'Flawed Fire Regime'

To: "Birding Aus" <>
Subject: 'Flawed Fire Regime'
Date: Thu, 26 Jun 2008 18:49:43 +1000 (EST)
Thanks for flicking this dreadful report onto the list Dave.

I've not much on the ground experience in Victorian forest contexts, but
many of the "stakeholder arguments" if they can be called that, coming out
of the inquiry are very familiar to me as a NSW resident.  I'm wondering
if anyone with the knowledge can comment as to whether there has seriously
been a decline in access roads and tracks in forested areas in Victoria:
some people say this is the case in NSW to justify "burning off" but I'm
afraid I don't accept the observation as having any foundation in fact in
the NSW context.

A quick look at the report gives me the distinct impression that the
Parliamentary inquiry has been totally railroaded by the Farmer's
Federation, logging companies and the Voluntary Bushfire mob. These groups
- all with fundamentally vested interests disguised with emotive drivel -
have successfully mobilised the old chestnut sequence of points as
"too much National Park restrictive land management practices" have
prevented "better" land use and management practices - notably ripping the
guts out of forests, grazing them, or cutting tracks and trails through

"Many stakeholders also referred to the associated decline in access roads
and tracks which were now becoming overgrown and inaccessible".

This comment makes me very suspicious because in the NSW context I keep
hearing the exact same lines from various strands of the fire services,
logging companies, farmers of course, and other commercial organisations
who want to get their hands on public land and will do anything to
discredit any premise of biodiversity conservation science they can think
through. Which is not much, but clearly they don't need to know anything
about critical debates in conservation science that do not line up with
the "science" created by those with commercial vested interests.

In my experience, NSW bushland is currently riddled to the core with
endless sequences of rather well-maintained tracks and trails that are
used every day by 4WDs, hunters, trailbike riders, and so on.



> I heard the following on ABC radio today. Its pretty alarming..and scary
> news.
> The text is copied from the ABC at:
> Dave Cameron
> Hamilton
> 'Flawed Fire Regime'
> A Parliamentary Committee has found bushfires which ravaged large parts of
> Victoria in 2003 and 2007 were the direct result of a flawed fire regime.
> About two-point-three million hectares of land was burnt out in the fires.
> The inquiry into land management practices has found insufficient burning
> by
> the Department of Sustainability caused the bushfires.
> It also found the lack of burning exacerbated last year's Gippsland
> floods,
> causing extensive damage to homes and businesses.
> The committee has recommended the number of prescribed burns be tripled to
> 380,000 hectares each year.
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