Thursday, February 27, 2014

The Latrobe Valley Fire

Let me preface this with the fact that the Gippsland regional town of Morwell in our state does not enjoy the highest of socio economic status. 

Nevertheless, they are citizens of Victoria in Australia, and Australia does have poor people. We need to look after them. With the stereo typical Morwell resident in mind, rather not live next door to them though, hey.

For weeks now they have suffered from an open cut coal mine fire burning very near to their town. The emanating smoke is horrendous. As well as causing breathing and other problems, it dumps an oily ash over everything outside and infiltrates houses. Houses in the Latrobe Valley, where Morwell is, used to be full of coal dust, centimetres high in ceilings.

If you lived in the Latrobe Valley, your life expectancy was low, and it still is. I can fairly say that this fire will not help their life expectancy.

I am in a mind to think there is some truth to the suggestion that this fire would have been quickly put out should the open cut coal pit stayed within government hands. A well maintained fire protection system may well have prevented the fire from starting, as has also been suggested. Once again, blame the evil former Premier Kennett, for the privatisation of the generation of our electricity.

Fire Services Commissioner Craig Lapsley tells us the fire will be out in about two weeks. I think his position rather depends on that.

14 comments:

  1. Hello Andrew:

    The situation which you describe here sounds particularly dreadful. Our hearts must go out to all who are caught up in this environmental disaster.

    ReplyDelete
  2. JayLa, while the focus has not be on the environment, it is an environmental disaster for the people who live there, and the environment in the larger sense.

    ReplyDelete
  3. At the very least, residents should have been issued with masks of a standard high enough to minimise the damage to their health. It's a disgrace.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Of course they should have been issued straight away.

      Delete
  4. Three weeks is a long time in those conditions oui!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Grace, not something I would like to endure.

      Delete
  5. Aaaargh.
    My heart goes out to those affected. Scary times with potentially very long lasting impacts. (Scrap the potentially from that last sentence.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. EC, it simply must have some long term effect. It seems so badly managed.

      Delete
  6. Economic status is irrelevant. How has this fire been allowed to keep burning for so long? Shouldn't it have been put out with the same urgency that bushfires receive?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. River, I think it is relevant in so far as the response. If it happened in say the wealthy western district of Victoria, it may have received a better and earlier response. It is being put out with all the resources that are needed, but it is difficult to fight. Poorer people have always lived near noxious industries and suffered from them. This is a classic case in point.

      Delete
  7. how many people of Morwell are Non-smokers?
    They have my sympathy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Many would be smokers Ann. That goes with low socio economics. That will increase their risk many fold.

      Delete
  8. imagine the to do if this happened near Melbourne.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep Fen. We are not good at evacuating as most never had to do it.

      Delete

Whenever I wish I was young again, I am sobered by memories of algebra.