Mike Kelly, a Labour MP from Eden-Monaro division in New South Wales state in Australia has started a controversy amid the ongoing bushfire crisis in the country. Mike Kelly has proposed an idea where school leavers would require to complete 12 months of civil service so they could be mobilized during a national crisis. Kelly took to his official Facebook handle to propose the idea where he wrote that the ageing of the volunteers has particularly struck him to ask younger people to get on board.
Kelly admitted that his idea will be seen controversial but he shared them in hope that there may be better ideas or improvements to these concepts. According to Kelly's post, high school students would require to join Civil Defence Corps (CDC) on leaving school for perhaps a one year period, after which they would be required to render service and attend refresher training annually up until 40 years of age, after which continuing service will be voluntary.
Kelly further added that CDC members could be provided with a card similar to an NSW Seniors Card, where benefits could include concessional travel, reduced vehicle registrations, and personal fire insurance charges, together with private medical and life insurance for injuries received during front-line firefighting. Kelly's idea to provide CDC members with a card came after he visited Rural Fire Service (RFS) and received suggestions from members who have been running back to back crews day and night from the past six weeks.
Australia is facing a massive crisis as several parts of the country are ravaged by deadly bushfires affecting people and animals. The bushfire this season is seemingly unprecedented as it is being termed as the worst summer in the history of the nation. Australia has been under the crisis since September 2019 where over 480 million animals and more than 1,600 homes have been affected by the tragedy. At least 22 have been killed till now during the ongoing bushfire season down under. Australian PM Scott Morrison has pledged AUD 2 billion for relief package and the money would be put into a bushfire recovery fund that will be administered by National Bushfire Recovery Agency.