An open letter to our State MP Steve Bromhead

Mr Bromhead, I am one of your constituents and a survivor of the recent catastrophic Hillville bush fires in Possum Brush.

20 Minutes before the fire hit us, a fire truck came up to our property to assist us but on arrival were given orders to leave because of risk to their vehicle and crew. 

We asked if they could arrange to drop some water over us as the fire storm hit, but the Captain said they had no resources available and, before leaving, were most apologetic. They were really nice people trying to do a job, with clearly limited resources. 

This severe under- resourcing of our fine fire- fighting organisation is a common experience with many who have suffered loss through these fires.

So our house and one shed were saved by me, my wife Jacqui, and my son Paul, who stayed until the last minute before evacuating in the face of the fire front. Most of our fences, animal shelters and pastures were destroyed in the huge fire front.

AS our local member in the LNP state government, you have supported reducing experienced staff levels in the State Forestry for some time, including a major gutting in 2017-18 .This reduction in experienced staff has led to a lowered ability to conduct back burning and management of state forests. The Kiwarrack state forest was directly responsible for our losses and those of our neighbours. What a dishonest and dangerous way to cut costs.

Further, you have supported $34 million in cuts to the FRNSW, not to mention cuts to the RFS, and especially on the Mid North Coast, and as a result put your own constituents in the line of disaster.

And despite the Premier playing games with numbers, trying to deflect criticism, these cuts have been confirmed by Professor emeritus Frank Stilwell of Sydney University Department of Political Economy.

On top of all of this your Government is still including the FRNSW as a candidate for further massive cuts. Had you not supported spending many billions of dollars on two unnecessary Stadiums in Sydney, that money could have further resourced FRNSW and saved the now nearly 200 properties that are lost. Surely Governments are there to provide adequate services for their people.

Why have you and your National Party abandoned its people? Why have you ignored years of advice from Aboriginal elders and years of warnings from scientists, researchers and many people with vast experience in bushfire management. They have all been giving dire warnings about the likely impacts of this prolonged drought and its growing propensity for catastrophic bushfire.

Is it LNP ideology to ignore the wisdom of these people?

Mr Bromhead, you clearly put the interests of your Party a long way ahead of the representation of your constituents. You have failed the people of this district and should resign to allow someone more constituent centric to hold your seat.

Brian Winn         

Possum Brush.

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