The royal commission (RCIVB) have failed in one basic way - to make the wolf more real.( Their report this week)
Despite some very good recommendations and clearly identifying a major problem ( warning failure), the RCIVB have failed to properly frame the solution.
Symbolically , they have shifted the focus from THERE to WHEREVER ; from the power and directness of the word "evacuate" to the wishy washy non directive "relocate" .
A slight change in wording you may say? One which includes all the options to be more accurate; True. But is it ? It may be totally" right" in the bureacractic, overly legalistic and blame averse world of central Melbourne to be totally pedantic; terrible to risk being blunt.
Do they not realize the advantages, no the absolute neccessity , of being very direct ( the word clear )- clearly No.
Are we to believe perhaps the answer to The States Problem is better word use ?( they love that sort of thing) More accuracy in word use will change the world ???
While there may be less confusion in Spring street over this, the confusion in the country will remain ( pity the poor police !) I fear we have the impractical perfect world of Spring street advising us about the clearly imperfect risk rich world we have to live with . Get real , some people will die , whichever word we use!
Do the commission think , in using the word " clear" , that its better for the trumpeter to shout "relocate" rather than "get the ... out of here ".
They have got the message ( about ineffective warnings) but are still not aware of what an effective wolf warning is. Evacuate is very clear and quite correct as the theme and substance of the action required. . How did we get moved from very urgent warning word to a watered down wishy washy one. Is this a lawyers answer ?
Sound the trumpet clearly , or you don't sound it at all .
To beat this incredibly real, urgent and powerful wolf you have to just get away from his teeth. Its that simple, and it should remain that simple . Even if you have a refuge area, depending on where the fire started, it may not be clear where the appropriate relocation area is. Relocation talk is right BUT it raises another lower order question and therefore provides a point of confusion or clarity that is less important that the defendable and correct first call to "get the .. out of there " or not be "THERE" ( see the locations that can be easily identified Here).
The big question for some is --why did the commissioners change the word .( see posting on thestockadestate . Relocate is accurate in terms of all the options and will please the greeks amongst the crowd , but it should not please the practical ones because its not direct enough.
The reason Victoria had more resources to manage the risk in Feb 09, but failed to do it well, has to do with matters of philosophical confusion - the big picture (attitudes to worship ,authority, responsibility and risk )Part of the confusion stems stems, we are told, that the police don't feel comfortable to insist on evacuation . Are we too afraid of a bit of opposition ? Will the gods bless us if we let people do what they think is right in their own eyes ? . If they haven't got the power to recommend evacuation ,they should get it . Otherwsie , God help us .
We who have managed both fires and risk planning know that only a major shift in philosophy will move the B government from ineffectiveness to effectiveness - from being led around by bureaucrats to being led around by basics.Currently the left talk prevention(ie know the problem) , but philosphically they ( don't know how to fix it )are committed to growing more and bigger emergency management systems that don't work .
A major shift away from presummed authority to real authority is needed before such commissions will be free to recognise the paradigm shifts required to get back closer to an effective risk management service.
Congratulations to ABC radio 774 who visited the country yesterday- such a good idea and breath of fresh air! There still is plenty of confusion out here BUT Let's hope reality therapy rather than word therapy , triggers a way forward for those who can see the wolves teeth but are not close enough to know what to really say to those who have to deal with them .