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‘Gang of four’ fire fools down to one

This might not be of much interest to those outside ‘The State of No Greens’, Victoria. Where I live. The only place to be … unless theres a fire.

I dunno if having the coalition in government will make much difference to the economy, public transport or the way things are run in general. I doubt it.

But one positive is the announcement by the State Emergency Services Commissioner Bruce Esplin that he is resigning after 10 fruitless and incompetent years in the job. Post haste. Like, straight away.

Esplin knows he wont last 5 minutes after Baillieu is sworn in. Why?

Well this is the bloke responsible for developing and putting emergency plans into action in the event of a State emergency like, you know, a big flood or … a f*cking big bushfire like we had in February 2009!

The problem was that even though Esplin had been in his very well paid job for about 8 years, come Black Saturday he hadn’t actually got around to having such a plan. No plan for early warnings, no plan for evacuations or escape routes and no plan on how to co-ordinate the fire fighting and other emergency services.

Worst of all he did not even declare a ‘State of Emergency’ on the day of the biggest emergency in the State’s history. This would have allowed the Army to be called in. You know, so they could go in and try to save some of the 173 lives that were lost. Why didn’t he do that? Well not much point seeing he hadn’t got around to putting the Army on notice even though the conditions were predicted days ahead. What a dick.

Even now nearly 2 years later bald eagle Esplin still doesn’t have a real emergency plan.

I wonder how much hes paid? My guess is about $300,000 per year.

I wonder what sort of payout he will get? My guess is a few $million. For what?

Thanks for nothing Esplin. F*ck off and stay away.

In case you don’t know or dont remember here are the others from the Black Saturday ‘Gang of four fire fools’:

Police chief Christine Nixon: Officially the person in charge but chose to get a hair cut and spend an hour or so chatting with her ‘biographer’, Age journo Jo Chandler, knowing full well the State was burning. And then after spending only 3 hours in the emergency centre – doing nothing – went out to the pub for dinner and switched her mobile off. While people died. Bad luck for Jo Chandler whose first book looks like never seeing the bookstore shelves. If its ever published it’ll go straight on the $2 table. 


CFA chief Russell Rees: Best described as a meek, mild & shy man. Not the type you would want marshalling the troops and leading from the front. Did not have a clue where the fires were and appeared to think it was someone elses job. Left ground crew stranded and gave no clear instructions or necessary data. A hopelessly inept bureaucrat.


DSE chief Ewan Waller: The guy in charge of protecting our State forests. Probably thought it was just another opportunity to have a bloody big burn off like in 2003 & 2006 when he let the slow-moving fires in the northeast of the State all join up into one mega-burn that went for 6 weeks. Keeps hiring more salaried firefighters and expanding his empire. Keeps NOT fighting fires or putting them out. Loves a burn off though. Why is he still there?

Come on Baillieu, give this final member of ‘The gang of four’ fire fools the flick.


  1. I’m sure most people outside of Victoria are also greatly interested in this issue as well, since so many died, and countless more lost their entire homes. To think that some or even many of those deaths could have been avoided if some public servants hadn’t let the people of Victoria down is tragic.

    It’s all good to see those public servants quitting or being sacked, but hopefully in future we ensure that we appoint competent people to these important roles and that we use effective measures to prevent such massive fires from occurring again.

  2. SockPuppet says:

    If we put powerlines underground most of those fires would not have started Leon. And most of the people who died would not have died. I know it would cost a lot of money – like $20billion in Vic they say – but maybe they should do this when they put the NBN through. Stick em in the same trench?

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