In light of extraordinary recent comments by some of our colourful National Party members regarding the unprecedented wild fires on the mid/far north coast, I am more confused and worried than ever.
Deputy Premier John Barilaro's enlightening comment when echoing the extraordinary comments of our Deputy Prime Minister McCormack, describing the behaviour of 'greenies' and 'lefties' as a 'bloody disgrace' - because they had the audacity to raise the issue of climate change while fires continued to burn - provides an interesting 'compare and contrast' exercise with the subsequent comments of National Party backbencher Barnaby Joyce.
As usual, Barnaby adds huge value to the debate when he comments that two of the people that have died as a result of the fires would have 'most likely voted for the Greens'!
Whose comments represent the bigger disgrace here?
Anyway, who are these disgraceful bloody 'greenies' to which these highly esteemed and intelligent men refer?
Are these 'greenies' the Mayors of conservative LGAs of NSW or are they former Fire and Rescue Chiefs, experts for the Bureau of Meteorology, the CSIRO, our school children, bankers or farmers? Maybe some of them are victims of the wildfires themselves?
Or are they anti-coal seam gas and coal mine demonstrators, like the son of Joh Bjelke-Peterson, who has recently had to fight the coal and gas industry in court to save the family farm at Kingaroy where Flo baked her famous pumpkin scones?
It is not necessarily the case that these so called 'greenies' are regular and faithful green voters or even traditional left wing voters.
It may be that the majority of them are simply concerned Australians, some of whom would inhabit the heartland of the National/Liberal Coalition. Some of them may even be traditional National Party supporters, God forbid! No wonder these Nationals are getting so edgy!
At least when Joh Bjelke-Peterson unloaded on environmentalists it was sort of funny.
The environmental crisis we face today is far more serious and politicians bagging out seriously concerned citizens is not amusing anymore. It's just a bloody disgrace!
Noel Whittem, Bemboka
Bring back the Commonwealth Employment Service.
Unemployment especially in relation to disadvantaged groups is the social responsibility of government.
The government keeps privatising everything that is vital to our existence with promise it will be more efficient and cost less. This hasn't occurred once
I worked for the Commonwealth Employment Service (CES) in most of the disadvantaged areas of Sydney such as Mt Druitt, Blacktown, and Auburn for a long period of time.
I also developed and ran a vocational education program in the Transport and Storage Industry that had a very high success rate in placing long term unemployed customers.
I can remember one elderly gentleman who came to Blacktown CES every day. It took me a year but I found him a job. I still come across many clients I placed who are still thanking me.
The reason the CES was so successful is firstly it didn't have to spend a lot of its time chasing funding. Secondly it was national so it had relationships with employers Australia wide it could access with the touch of a button.
It's time for a total rethink and the reintroduction of a government-run employment service. One that suits the needs of both job seekers and business and assists our nation in producing a highly skilled and productive workforce.