Time to do better on Ebola, Tony Fiddler

As Ellen Johnson Sirleaf says, ‘we all have a stake’. Put simply, Tony Abbott’s message of mean spirited disinterest and misguided self-protection is costing lives.

Surely, we can do ‒ and are ‒ better than that.

Tony Abbott, who was more than ready to send troops into dangerous zones in Ukraine and Iraq wants a no risk guarantee for “our people”, saying it would be

“… irresponsible of an Australian government to order Australian personnel into this very dangerous situation.”

Beyond the obvious hypocrisy, Abbott is either callous, ignorant, or just not up to the job.

What is needed is not just a token donation of money, but people on the ground.

Also needed is the provision of expert training and (even simple) equipment — including protective gear, spray bottles, chlorine and logistical support.

Tony Abbott has pledged a meager $18 million to assist West Africa.

This is puny when compared to the recent estimates of the current deployment in Iraq are expected to soar to $400 million dollars. It fades to insignificance when compared to the $1 billion spent to provide offshore detention this financial year.

In summary, Australia’s contribution to fighting Ebola is spectacularly insignificant.

Australia is once again a laggard in its global responsibility. As he has done with climate change inaction, Tony Abbott is failing Australians and failing the world.