Ewingar burns as RFS assess the situation from a water tank.
Ewingar burns as RFS assess the situation from a water tank. Nadine Gaffney

Four burning issues our pollies need to address

OUR federal politicians returned to work yesterday for a four-week sitting period before the summer break.

Is it just me, or does it seem like they haven't done much sitting this year?

Now I know this is starting to sound like another 'politician bashing' rant, but hear me out.

I'm the first to admit our politicians do work bloody long hours and they should spend time at home working in their electorates rather than in the "Canberra bubble".

However, Canberra is where the big decisions are made.

And there are some big issues facing Australia right now and debating a bill to protect religious freedoms is not one of them.

How about we start with the drought, fires and how we resource fire-fighting in this country, our broken aged-care sector and the shameless banking sector, which is now facing another probe into why they are not passing on interest rate cuts to customers.

As taxpayers we heavily subsidise the aged-care sector and the government routinely props up the banks during global financial downturns.

We are all impacted by the effects of a drought. Even the Northern Rivers is going to need a new dam sooner rather than later.

Lastly, our normally green and fertile land is parched and brown and has been burning for months with no end in sight.

Surely we need a long-term strategy for dealing with a year-round fire season. Do we need a Fire-fighting Reserve a bit like the Army Reserve, who get paid to train and on deployment rather than leaving it to an army of volunteers, who must be getting sick and tired of the scale and frequency of the blazes they are facing.

Can this reserve be equipped, mobilised and sent as a strike force to fight fires like we send emergency teams overseas during earthquakes and tsunamis?