Australia One leader Riccardo Bosi is asking our federal and state governments to explain why they have refused to accept and act on the findings of past Royal commissions into bushfires.
“It is a shame that recommendations made in the 1939 Royal Commission into the cause of Victoria’s bushfires have got lost in the mists of time,” Mr Bosi said.
“I can accept that humans might have some difficulty learning from past stuff-ups, but to ignore such vital advice is blatant incompetence.”
The introduction to the 1939 report not only tells us about the catastrophe and adverse environmental circumstances at the time, it importantly tells us that bushfire history has a habit of repeating itself, often with a devastating vengeance.
On 13 January, 81 years ago, with temperatures above 110°F (45°C) across Victoria and the state in drought, bushfires consumed 3700 buildings, took 71 lives and totally destroyed five towns, which were never to be rebuilt.
To quote from the conclusion of that 1939 Royal Commission report into that “Black Friday”:
“There had been no fires to equal these in destructiveness or intensity in the history of settlement in this State, except perhaps the fires of 1851, which, too, came at summer culmination of a long drought.
‘’At midday, in many places, it was dark as night. Men carrying hurricane lamps, worked to make safe their families and belongings. Travellers on the highways were trapped by fires or blazing fallen trees, and perished. Throughout the land there was daytime darkness.
“The speed of the fires was appalling. They leaped from mountain peak to mountain peak, or far out into the lower country, lighting the forests 6 or 7 miles in advance of the main fires. Blown by a wind of great force, they roared as they travelled. Balls of crackling fire sped at a great pace in advance of the fires, consuming with a roaring, explosive noise, all that they touched.
“On that day it appeared that the whole State was alight.”
“Those who ignore history are bound to repeat it,” Mr Bosi said.
“Every child in every Australian school should be taught about the events of “Black Friday” 1939 so they can grow up with an understanding and appreciation of the extreme danger of the Australian bush.
“Ignorance on Australia’s natural climate and bushfire history has created hysteria among our young people to the point where they are at the forefront of a new global religion built on the hate for carbon dioxide, a gas every living creature needs to survive.
“To quote George Orwell: ‘The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history.’
“And yet we are being told by our leaders that this is the ‘new normal’.”