The Orange By-Election could be a game changer

The Orange By-Election could be a game changer

The Shooters Fishers and Farmers Party candidate for the Orange By-Election, Philip Donato, is set to put a burr under the saddle of Troy Grant and The Nationals.

“The Nationals have been resting on their laurels in rural New South Wales for years,” Mr. Donato said.

“All the National Party want from their MPs is that they do whatever the Liberal Party says – even if it is bad for their rural constituents. That’s what we saw from the recent demotion of Katrina Hodgkinson and Chris Galuptis for not supporting Mike Baird and Troy Grant’s greyhound racing ban.

“Since the Liberal Party are siding with the Animal Justice Party on banning greyhound racing, and The Greens on not revoking the Native Vegetation Act, farming communities need advocates who will actually stand up for them.”

Traditional knowledge of Indigenous fire practices burns pathway to safer, healthier country

Traditional knowledge of Indigenous fire practices burns pathway to safer, healthier country

“What we see here is what I call ‘upside down’ country,” Victor Steffenson says, taking in the typical bush setting around us.

“Where you see the roots sticking in the air and the canopy on the ground; thick on the ground and thin on the top.”

He points to several of the large parent trees whose tall trunks tower above the understorey.

Some have long black scars extending from the ground to several metres above our heads while others appear completely blackened and lifeless.

“You can see from the state of them, the hot fires have come and just been way too hot,” Mr Steffenson explained.

“And when we look at the forest floor, there’s no shade from these big bloodwood trees anymore [so] eventually, if we don’t do anything, more hot fires will come and all the black wattle that’s thickening the understory will burn hot again.

“All we’re going to have is dead wood, rubbish and more black wattle coming up and less grass.”

Rural Fires Amendment (Fire Trails) Bill 2016

Rural Fires Amendment (Fire Trails) Bill 2016

Most would agree that enhancing our fire trail network would be of enormous benefit to our communities and to the safety of our firefighters. However, the new section 62W suggests an intent to place some additional financial burden for the construction and maintenance of fire trails on private lands onto private land owners or occupiers.

When the fire trails are constructed they must be done in accordance with fire trail standards. There exists a potential situation where a landowner or occupier could be expected to fork out some/all of the money to do that. This seems to be the crux of new section 62W.

All fire trails must be seen as a community asset, they cannot become a burden for private land owners.

Are the Nationals really committed to Regional NSW?

Are the Nationals really committed to Regional NSW?

In a statement relating to the yellow shirt debacle (printed 13/01/2015), Melinda Pavey said that the NSW Liberals and Nationals are committed to making NSW number one again and one way in which this can happen is by decentralising bureaucracies and involving people in the decisions that affect them.

The greyhound debacle is yet another example of poor performance.

We need to return some focus upon all things rural including a commitment to putting the RURAL back into the Rural Fire Service.

Firing up Farm Management – The Land

Charlie Massy trials fire stick methods in the Monaro.
Indigenous burning utilising the plant’s adaptations to fire throughout millions of years. “Some Indigenous people believe the die-back of cer­tain populations of eucalypts on the Monaro and other regions has occurred be­cause of the lack of burning” he said. “Burning gets the ecology going… it kills pests which threaten plants, kills exotic seed loads, puts charcoal back into the soil and it gen­erates the germination of na­tive plant seed and tubers.”

Ecology and Economy (in the US)

Without large-scale implementation of fire hazard reduction treatments, the costs of uncharacteristic crown fires in southwest forests will continue to increase. Federal policy continues to allocate vastly more funds to suppression than to prefire hazard reduction. We examined the economic rationality of continuing this policy of emphasizing fire suppression activities over restoration-based fire hazard reduction treatments. We compared treatment plus fire suppression costs to the cost of fire suppression without treatments over 40 years for southwestern forests. This avoided-cost analysis estimates the amount one could invest in treatments to avoid the future cost of fire suppression. Using conservative economic values, we found that avoided future costs justifies spending $238-601/ac for hazard reduction treatments in the southwest. We conclude that the policy of underfunding hazard reduction treatments does not represent rational economic behaviour, because funding hazard reduction would pay for itself by lowering future fire suppression costs.

Ecological Burning

The Sugar Bag Project

Mike Lewis from Charles Darwin University talks with elder Tommy George about stingless bees and hives. Learn how traditional knowledge and cool burning can positively affect the abundance of flora and the bees.

Please Note: This video contains images and video footage of Awu Laya Elder, Dr Tommy George who passed away July 29, 2016. Dr Tommy George was the last fluent speaker of the Kuku Thaypan language. He was awarded an honorary Ph.D with his brother Dr George Musgrave, for their extensive Indigenous knowledge. He co-founded the Living Knowledge Place, Indigenous Fire Workshop, and Laura Dance Festival. His influence extends throughout Australia and the world.

Community Safety and Awareness Day at “Waitangi”

The Mallacoota Fire Brigade’s Safety and Community Resilience Team has extended an invitation to all interested RFS Brigades to attend a joint CFA, SES, Coastguard, Police and Ambulance Community Safety and Awareness Day at “Waitangi”, Double Creek, 8km west of Mallacoota on the 17th September 2016.
This event is intended to raise awareness and preparedness in the event of a fire or similar emergency situation impacting their communities. Their aim is for members of the public to gain knowledge from a number of speakers on a broad range of subjects from ‘forest management’ and ‘fire ecology’ to ‘equine management during emergencies’.

RFS volunteer exercising rights as a ‘worker’ – By Michael Eburn

The decision here is certainly giving effect to the principle that a volunteer is a worker and enjoys the rights and privileges once only given to employees. Regardless of the merits of Mr Bryant’s claims, he is certainly committed and dedicated and willing to put his money and his effort into what he must see as the best interest of the RFS and its workforce.