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Bushfires: Some questions around NEXT TIME

Letter to the Editor

I happen to be still a resident in this area of the NSW South Coast. I say “still” because I had a lucky escape from the last bush fires that raged throughout our beautifully forested areas. Will everyone else be so lucky again when the next fires happen?

Historical data on Wikipedia shows that fires burnt since 1851.

<<“Bushfires in Australia” are a widespread and regular occurrence that have contributed significantly to shaping the nature of the continent over millions of years. Eastern Australia is one of the most fire-prone regions of the world, and its predominant eucalyptus forests have evolved to thrive on the phenomenon of bushfire.[1] However the fires can cause significant property damage and loss of both human and animal life. Bushfires have killed approximately 800 people in Australia since 1851,[2] and billions of animals.”>>

The complete content is a compulsory reading for everyone concerned but I would like to point out what the section titled Official inquiries” says. Please read.

My question is: 1) What are the differences between the previously done and the last one just released?

2) Where are the serious commitments in terms of financial and logistic capabilities of both NSW and Federal Government that are needed to prevent or at least reduce the inevitable and possibly catastrophic damages and deaths which repeatedly afflict our community?

We don’t need to be scientists to see how the laws governing residential and farm buildings approvals are not adequate. Everybody seems to blame the “Greenies” for that problem, but is that really fair to be? Aren’t we a fair dinkum democracy where the majorities should always count?

Personally I would start making sure that every building is well cleared from large trees and scrub, that human and animal established building locations must offer at least 2 safe escape routes if ever menaced by a large fire. All fire breaks should have a width at least double the maximum height of the trees along their boundary lines and be clear of any undergrowth and tall grass. Major roads and Highways should be cleared of trees, undergrowth and tall grass at least 50m on both sides of them.

Forests, whether be State or National, should be properly maintained with the removal of dead trees, branches and undergrowth, re-planting of trees where needed, utilization of excess wood in mills for the making of chipboards for the building industry.

Last but not least: Isn’t it time that we utilized timely and effectively our well equipped and trained ADF for peaceful jobs on their mother land when not chasing phantom enemies in other parts of the world? It would be nice to know that our experts and politicians have studied the logistical difficulties and compared the costs of preventing destruction instead of waiting for them to happen.

Being nobody I don’t expect to receive attention.......cheers.

Giuseppe Parmegiani

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