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NCA: What the Eurobodalla Council must learn from the bushfire disaster in northern NSW

In a media release issued by the Nature Coast Alliance they say that Eurobodalla Council has so far failed to come to terms with the growing fire danger in the Eurobodalla region and across NSW.

Brett Stevenson, spokesperson for the Nature Coast Alliance said “the Mayor, Liz Innes, continues to lobby for seven high fire risk areas identified by the Rural Fire Service (RFS), to be opened up for sub-division and development. "The Rural Fire Service has stated development in these areas (20% of the rural lands in the Eurobodalla) will put lives, property and RFS staff and volunteers at high risk of injury and death.”

“All our Councillors, not just Anthony Mayne and Patrick McGinlay, need to heed the warnings from the north coast fires and not allow further development outside the town centres without meeting all the requirements laid out in the RFS's Planning for Bushfire Protection legislation and guidelines”, said Brett Stevenson.

Fire fighters are increasingly unable to control bush fires, with devastating consequences for life and property. Extreme fire weather creates fire conditions that exceed all known firefighting technologies.

Greg Mullins (former NSW Fire and Rescue Commissioner) and 22 other former emergency chiefs have gone on the public record stating that "We are experiencing unprecedented dryness; reductions in long-term rainfall; low humidity; high temperatures; wind velocities; fire danger indices; fire spread and ferocity; instances of pyro-convective fires (fire storms — making their own weather); early starts and late finishes to bushfire seasons. We have an established long-term trend driven by a warming, drying climate," he wrote.

“The Eurobodalla Shire Council must never again allow its Bushfire Management Plan and Drought Plan to fall so far out of date. The Council needs to step up in preparing the community for bushfires, especially with the recent budget cuts to the RFS and the huge rate of resignations of firefighters across Australia, including RFS volunteer fire fighters. "As a matter of urgency, the Eurobodalla Council needs to update its bushfire prone land maps to reflect current conditions, so that the community can be fully aware of bushfire risk. "Eurobodalla Council also needs to lobby the NSW State Government to reverse the recent cuts to the RFS budget, and increase the funding to this crucial government agency”, said Brett Stevenson.

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