In recent weeks, Australia has been in the international news headlines because of devastating floods (hot on the heels of years of crippling drought),1,2,3 the largest cyclone in recorded history to ever cross the Australian coast,4 and now raging bushfires.5 The BBC quipped, “There seems to be no end to Australia’s summer of disasters.”6 Where is a loving God in all this?

We present again the acclaimed ‘bushfire’ article of February 2009 by Gary Bates, which addresses that question (see below).


  1. Australian floods likely to last weeks, warns Queensland premier, The Guardian,, 3 January 2011.
  2. Australia floods: 72 missing and at least eight dead, BBC News,, 13 January 2011.
  3. Australia floods: ‘Inland sea’ moves across Victoria, BBC News,, 23 January 2011.
  4. Cyclone Yasi, stronger than Katrina, hits Australia, Bloomberg Businessweek,, 2 February 2011.
  5. Bushfires rage in Western Australia, CNN,, 7 February 2011.
  6. Bushfires in Australia engulf homes near Perth, BBC News,, 7 February 2011.

Australia’s worst-ever bushfire disaster

The ‘lucky country’ stands in a state of shock

Disasters in Australia

©, ©, Flickr/robstephaustralia CC BY 2.0

 love a sunburnt country,
A land of sweeping plains,
Of ragged mountain ranges,
Of drought and flooding rains.
I love her far horizons,
I love her jewel-sea,
Her beauty and her terror
The wide brown land for me!

From My Country, an iconic poem by Dorothea Mackellar (1885–1968).

The recent devastation caused by massive firestorms in South-Eastern Australia has become international news. And deservedly so. It has become the worst natural disaster in Australia’s recorded history, surpassing the “Ash Wednesday” bushfires of 1983 that claimed 75 lives….

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