The Informer: Fire focus shouldn't be lost on Friday - or any day, for that matter

Kirsty McBain, standing up bushfire victims'.
Kirsty McBain, standing up bushfire victims'.

Kristy McBain might be a name not too familiar to you. But anyone touched by last summer's fire emergency owes her a debt of gratitude.

Today she piped up about Fridays. Specifically, about the release of "reports" on Fridays. That is, the predilection for sharing information of a Friday when many people have clocked up, literally or figuratively, and information sinks to the bottom of the news cycle by the time the nation reconvenes after the weekend.

The findings of a Royal Commission into the summer's bushfires is scheduled to be publicly released some time Friday. And that doesn't sit well with Ms McBain. She wants the government to reveal its findings immediately "so they don't get lost in the Friday afternoon news cycle".

"Across my community of Eden-Monaro we lost 750 homes, over 1000 sheds and outbuildings, we lost lives and livelihoods. These people have largely been forgotten ... they shouldn't have to wait again to be recognised, acknowledged, and [for the government] to act on the findings of the Royal Commission."

For instance, the NSW Bushfire Inquiry report was a whopping 436 pages. There were 76 recommendations alone.

The Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements presented its report to the Governor-General yesterday.

More than 1770 submissions were made to the Royal Commission, more than 2000 calls to the information line, 173 responses to Commission issues papers and almost 150 responses to draft propositions paper. It will be a substantial tome.

It deserves to be presented to the people who dealt with the most terrifying summer of their lives respectfully. You get the sense Kristy McBain won't settle for much else.

On another much-awaited report, the interim report into Victoria's hotel quarantine system will be delivered on Friday, November 6 and the final report on December 21, a Monday.

And while we're waiting ... don't expect the NSW-Vic border to open up unexpectedly soon.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian revealed she is "concerned" about how Victoria's going to deal with living and working in a COVID-safe way. So she's going to take the cautious approach and hit pause. Pause on potentially opening the Vic-NSW border that is. She'll reconsider in a fortnight.

Ms Berejiklian told the Australian Financial Review's CFO Live Summit today it was a "concern" that Victoria had only developed a QR code system after it emerged out of lockdown.

"What's difficult is actually dealing with the virus once you ease restrictions," she said. "I'd rather wait two weeks and get it right than stuff it up for the whole country," she added. "It would be an economic disaster for Australia."

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