Why I’m voting for Dr Sophie
During my 50 years of fighting fires I’ve witnessed the effects of climate change first-hand - longer, hotter bushfire seasons and more intense, damaging fires.
Before the Black Summer bushfires in 2019, with other former fire and emergency chiefs, I personally tried to warn Prime Minister Morrison about a looming bushfire disaster. We were ignored and criticised and to this day he steadfastly refuses to speak to us.
We highlighted a 2018 business case from fire chiefs begging for just $11 million for urgently needed large firefighting aircraft. The Morrison Government refused to help until it was far too late. At the same time, in the leadup to the 2019 election, the government was squandering millions on sports rorts and then carparks, favouring coalition and marginal electorates in a brazen pork-barrelling exercise.
As I fought the deadly fires at Batemans Bay on New Years Eve 2019 I reflected that more air support would have helped us to save more lives and homes. Two weeks earlier I was fighting fires in the Southern Highlands when two young firefighters were killed nearby by a falling tree – I was stunned to learn that the Prime Minister had quietly slipped out of the country for a holiday, leaving Australia in the midst of a national disaster.
There have been so many failures in national leadership it has been hard to keep up: the bungled bushfire response and recovery; vaccine rollout; flood response; hording of billions of dollars earmarked for recovery as fire and flood victims huddle in tents.
These are just some of the reasons why, for the first time, I’m voting independent. I’ve decided to vote for someone who listens. Someone who takes climate change, extreme weather and the safety of my children and grandchildren seriously. Someone with integrity who I know I can trust. I’m voting for our local independent Dr Sophie Scamps.
I was born and bred in Mackellar, always a safe Liberal seat, and I know that ‘safe’ seats like ours’ get little attention or investment from either of the major parties. Labor isn’t really an option for us in Mackellar; voting patterns mean that realistically it has two chances of beating the Liberals here - none and Buckley’s.
That is why many people have decided to change how they vote: to try to put Mackellar on the map and to elect a representative who isn’t dictated to by a dishonest, directionless party machine. I ask you to consider doing the same – the Morrison Government has lost its way, has been grossly negligent and dishonest, lacks the competence to keep us safe, and therefore must be replaced or held accountable if it again wins government.
PLEASE don’t risk more of the same on election day – Australia’s safety and prosperity are literally in our hands. Vote 1 Dr Sophie Scamps.
Greg Mullins AO, AFSM
Former Commissioner, Fire & Rescue NSW