Black Saturday victims want Christine Nixon to share proceeds from Fair Cop

Black Saturday victims want Christine Nixon to share proceeds from Fair Cop

29 July 2011

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Australia — BLACK Saturday survivors have called on Christine Nixon to donate the profits of her new book to a fund for bushfire victims.

Kinglake West resident Wayne Price-McDonald lost his home and 14 neighbours in the inferno.

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He said he did not blame Ms Nixon but called on any profits from her biography to go to a Black Saturday fund.

“There’s heaps of things needed around here still. Kinglake West has been the forgotten one,” he said.

“Why can’t we put (the money) toward helping out the CFA. The area is still void. What we had before the fires hasn’t been replaced.”

In her book Fair Cop, Ms Nixon blasts the bushfires royal commission and claims she was the victim of a campaign to get her.

She was criticised for going out to dinner at a North Melbourne pub on the night Victoria burned.

Carol Matthews of St Andrews, who lost a son in the fires, defended Ms Nixon.

She said the former police chief continued to work in a voluntary capacity with the bushfire affected communities after leaving her official role at the Victorian Bushfire Reconstruction and Recovery Authority.

“She’s put in many hours and a lot of work behind the scenes, particularly helping the bereaved community,” Ms Matthews said.

“Writing about the bushfires was only one chapter of the book and she was damned if she did include it and damned if she didn’t.”

Jason Lynn, 38, of Kinglake West, who is still living in a caravan with his family, said any donation from Ms Nixon would be welcome.

“It would be nice if a portion of the profits went to help bushfire survivors,” he said.

Fellow survivor Bessie McMahon, 85, of Kinglake, said Ms Nixon could afford to donate the proceeds from her book.

“When she visited up here she was getting a very big wage,” she said.

“Even if she donated half of the money from the book that would be a great thing.”

A serving police officer, who asked to remain anonymous, said his former boss owed the survivors.

“She should put the money back into those communities,” he said.

Ms Nixon deflected critcism of her role on Black Saturday, telling the ABC’s 7.30 that Police Minister Bob Cameron was meant to be in charge.

“The minister was the co-ordinator. I was the deputy,” she said.

“I’d fulfilled my role but not to the satisfaction of some people. I’m not paranoid, I’m just suggesting that there were people who took delight in what happened to me.”

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