This excellent submission by the National Farmers Federation to the Royal Commission makes compelling reading.
Roger Underwood opined in Quadrant Online that the outcomes from the NSW Bushfire Enquiry could be expected to be delivered on true “Yes Minister” lines.
We shouldn’t expect the NSW Enquiry to seriously criticise the performance of its own government. The Royal Commission may produice a better result.
Were our recent bushfires the equivalent of an ice age? What does this mean for Australia and the rest of the world? Will the after-effects have a prolonged impact on our future?
Nightline’s Philip Clark in conversation with Stephen Pyne, Emeritus Professor at Arizona State University, specializing in environmental history, the history of exploration, and especially the history of fire. Also the author of Burning Bush: A Fire History of Australia.
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.
Submissions will now close Tuesday 28th April 2020.
Early detection and suppression have greatly improved the survivability of people and property in an urban firefighting context, so why shouldn’t we adopt the same principles to look after the bush?
Early intervention improves other emergency response scenarios such as a first aid response to cardiac arrest.
Perhaps we should follow a bushfire survival chain.
Bronnie Taylor, Minister for Mental Health has urged anyone suffering from trauma or stress as a result of the State’s bushfire crisis to contact their local health service.
The Disaster Welfare Assistance Line is staffed with counselling support and can be accessed by phone on 1800 018 444.
More help can be accessed via:
NSW Mental Health Line on 1800 011 511,
Lifeline Australia on 131114, or Lifeline’s dedicated bushfire line on 13 43 57,
Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636,
Mensline on 1300 789 978 or
Kids Helpline on 1800 551 800.
When my grandmother’s older sister (Mrs Coleman) first came to Mallacoota (ahead of the arrival of my grandparents), she said there was a small band of aborigines, who moved about, burning wherever they went. However, they went with drovers taking cattle from the Bega area to Port Albert for shipping to Tasmania. They never returned.
However, fire was a constant in the bush. Everyone learned to live with it. They had to, as there were no bulldozers, water tankers, aircraft, 4WDs with teams of fire fighters, computer modelling, fire planning, CFA etc.
Bush dwellers of the time had a completely different understanding of the necessity of regular fire in the environment and its acceptance, than that of the majority of people today. Smoke was something we learned to live with. In good weather, particularly the autumn, smoke would lag in the valleys and on the lakes and low lying areas, sometimes making it difficult to navigate on the water.
With the government preferring or directing that burning not take place until after the Easter holidays, some of the best autumn burning conditions are missed. The opportunity to fuel reduce even small areas has contributed to the mess we now have.