‘This Christmas one in five Aussie kids will go hungry’

Australia

Help Vinnies help families

Imagine the pain and anguish a single parent feels staring at bare cupboards and an empty bank account, knowing they won’t be able to provide Christmas lunch for their child, let alone a present.

This Christmas, one in five Australian children will go hungry. That should shock and disgust every one of us, not only as Queenslanders, but as community members. It should also move us to act.

Hundreds of thousands of Queenslanders are living in poverty, too many of them children. For them, Christmas is not a time for joy and celebration but a time where bills cause stress, anxiety and a feeling of hopelessness.

Every Christmas our members visit with mothers and fathers who have been going without food so their children can eat.

When cupboards lie empty and there are no presents under the tree, let alone money to afford either, Queenslanders turn to Vinnies for help.

Thanks to a generous and supportive public we were able to be there to brighten the Christmas of more than 24,000 people this past December, more than 11,400 of them were children.

This Christmas, we need your support again to help make a difference in the lives of those who face a Christmas of empty plates and aching bellies. This Christmas you can give the gift of hope, the gift of happiness.

You can help a family put food on the table this Christmas. Your support will mean thousands more struggling Queenslanders can have the Christmas they deserve. You can make Christmas what it should be for your fellow Queenslanders.

To donate to the Vinnies Christmas Appeal visit: vinnies.org.au or phone 13 18 12.

Dennis Innes, St Vincent de Paul Society Queensland

Bushfire Sense

Australia is a land of deserts, droughts, floods, bushfires, flammable forests and fire-prone grasslands – these conditions have developed since the Holocene Warm Era commenced about 12,000 years ago.

All previous Australian bushies, both black and white, have recognised the key principle of fire management in Australia – you can have many small, managed “cool” fires in early spring or a few unplanned disastrous “hot” fires, consuming a heavy fuel load in hot dry winds in late spring. Arsonists have other priorities and light their fires at these most dangerous times.

Every generation of Australians sees its fire disasters and the worst ones get names – Black Thursday in 1851, Black Friday in 1939, Ash Wednesday in 1983, and the worst to date Black Saturday in 2009. Not even an armada of expensive water bombers will stop these bushfires – at that stage, fire can only be prevented or contained.

Good fire management disappeared as rural voters were outvoted by the green leafy suburbs. Urban Greens thought we could prevent all fires and encourage wildlife by locking up more parks and encouraging fire-loving, oil-containing eucalypts and flammable weeds close to towns and dwellings. Many native plants require fire to burst open their rock-hard seed pods.

Even more stupid are those who think politicians can control or abolish droughts and bushfires by banning the use of coal and oil in a futile attempt to lower global temperature. The sun, the oceans and recurring El Nino’s will dwarf all efforts of puny politicians.

We need good fire and forest management and prosecution of arsonists, not costly climate distractions.

Viv Forbes, Washpool

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