‘Listen to me’: Firey’s letter to ScoMo
A firefighter from a small town on the NSW South Coast has publicly called out Scott Morrison for his "complete inaction" over the bushfire crisis.
Christopher Nicholls, a firefighter from Merimbula, wrote an open letter to the prime minister urging him to treat the fires as a national emergency rather than a minor weather event.
"You need to listen to me. I swore that if I heard the word, 'unprecedented' one more time I would write to you. I heard it again tonight in comments by experts over the megafire around Sydney. So, here's your letter," Mr Nicholls wrote on Facebook.
"There is one more thing that is 'unprecedented'. It's your Government's complete INACTION over the current bushfire emergency in Australia.
"And please don't tell me about the pathetic response so far with more thoughts and prayers from Hillsong."
He said members of his community weren't impressed with the "platitudes" Mr Morrison had been giving on the bushfire situation.
"When I see my colleagues from my brigade jump into a plane or a bus to take them up north in a strike team to go into battle against an unprecedented enemy of catastrophic proportions, I wonder if we might ever see them again. And they are my friends and wonderful people," Mr Nicholls wrote.
"When my pager goes off in the middle of a hot, blustery severe fire danger day and I have to rush off to a bushfire, and as I am sitting in the truck proceeding under sirens and lights to the fire, I wonder if this might be my last day too."
He said there wasn't time for any more inaction and said the prime minister needs to treat the bushfire crisis as a war.
Mr Nicholls further explained that the "war is climate change" and that events like bushfires and drought are "new normal of the climate-changed world".
"Treat the situation as if it was a WAR being waged on Australia by an unpredictable enemy with considerable weaponry, capable of jumping front lines easily and attacking from several fronts simultaneously, with devastating results. It takes no prisoners," he wrote.
"Appoint a WAR cabinet with special powers to mobilise the country, the armed services and whatever resources are required to fight the battles to win the WAR."
He said this "war" will likely be fought for a very long time and the government needs to employ new technology and considerable planning to win it.
Mr Nicholls said that the Australian people need Mr Morrison's support now more than ever.
"Support your people - the people of Australia: tell them the Government cares and is actually mobilising and doing something about it,' he wrote.
"Do it, and let's worry about the platitudes some other day."
The firefighter's open letter has been shared more than 15,000 times and has received more than 2,400 comments, with many people agreeing with what he wrote.
Six lives have already been lost in NSW this bushfire season and almost 700 have been destroyed.
Firefighters are continuing to battle blazes across multiple states, including a dangerous "megafire" burning north of Sydney.
The Bureau of Meteorology warned this morning that rain that would break one of the worst droughts in history could still be more than five months away.
State and federal ministers met in country NSW yesterday to discuss how best to combat the never-ending drought.
The Bureau of Meteorology was also at the meeting in Moree, delivering a dark outlook for the coming months.
"NSW, Queensland and Victoria are looking very lean for rain and below-average rainfall through summer and heading into next winter," NSW Agriculture Minister Adam Marshall, referring to the BOM briefing, told The Australian.
"The outlook is nothing for NSW anywhere near drought-breaking until April-May next year."