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Your views: on KI ferries, disinformation and disaster response

Reader contributions

Today, readers comment on a call to subsidise Sealink fares to boost visits to fire-hit Kangaroo Island, bushfire disinformation and funding a national emergency taskforce.

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Commenting on the story: Ferry operator slams Sealink subsidy call for bushfire-hit Kangaroo Island

If the government subsidies one ferry company, it could subsidise the other. – Douglas Matthews.

My family lived on the island in the mid-sixties.

The strip of water between the island and the mainland can be very isolating.

It would be wrong to support Sealink over another company also taking tourists in.

More tourists will be more than welcome in the future, but right now the locals have other things to worry about – like their own housing, water and power supplies. – KM Gunn

I think increased competition beats subsidies every time. But if there are to be subsidies they should be a percentage of cost, regardless of who is the provider of a service.

If tourism is to be improved, the ferry services need to come closer to Adelaide. It has always been ridiculous having to drive to Cape Jervis, especially if you don’t want to take a car. Mike Stuart

I am growing increasingly fed up with those misguided individuals encouraging people to travel to Kangaroo Island for the sake of the ‘economy’. 

Caring for communities and feeding and watering the surviving livestock and wildlife is what matters!

I hope people will realise that unless they can volunteer time/services for rebuilding, it is better to donate funds and give the islanders time to regroup and recover.  Most will be in shock and need time to get back on track – not be subjected to tourists and cameras. 

Heed the words of CFS incident controller Ian Tanner and other firefighters – avoid travel to Kangaroo Island unless part of the workforce. 

I suspect that without means of feeding the wildlife, many healthy animals may be destroyed simply to avoid them starving to death. 

Since K.I. koalas are the healthiest in Australia and they are not surviving in their home states, this is beyond tragic. Carol Bailey

Commenting on the story: Bushfires, bots and arson claims: Disinformation over Australia’s emergency

Thanks for an enlightening article about the growing problem of disinformation.

Unfortunately, it’s not just via online media but is often full frontal in press conferences and regrettably is rarely debunked sufficiently in mainstream media.

The PM’s January 4 press conference was a prime example. It was nothing more than a smokescreen (sorry about the pun) to excuse failure of the Federal Government to act about 2 months earlier.

Repeated emphasis of “unprecedented” in relation to the Governor-General’s sign off on deployment of Reservists was a blatant attempt to wrap the whole package under that description.

The truth is, the only need for GG sign off was the use of Reservists. Regular ADF with planes, ships and boots, could have and most certainly should have been deployed in November.

The Minister for Defence claimed ADF had been involved from Nov 8 but was very light on detail, probably because that early involvement had little to do with boots on the ground.

There were certainly no TV images to support her claim. In my opinion, the sole reason for this “unprecedented” press conference was to deflect any criticism for their appalling inaction.

The best most of the media could do about this disinformation was focus on the disgusting jingle about “planes in the air, ships on the sea …” but this was just a deflection from the reality that the ADF deployment could have been  almost 2 months earlier without being asked ( yet another bit of disinformation).

I’m almost cynical enough to think the jingle was a deliberate distraction. A quick apology and back to what a wonderful response we are making to the crisis.

Contrast that with Rudd’s 2 or 3 day response in 2009 when TV coverage showed low-loaders with bulldozers, trucks with troops, water and fuel tankers etc, no doubt with prior discussion with the State Government but certainly not having waited to be asked!  David Alan Bridges

Commenting on the opinion piece: Build tomorrow’s national disaster response today

Dale Dominey-Howes is spot on in calling for bipartisan emergency planning and a national, professional emergency taskforce to deal with all emergencies.

We need to rank all threats to our existence and prioritise our responses accordingly. For example, should submarines (forecast cost $36B) and F35 fighters (forecast $17B) really take funding priority over managing natural disasters?

Admittedly it’s a cliché, but how many water bombers could you buy for the price of a joint strike fighter? Presumably the military hardware is to protect ourselves against attack by our sixth biggest trading partner but could (and why would) China inflict the devastation caused by lightning, arsonists and human carelessness?

The destructive impact of natural disasters on Australia in the past two months has been many times that of the six year long Second World War and we must plan accordingly.

We have a rough idea of what do and we’ll hold a Royal Commission to decide exactly what this is. Somewhere along the track this might seem a bit expensive and a few corners cut – though we’d happily pay for a missile guidance system software upgrade without question.

I believe in human induced climate change but even if that isn’t the case, bushfires will always be a serious threat.

We’ll always need to manage them and that means spending serious money. So how serious are we? Alan Strickland

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