The Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements was established on 20 February 2020 in response to the extreme bushfire season of 2019-20 which resulted in loss of life, property and wildlife and environmental destruction.
Referred to as the ‘Bushfires Royal Commission’, the Commission will examine coordination, preparedness for, response to and recovery from disasters as well as improving resilience and adapting to changing climatic conditions and mitigating the impact of natural disasters. The inquiry will also consider the legal framework for Commonwealth involvement in responding to national emergencies.
The Commission is now accepting public submissions on the 2019-20 bushfire season from individuals, community groups and the broader community.
Since the Royal Commission into the Black Saturday fires, only a third of the area earmarked for hazard reduction burns has been cleared and former CSIRO bushfire expert Phil Cheney says there have been “excuses… and Pseudo-science to justify this”.
The photos in this post were taken from a privately owned block which ranges between 1550m – 1850m in altitude. It is the highest freehold block in Australia and is owned by Barry Aitchison, former Fire Control Officer of Snowy River / Monaro Team for 32 years who is a passionate advocate for the high country.
This block is a particularly good example as it is not only owned and managed by someone with a lifetime of both fire and grazing experience, but it contains several test plots which were initiated as part of the High Fire Project in 2006.
The numbered photos in this post tell a story that is worth sharing.
Vic Jurskis wrote a document that was published on this web site 21st January 2019.
Greg Mullins’ dad told him about 1939 when “the sky seemed to be on fire every night”. John Mulligan lived through the Black Friday fires that burnt two million hectares of Victoria and killed 71 people. There were hundreds of fires in East Gippsland at that same time, but no major problems because the bush was kept clean by burning and grazing. John’s family weren’t worried, even when his uncle’s car repeatedly stopped because of vapour locks in the fuel lines with the extreme heat. John has formed the East Gippsland Wildfire Taskforce to try and restore sanity. If we get fires under the same weather conditions today, they’ll destroy everything from Bairnsdale to Sydney.
And now, 12 months later we are see burnt country that extends from Bairnsdale to Sydney with only a few unburnt areas remaining.
Without adequate management and fire reduction burn offs, the ferocity of Australia’s fires will continue to incur an “exponential effect” to the point “no firefighting force known to man” can stop them, says bushfire specialist Roger Underwood, supported by David Packham.
It appears that scientific bush fire experts have been warning for several years that a catastrophe would be coming and yet these warnings have not been heeded by governments or their bureaucratic officials. Why is that, and what does it tell us about Australian society? John Adams and Martin North discuss. Is this also true of impending financial disaster?
Owners say the property was saved by the traditional Indigenous technique of cultural burning conducted on their land three years ago.
Aboriginal cultural fire practitioner Dennis Barber led a series of cultural burns on six hectares of bushland at Ngurrumpaa in 2015 and 2016 – the first burns in the area since a wildfire swept through in 1994.