice idea, but how do you achieve it?

    Well, as I said, the U.S. does this by making huge swathes of its professional bureaucracies into a forest fire reserve force. Other nations do it by retasking the military.

    The idea that the choice is between having tons of full-time firefighters versus the status quo feels like a conservative misdirect. It's a solved problem elsewhere, to the point that finding out that Australia relies on volunteers to fight these fires is kind of insane to me.

    It is the big issue with climate change, though. It doesn't care about our budget priorities or political philosophies.

    I do like this idea. And it's one of the criticisms the Prime Minister received when he didn't implement it earlier for support services. But implementing it at an operational service level, at least with regards most military personnel isn't a bad idea either. Even if it's purely "voluntary" in that regards (ie, you sign up to do so, get a minor pay increase, kind of like what First Aid Officers get in workplaces).

    Comparing the US and AU federal responses is a bit of an apples and oranges thing though. While the landmasses are roughly equivalent, and even though the US has significantly more arable/forested type areas than Australia, it doesn't come close to making up for the significant population differences (approx 13 times).

    Like I said, I'm all for more paid firefighters. And the dicking out of compensation over trivialities covered earlier, needs to stop. My point was "Just pay them" doesn't work politically, and it doesn't work because people who for the most part are already covered (75+% of the population of my state are covered by the paid fire service that covers 3% of my state) won't accept a politician increasing their taxes in such a manner. The bitching over the Black Saturday levies (a significant fire a decade ago) was pretty intense.

    That's the problem. The people who would be disproportionately unaffected would either pay significantly more, and the people who would be disproportionately affected would be significantly more at risk. As long as solutions get around the politics of the first group, fine. But if it doesn't, then it's pie in the sky thinking.

    The national guard often gets called out to assist fire fighting activities in the states if nothing else they have the equipment and man power to do a lot of the brute fire brake clearing/clean up work so the actual fire fighters can concentrate on doing that and have a large PAID manpower pool to do the grunt support work.

    Again, apples and oranges, US to AU. American National Guard ~450K. Australian Army Reserve ~17K (another 12K Standby, but the training/service requirements are significantly less). Due to America's military mindset, and Australia's umm... not, we don't have the same quantities of active military (1.4M vs 60K), so getting bleeddown into the reserves is similarly affected.

    tynicHappy Little MachineVivixennechrishallett83
  • tynictynic PICNIC BADASS Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited January 10
    LikeaBosh wrote: »
    MorganV wrote: »
    LikeaBosh wrote: »
    Just curious because I haven't seen a good explanation anywhere. People are blaming the fires on arson, but if it was arson I don't understand why people are starting these fires. Does anyone know the thinking behind this?

    Psycopathy/sociopathy. There's probably no other reason. As Michael Caine said, "Some people just want to watch the world burn". Had a roommate that was fascinated by fire. Always made me feel uncomfortable when he spoke of it.

    Also, potentially, thrill/fameseekers. Set the fire, see if they get caught, become famous if they do.

    Trying to ascribe rational motivations to irrational actors, just isn't going to work.

    Does anyone know the penalty for setting a fire of this magnitude in Australia? I know one person didn't cause the whole thing, but when you've contributed to this much destruction and death of both humans and animals, not to mention a severe increase to climate change (and who knows how many health problems people will see down the line from breathing this in) it feels like it needs to be pretty severe.

    WIll we see people who's lives were ruined by this calling for the death of any arsonists?

    Very few of the current fires can be traced to deliberate arson, but yes, anyone who is caught will be prosecuted in accordance with the harm and destruction caused. We do not have the death penalty here.

    However. The number of genuine arson events has been severely over-inflated by the Murdoch media. Far more of the conflagration points come from other human activity, usually fires set for other purposes that got out of hand (bbq's or rubbish burning), which are prosecutable if the area is under a total fire ban (most places are), or kids playing, etc. Dry lightning strikes are responsible for a bunch more, and as the fires move into inhabited areas we will also see compound ignitions from eg. exploding gas bottles, downed powerlines etc. Wildfire arsonists are beneath contempt, but they are a) usually actually insane, and b) not the predominant culprits here, by which I mean we are not seeing any more arson events than usual. What is unusual is the environmental situation which is allowing the wildfires to flourish unchecked, and that is climate change related. Focussing anger on arsonists is a really great distraction tactic when you are, say, a government or a media mogul that makes a lot of money from people not demanding systematic reductions in CO2 and other climate mitigation policies.

    On the professional firefighting topic, as Fishman says
    - we do have professional firefighters, they predominantly service urban and township areas
    - the rural volunteer fire force is supposed to be a backstop to help people prepare for fires and deal with outbreaks while larger resources are brought in from elsewhere. It's not supposed to be an actual job, it's not supposed to be something you do for more than a couple of hours a week even in fire season.

    Yes, it is fucking crazy that these volunteers now represent most of our frontline resources, and that they're fighting nonstop in insanely hazardous conditions. That people are not only not being paid but are actively being penalised for doing this is something I can only call monstrous. Yes, if this is the future for australia we are going to have to restructure how we approach fire management and fire response in general. We know that. The money can be found if the political will is there, and having so much of the populous south-east devastated might mean that actually happens (who the hell knows). But this season is unprecedented, and Australia's population distribution, resources, federal responsibilities, manpower, governance structures, etc, are not the same as the US, it's not always a matter of "why don't you just [insert US solution here]". Also some of the stuff that COULD be done was done late or not at all because our government has been farting around.

    tynic on
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  • VivixenneVivixenne Remember your training, and we'll get through this just fine. Registered User regular
    edited January 10
    This line of discussion is interesting and it looks like we’re in agreement at the core, but it’s worth reiterating that the difference in population density (and flammability, for that matter) between the US and Australia is massive.

