Rocky man slams backburning claims: “It’s a falsehood”
A NORMAN Gardens man Michael McCabe has slammed claims that the government prevents backburning as "falsehood".
Mr McCabe responded to a Letter to the Editor (Jan 22) from Tannum Sands' Eloise Rowe, who claimed "weather extremes are not uncommon nor simply a result of the 'climate change' of the past few decades of modernisation".
Ms Rowe had written in, stating that in her opinion, deaths were also recorded during 50C heatwave in 1895.
"All Australia was 'like a furnace' throughout," she said.
"These disastrous conditions have been repeated time and time again, but not with the modern dramas and protests of globalisation."
Ms Rowe stated that those buildings amid bushland, "put themselves in jeopardy".
"More congested areas, in coastal cities and overseas, are not exposed to such fire hazards," she said.
"Farmers have had their hands tied by government policies denying them what once was commonsense backburning.
"Traditional people knew how to minimise the threat. 'Terra Australis' was in good hands until colonisation and modernisation changed the status quo."
Ms Rowe also said it was time Australia went "back to the drawing board and wisdom of those who have lived amicably with fire since the dawn of time".
Mr McCabe responded, stating that permits are available for private landholders for hazard reduction burns and to clear fire breaks.
He also cited a reference in the Planned Burn Guidelines.
"Queensland National Parks have fire management plans specific to local ecology and include grazing leases in forest reserves where appropriate," he said.
"Our seasonal patterns are highly variability, for example the 'Millennium Drought' followed by 2010-11 floods, then warmer dryer years interspersed with rainfall extremes from ex-Tropical Cyclones Oswald, TC Marcia and Debbie.
"This has had the effect of reducing the safe prescribed burning windows."
Mr McCabe also responded to the line by Ms Rowe stating that Australia needs to go "back to the drawing board" regarding bushfires.
"The Bushfire & National Hazard cooperative research centre (CRC) data centre records that Australia has held over one hundred Royal Commissions, inquiries and audits into bushfire management," he said.
"The question remains about how much of the wisdom gained has ever been implemented.
"The direct cost of current 'unprecedented' bushfires, let alone the inestimable cost of biodiversity loss, needs to be measured against the value of increased investment in bushfire prevention, for example employing more National Park and Traditional Owner Rangers."