Verity Firth, Minister for Obfuscation

If you want a lesson in how to have your intentionally ambiguous language not questioned by journalists (probably because repeated questioning just results in politicians delivery the party line over and over until the journo gets the shits and gives up), check this out: Firth aims to clear air with $15m for heaters:

THE state government says the decision to remove unflued gas heaters from about 100 schools in the state’s coldest areas is not an admission the heaters cause respiratory problems in children.

The Education Minister, Verity Firth, yesterday announced funding of $15 million to replace the heaters in schools where it is too cold to open doors and windows to clear the pollutants they emit.

Um, so the heaters aren’t dangerous but you need to have the windows and doors open to let the pollutants out? And not only do open doors and windows defeat the purpose of having the heater on, but it’s an enormous waste of energy. (And taxpayers are footing the bill, blah blah.)

She denied the decision to retrofit schools was prompted by the results of the $2 million study into the heaters the government commissioned from the Woolcock Institute of Medical Research.

She said sustained pressure from Labor MPs in the Blue Mountains, Snowy Mountains and Bathurst, and a six-year campaign by parents and the Asthma Foundation had convinced her it was prudent to act.

So the Government is spending $15 million because a few MPs and parents were unhappy. Yeah, right.

“This decision today is more about those specific cold-climate schools where the local community believe and the stakeholders believe that under the current evidence they’re not necessarily getting the ventilation they need,” Ms Firth said.

Is it a ventilation problem, or a heater problem? I’m confused.

Ms Firth, I award to you the Verity Firth Award for Excellence in the field of Obfuscation.

7 responses to “Verity Firth, Minister for Obfuscation

  1. She must have paid SMH to send Louise Hall to do that particular report… if ever there was a journo afraid to ask the questions…

  2. Kennealy & Verity , plus the DET bureaucrats have yet again triumphed spin over substance. The science is out there,& this is a no-brainer. Smokescreens & mirrors will never sway us from getting poison out of classrooms. The population of NSW has been conned for over 20years. The trouble is Barry O’Farrel is tarred with the same brush.
    It’s a total failure in a duty of care & children have no voice!

    • Hi Bluemtns Parent, welcome to the good ship Nipple. Of course these unflued heaters are bad – NSW and Queensland are the only two states that haven’t phased them out or banned them. That’s no surprise.

      Now, making an assumption based on your name, does this affect your kids?

  3. all parents in all areas should be complaining to their local members and requesting change as loudly and with as much media as they can get. it seems to be the only language the pollies understand. we have been requesting support or public comment from o’farrell for months and we got nothing, we requested a letter of support from the P&C fed to take to parliamentry house, NOTHING. It’s got to be people power, get out there parents and make some noise, a dangerous heater in hazelbrook is still a dangerous heater in hurstville. http://www.cough.org.au on facebook ‘say no to unflued gas heaters in NSW schools’

    • It’s true – media trouble is all politicians seem to respond to these days. Or perhaps it’s just because those are the cases that get coverage, and all the other times they listen and do something without fuss go unreported…. nah, doubt it.

      I’m a big fan of sending emails to my local members (state and federal). They are they to represent me, after all, and they can’t know how I feel about issues unless I tell them.

  4. of course you know who has to answer these emails to your MP don’t you??? That’s right – people like me!

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