As long-time readers will recall I have argued that a royal commission into the black Saturday fires isn’t enough. Those individual policy-makers and bureaucrats that made choices and decisions contributing to the extent of the fires should be arrested, prosecuted and imprisoned for their role in the tragedy that resulted in the deaths of 173 Victorians and $4 billion of property damage. I’m sure they have their excuses and reasons lined up, and they should have the privilege of explaining themselves to the jury.
Barry Cohen makes an argument that this should happen next time.
The next time Australia has a cataclysmic bushfire and lives are lost, those who knew about the technology and blocked its use will be guilty of criminal negligence.
This is in the context of an apparently lackadaisical attitude to testing new fire detection technology. In the absence of any downside to their choices and decision making why should we expect any better decisions? The vigorous pursuit of those who contributed to the extent of the black Saturday tragedy through incompetence, indifference, recklessness, or just plain stupidity would ensure that future decision makers would go about their business with a bit more dilligence.