Government continues to disappoint


WITH a state election just five months away, the increasing gap in the poles between the two major parties is frightening, but not surprising.

The simple facts are that political parties of all persuasions, including the National Party, rarely represent the people.

Gippsland South MLA Peter Ryan’s performance would be the biggest disappointment for a long time.

For a start, one of the worst risks for the future wellbeing of nearly all Gippslanders would have to be the ongoing government failure to address fire issues.

Mr Ryan has supported, and tried to justify, the most draconian regulations placed on people living around public land trying to rebuild after being burnt out.

This is while doing almost nothing to address the chronic fire fighting effort that appears to be driven by vast sums of money that flow with little accountability.

Just getting the auditor general in to find out where this money is ending up could go a long way to solving all this.

Then again, this might have been too big, with too many snouts in the trough for Mr Ryan to take on.

Almost nothing was done while Peter Ryan was the Minister for Police and Emergency services to address the problems with police road blocks during fires.

The frustration of these road blocks have upset people more than the actual fires.

Police road blocks have been responsible for the losses of homes and farm infrastructure, as well as untold suffering of burnt livestock needing to be destroyed.

Overall, the performance of sections of the police force with relation to fires has been an utter disgrace.

This year there has been almost nothing done in the mountains to address the chronic fire risks.

We had the spectacle of a Department of Environment of Primary Industries officer going on ABC Radio saying how dry the environment was for burning off, then a week and a half later the minister on the same radio station saying how wet it had been.

There was at least 10 days when burning off could have been done in the mountains around Licola this year.

The big fire is yet to come.

If anything gets going on public land, as it will, it may be almost unfightable in the environment the government has failed to address.

We are at risk of finishing off what’s left of our timber industry.

Goodbye Heyfield.

There is so much rock and sediment from erosion after fires in the national park, the river bed has built up at Licola and the Macalister River is at risk of going through the village.

Already nearly seven per cent of the capacity of Lake Glenmaggie has been lost through sedimentation.

The whole Macalister Irrigation District is now at risk of being lost from erosion from a coming fire.

As to the future, if we don’t get good independents to hold the balance of power with a Labour Government, I think the prospects will be far worse for Gippslanders and many others.