Mother Nature reminded us last week that her power is great and her ability to wreak havoc is without limit.  I don’t recall ever seeing such consistently heavy rain fall along with the winds, it certainly had its impact.

Thank you to all our emergency services personnel – paid and unpaid - who as always, did everything possible to ease the pain of those most affected.  Our volunteers are simply remarkable.

Emergency relief numbers have now been set up by State and Federal authorities. For details please go to www.emergency.nsw.gov.au/nddassistance, www.humanservices.gov.au/customer/themes/help-in-an-emergency or call my office.

The ferocity of the weather last week causes me to think about life in a world where such events are more common.  Debates about a changing climate and its causes aside, it is possible that in the decades ahead our weather patterns could dramatically change.

Many will say our weather patterns have constantly varied over time and that is true.  But what if the variation becomes more pronounced?  Last week’s events show that even in this 21st Century, despite all of our advanced technologies, there is little we can do when things become extraordinarily intense.

Now I’ve never been a rabid promoter of climate change action.  But I have always believed in insurance.  If we can do sensible things now in the hope of reducing the odds of trouble in the future we should.  I don’t mean over-the-top things which impose too great a cost on our current generation, but sensible measures backed by science and pursued in partnership with the international community.

Not too many people would insure their homes if the annual premiums were half the value of their house.   But we assess insurance as worthwhile when it makes economic sense.  And of course, the more people you have in the insurance pool the cheaper the product becomes.  Thankfully, almost every government in the world is taking the possible link between carbon emissions and climate variability seriously. We should continue to work with them.  We can take the risk and not do so and it might turn out ok for our grandchildren.  But then again it might not.  The insurance policy is worth it.

What a solemn but wonderful occasion the Centenary of ANZAC was.  As each year goes by more debate emerges about the Gallipoli campaign, the mistakes made, and the folly of attacks like that at the Nek.

But that debate misses the main point.  Our people in uniform did what was asked of them despite the horror of the situation they faced and despite the odds.  And they did it not for themselves but for their people.  That’s what we remember and commemorate on ANZAC Day.  Lest We Forget!

I am always keen to assist with issues or questions relating to Federal Government departments or put you in contact with someone who can, so please ring, write, visit the website or call in.

Why not go the extra step by following me on my Facebook page “Joel Fitzgibbon” or on Twitter and type in the search bar “fitzhunter”. Or by regularly checking my website at www.joelfitzgibbon.com or you can even sign up to my E-Newsletter.

To contact the office, phone 1300 301 753, visit www.joelfitzgibbon.com or by post 3 Edward Street, (PO Box 526) Cessnock, 2325.

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