Mother Nature, beautiful and amazing one minute, lethal and terrifying the next. Our thoughts are with everyone touched by this continuing disaster, particularly the fire-fighters putting themselves in harm’s way. I don’t know how, but we have to find some way to co-exist with her.
My naive mind says the experts on nature should be able to work with the experts in innovation to provide a solution, but perhaps we are too many and too demanding and she will always find a way to remind us who is ‘the boss’. Maybe what’s important at the moment is to take note of our interactions with each other; adversity (mostly) brings out the best in people and there is a lesson to be learned about the camaraderie and sense of wellbeing after helping someone, as opposed to the empty self- absorption that material possessions provide. Looters and donation box thieves – remember “what goes around comes around”.
Many of our members are, as I write, assisting in whatever way they can, from donations of food and assistance with catering to assembling refresher packs and emergency bags for the fireies and food packs for the Remote Area Fire Fighting Teams. They’ve seen a need or been asked to help and have not hesitated to assist where they can. Perhaps Mother Nature will look kindly on the generous spirit so evident at the moment.
On a somewhat different subject, I attended the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation (RIRDC) Rural Women’s Award Dinner in Canberra last week, where Federal Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for women – WA Senator Michaelia Cash – spoke about the Coalition’s commissioning of a white paper on agriculture.
Senator Cash said “The white paper will set out a clear and strategic way forward to promote more investment and jobs growth” and that the Coalition wanted to take steps to break the “vicious cycle” of declining rural communities through “long term and exceptionally well targeted policies”.
“If our farmers are supported to be productive and competitive there will be more jobs, there will be more investment and there will be stronger regional communities.” Minister Joyce indicated that work on the white paper had started and he encouraged participation in its development, underpinned by “discussion without any inhibitions”.
My uninhibited thoughts at 2:00am are along the lines of “long term and exceptionally well targeted policies” is code for extra long stick with medium size carrot. Production and competitiveness means producing even more with less rather than ensuring that income matches effort and keeps pace with costs.
Personally, I’m tired of being promised yet another talkfest that’s supposedly going to fix things in the bush – action speaks louder than words and if, for example, we have to wait another 15 years for the inland rail to be completed we probably won’t be worrying about bushfires; all the trees will have been used for white papers, green papers, executive summaries, submissions…..
Fortunately politicking only took up a small portion of the otherwise enjoyable evening and I congratulate all the nominees but particularly the winner Giovanna Webb from The Northern Territory and runner up Isobel Knight from NSW, who during her acceptance speech reiterated her horror at discovering that more than 50% of the Company Directors course is based on teaching ethics in business.
I wonder if there’s such a course for politicians……zzzzzzzzzzzzz