Scott Connolly, ACTU Assistant Secretary, writes
Many of you have been asking how we can help. Right now, the best way that we can assist is by donating money to the Australian Red Cross, Victorian Bushfire Appeal or the ACTU Bushfire Relief Fund. The ACTU Bushfire Relief fund has been established to especially provide support to union members who may need support beyond that available generally.
For members in Victoria, please also consider donating to the Victorian Government Bushfire Disaster Appeal.Additionally, union members can volunteer their skills.
It’s important to remember that Commonwealth financial assistance will primarily benefit small business owners and farmers: workers and the environment are afterthoughts.
The ACTU Bushfire Relief Fund aims to help workers like Rob Sayers:
Like tens of thousands of fellow Australians great unionists like Rob Sayers (a member of the United Workers Union at the Batemans Bay Soldiers Club) has been affected. He has been a life-long union member and was very active in the Change the Rules campaign.
On the morning of New Year’s Eve, fire swept through Mogo, a tiny village on the Princes Highway south of Batemans Bay, along with many homes and buildings in Mogo, Rob and Rhonda's home just outside the village and which he built by hand himself, was destroyed. Rob and Rhonda are now homeless.Rob and Rhonda are workers. They are family.
It’s also important to remind readers that the NSW Rural Fire Service has set up an official webpage for donations to the families of volunteer firefighters Geoffrey Keaton, Andrew O’Dwyer, and Samuel McPaul, fallen in the line of duty. The money thereby collected goes directly to the families, as opposed to donations sent to the RFS, which can only be used for training, resources, equipment, and operations.
Understandably, given the magnitude of the tragedy, relief efforts centre on human needs.
Australian fauna, however, has also been greatly affected. The problem is that livestock has priority.
Wildlife, thus, is last when it comes to assistance. But without wildlife, neither us nor our stock will have a future.
I can’t vouch for the accuracy of the reports I’ve received from friends, but it appears that vets looking after injured wildlife have been begging for used syringes from hospitals.
Two reputable and registered charities in Victoria and NSW that could use some help are
Bushfire Emergency Wildlife Fund
In moments like these, when workers shine with their own light, the filth piled around the COALition and the Murdoch press cannot but remind us that we are at war.
A small army of cyber-trolls has launched a campaign of lies in an attempt to cover the putrid stench surrounding Scott Morrison and his clique of sycophants of the rich.
First, they denied the fires were unprecedented. When the truth could no longer be hidden, they shifted their stance: unprecedented those fires may be, they now shamelessly admitted; those now unprecedented fires, however, are evidence of insufficient hazard reduction only (blamed on environmentalists), not of climate change -- they added.
As fire emergency services leaders in at least three states (NSW, Victoria, and Queensland) rebuff those criminal charlatans on hazard reduction, they now in despair turn to blame the fires on “arsonists” -- who, they also claim, are the environmentalists -- … just to be rebutted by the alleged arsonists themselves and, more importantly, by Victoria Police and the official statistics NSW Police Force releases.
That game will stop. Our patience is ending and with it the day of reckoning will be upon us. Lifetimes of slander and humiliation reaped upon the innocent, pain and mockery inflicted on the humble, and poverty, on the honest and productive. That is the fuel which shall burn in a fire much more terrible: our righteous anger. That day, the sewers where those vermin belong will not hide them.
Another hellish weekend approaches for NSW and Victoria. But apocalypse is already back to South Australia. Once wildlife was a major tourism drawcard for Kangaroo Island. Now they are left to beg tourists to come in spite of the loss of wildlife. They still have their beaches.
The connection between future and wildlife is not so difficult to understand, is it?