    The population density of the US? 36 people per sq km.

    The population density of Australia? 3 people per sq km.

    Like, that difference matters when you’re talking about how many people are available to look after a given chunk of land, paid or otherwise.

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  • HeatwaveHeatwave Come, now, and walk the path of explosions with me!Registered User regular
    I wonder how feasible running yearly federal elections would be.

    I’d imagine it’d be hell for the government in power to get much done, plus confusing as heck for voters, but the thought of those in power being at risk of losing power after a year of fuck ups is oddly pleasing to my imagination right now.

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  • Sanguinius666264Sanguinius666264 Registered User regular
    Seems to me that establishing an equivalent to the Army Reserve is really the go-to here. The have similar standards - like the volunteer services currently do. When states of emergency/some other criteria is met, activate them and then start to pay them. Much like the Reserves do, have a daily payment amount that starts when you clock on - IIRC, the the Reserves only has 'half days' and 'full days' pay. Half day is from as soon as you start until 6 hours, after which it's a full day's pay.

    Grandfather in all existing rural fire service volunteers into the system.

    How do we pay for it? Shit, how about we not buy a submarine or two. Or more realistically, how about we include a Fire Services levy, same as we did for the Medicare levy? Have the top end of town pay for it. Or not have all of the ScoMo tax cuts put in and we'd have ample.

  • JragghenJragghen Registered User regular
    Antoshka wrote: »
    LikeaBosh wrote: »
    Just curious because I haven't seen a good explanation anywhere. People are blaming the fires on arson, but if it was arson I don't understand why people are starting these fires. Does anyone know the thinking behind this?

    In this regard, it seems there is also a concerted effort to exaggerate the effect off arson as well. Basically, while there has been some, it als

    Right wing trolls are all over social media spreading the "Stupid libs! It's arson not global warming" line.

    My understanding is that many of the fires were human-caused, but not arson - arson implies intentionality, which may be the case for a small number of them, but most are more "flicking a cigarette out the window" sort of human-caused, which isn't arson.

    So the arguments are both trying to make those actions as malicious instead of callous, by branding them as arson, thereby trying to ignore the factor of how the drought (due to global warming) made everything much worse than it would be otherwise, to say NOTHING of the underfunding of fire services.

    Heatwave
  • FishmanFishman You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means. Registered User regular
    Oh, it's absolutely a form of arson, it's just the perpetrators hold titles like 'Minister of Energy', 'Minister for Mining' and 'Prime Minister' rather than a pack of matches and accelerants.

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  • AntoshkaAntoshka Miauen Oil Change LazarusRegistered User regular
    Linked tweet series contains what appears to be The Australian manufacturing a quote by mashing together a series of different tweets, with the end result being... shall we say, very misleading.. Tweet author is Benjamin Millar, a reporter for The Age.



    The actual story the Australian used the 'quote' for seems to be an attack piece on the NSW Minister for the Environment, who appears to have broken ranks with the Liberal party by saying that Climate Change is a problem.

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  • MorganVMorganV Registered User regular
    Antoshka wrote: »
    Linked tweet series contains what appears to be The Australian manufacturing a quote by mashing together a series of different tweets, with the end result being... shall we say, very misleading.. Tweet author is Benjamin Millar, a reporter for The Age.



    The actual story the Australian used the 'quote' for seems to be an attack piece on the NSW Minister for the Environment, who appears to have broken ranks with the Liberal party by saying that Climate Change is a problem.

    And it should be stated, but to anyone paying attention it's blatantly obvious as fuck, The Australian is a NewsCorp (ie Rupert Murdoch) newspaper.

    I fully respect the freedom of the press, and I don't in any way want the government to be the arbiter of "truth", but Murdoch news, and it's effect on an uncritically thinking electorate make that a difficult position to maintain.

    Forar
  • tynictynic PICNIC BADASS Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited January 11
    The Australians latest pivot is “how dare you call us climate deniers” (flying bafflingly in the face of their own front pages), so for anyone looking for a handy resource and guide to the latest Murdochian Newspeak attempt, Ketan Joshi (science communicator) has put a thread together



    (Click through for whole thing, but this is a nice slice)

    tynic on
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  • -Loki--Loki- Don't pee in my mouth and tell me it's raining. Registered User regular
    Morrison is claiming this is the first time the ADF has been called for a bushfire emergency.

    I’m sure Victorians remember it differently.

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  • Sanguinius666264Sanguinius666264 Registered User regular
    I can 100% say that's not true - I was called out as a member of the ADF to help fight the Canberra bushfires in '03.

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  • KafkaAUKafkaAU Western AustraliaRegistered User regular
    -Loki- wrote: »
    Morrison is claiming this is the first time the ADF has been called for a bushfire emergency.

    I’m sure Victorians remember it differently.

    Wouldn’t this statement actually make it worse for him? If we’ve never needed the ADF before then these are the worst fires ever and probably things are changing?

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  • TeeManTeeMan BrainSpoon Registered User regular
    edited January 12
    So a self-own that's both worse and wrong - par of the course for him, really

    Bet he'll couch a meaningless walk-back with "I meant this year" too

    TeeMan on
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