Don’t get me wrong – I think it would be pretty terrible to be living in Morwell at the moment.
But the ABC, in particular, has gone crazy with lunatic analysis which is a combination of:
- anti-fossil fuels (if we relied on wind farms for our power this would never happen);
- anti-privatization (if the SECV hadn’t been sold, this would never have happened – sure);
- anti-capitalist (what, a private company running a coal mine and electricity generator?, even if it is French – GDF Suez).
And if someone lights a fire on a farm, do we expect the farmer to pay for the fire to be extinguished? Of course, the farmer will do everything he can – let’s face it, there aren’t too many famale farmers – to help put it out. But does anyone think they should be sent the bill?
The ABC, particularly courtesy Jon Faine, seems to think that GDF Suez should be sent the bill, even though we know that it was firebug who started the fire.
And then there is the deliberate misinformation, including dredging up some guy who was in charge of fire prevention with the SECV at Hazelwood in 1977. Are they kidding?
But here is the statement by the company:
Did GDF SUEZ Hazelwood scrap pipes and other firefighting equipment that had been on the disused area of the mine? No, that is completely untrue. The area to where the external bushfire first spotted has not been an operational part of the mine for at least 30 years. It is understood that de-commissioned pipelines (that is, pipelines that could not be used) were removed from this area some 27 years ago when the mine was operated by the former State Electricity Commission of Victoria, long before the mine and power station were sold as part of the Victorian electricity industry privatisation program.
In fact, the company has put out a number of statements in relation to the fire which are useful in terms of providing information about what is going on and what is being done.
The comprehensive fire management policy of the company has not only been detailed and implemented but has also been externally audited by the relevant authorities.
The ABC reports none of this and runs with the line that the company is hiding information and refuses to give out details. THIS IS NOT TRUE.
Whether representatives of the company have been prepared to speak to the ABC, I’m not sure … but I could understand if they declined to do so, given the mindset. I would suggest they speak to Neil Mitchell at 3AW.
As for Jon Faine, it is as if he just loves shifting to EMERGENCY BROADCASTING MODE. His voice changes, he sounds more like a colonel from the CMF and, all the time, the subliminal message is: where would the poor souls affected by these natural disasters be without the ABC?
(My friends who live in bushfire prone areas tell me that the ABC is becoming decreasingly relevant, with the new apps and other better sources of detailed information.)