Gladys in firing line if State burns

WHEN a senior minister publicly complains about his own government’s inaction on a life or death issue, it’s time to hit the public panic button. 

After last January’s devastating bushfires that claimed 25 lives and countless hectares across NSW, we now learn that the very politicians gifted the powers to prevent a repeat are complaining that they’ve not done enough. 

And after being publicly ordered by the Prime Minister of Australia to focus on hazard reduction, we’re now told – weeks out from a new bushfire season – that the same insane restrictions preventing NSW citizens from safeguarding their properties remain in place.


Was the Berejiklian government asleep while NSW burned – and while loved ones perished? Who are they looking to blame if not themselves?

It’s high time politicians got off the bureaucratic Kool-Aid and started working for the people they’re supposed to serve.

It’s breathtaking that an MP with the profile and authority of Transport Minister Andrew Constance finds it necessary to publicly complain about his own government’s inaction.

Instead, the minister should be making the strongest case imaginable to his cabinet colleagues for proper and sane fire protection measures.

And in response, the government ought to be scrambling to fix this green tape bureaucratic mess that last year helped kill citizens [25], animals [three billion] and livelihoods [countless].

Put a bulldozer through the public service if they must.

Time spent complaining should be left to the Opposition. Leave it to those without power to expose the inaction of those who hold it.


Just this month Mr Constance – who serves a region devastated by fires two years running – said no updated plans were in place after last year’s fire storm.

While he didn’t name names, his comments were an unveiled broadside at the Berejiklian government, in which he serves as a senior member.

He warned that NSW was at risk of being tied in bureaucratic knots over the reforms needed to clear land and reduce fire fuel loads.

“The community will not be interested in arguments between green and brown on this, they just want survival,” Mr Constance told the Daily Telegraph newspaper.

He said landowner clearing laws, in particular, should have been “well and truly changed by now” – allowing people to properly clear land within 50 metres of their homes (instead of the restrictive 10m).

“We have examples now where environmental constraints are restricting people’s ability to rebuild,” he said.

“Everything seems to be tied up in bureaucratic red tape. We’ve got to find a way out of this incredible disaster to find some practical outcomes not treat the community for fools of the bush anymore.”

The NSW bushfire inquiry handed its long-awaited report to Premier Gladys Berejiklian last month, while the Royal Commission into bushfires had its deadline extended to October 28.

“We have a community – having experienced one of the worst natural disasters in history – which is right to expect some real change and not just a bunch of reports,” Mr Constance said.


Mr Constance’s complaint should be directed in the bluntest possible terms to NSW Environment Minister Matt Kean and his boss Premier Berejiklian — as well as to his other government colleagues.

Complaining to the public about his own government’s inaction shouldn’t form part of a senior minister’s job description.PC

MAIN PHOTOGRAPH: Senior NSW Minister Andrew Constance. (courtesy Daily Telegraph) NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian (inset, top) and Environment Minister Matt Kean (inset, bottom).
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3 thoughts on “Gladys in firing line if State burns

  1. Did we not just read that Matt Keane has locked up a large area SW of Sydney to add to the National Park? Will this become another unused area to become a killing field for native animals in the next bushfire? This is what Labor does: locks away forest land so that timber is not harvested, fire trails not built, and farm animals not allowed in to graze. MK would be better fit in a Left party not a Right one.

  2. Let me guess: the Government believes that any proposal to relax these absurd, green-tape restrictions requires “further investigation and study”. That’s the time-honored tactic which the Black Hand Brigade uses to kill off any policies they don’t want. Look at what they did to Mark Latham’s proposed nuclear power legislation whose enactment might have been a bit awkward for a certain, rather influential lobbyist and the unreliable energy interests he so assiduously and profitably represents. By the term Black Hand Brigade I mean, of course, the so-called “Moderate” faction. I refuse to identify them by the latter term because there’s not much that’s “moderate” about them apart from their commitment to Liberal values although, admittedly, on that front their moderation knows no bounds whatsoever. Anyone who voted for this Government thinking that they were getting solid conservatives committed to rational policy-making must now be starting to realize that they were well and truly led up the garden path.

  3. Matt Kean minister for environment should be taken to task on this as this is the priority not the Climate Change Emergency myth which he still pushes. His Green credentials and lack of common sense have been exposed. We are in a recession and need someone to get the job done, he should be removed from office.

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