I am embarrassed and increasingly angered at the incompetent response at the political and managerial level of emergency services to the fires, coronavirus and floods.
Let me clearly state that none of this is directed at the real heroes at street level, only the upper-level people with little or no real-life experiences.
In the early 90’s I was attached to the State Intelligence Group NSWPOL, where we spent 100’s hours preparing “Emergency Management Plans” & “Strategic Assessments” for things such as fires, floods and even medical. Yes, you can make a basic plan for the Coronavirus and the plan evolves as the emergency evolves. For those interested, these plans should be in police archives.
We had a room the size of a dancehall, with phone lines, computer screens over the walls and room for all the services required and of course a “hotline”.
I worked at two emergencies and on counter terrorism operations, and even in my highly critical opinion, we performed extremely well.
The police were always in charge, and we always had military intelligence involved at every stage (it differed for counter terrorism when the situation went “ballistic”, the military took control). It is obvious to me that the responses to the last three emergencies have digressed greatly from these plans. In my opinion, there has been no planned response and there is so much conflicting information being released that everyone is confused (timely & accurate intelligence?). But as Mark ‘Chopper’ Read said “What would I know? I am just an old fat chicken farmer”.
In relation to the ADF, there was in my time, certain protocols to be followed before they could be deployed on “Sovereign Territory” (within Australia) and their involvement had to be authorised by the Federal Government, so what took so long? In relation to recent comments that the ADF wanted to run the operations, that is absolute “old bollocks”. They were “team players” and in my opinion one of the most important members.
This was once, beyond question, the greatest country in the world, but now, welcome to “Little America”, coz, in the words of Winston Churchill, “you can always rely on the Americans to do the right thing after they have tried everything else”.
I could go on for pages, but, as my blood pressure and pulse have gone ballistic, I will finish with the words of one of my most trusted and treasured mates Neil Johnson (or as we called him at Eastwood police – Pope Johno I). “There is always someone you can sue”. A wise man indeed.
Perry Paxton, Lawrence