Maintaing the integrity of our telecommunications infrastructure during bushfires is critical. It is therefore encouraging to see the telecommunications industry working together to document their experiences during this summers fires and present their findings to the Royal Commission.
Early in 2019, Vic Jurskis warned on the Volunteer Fire Fighters Association website, that in the event of severe fire weather, all the bush from Bairnsdale to Sydney would be incinerated due to an unprecedented accumulation of three-dimensionally continuous fuel. In extreme weather, such fuel inevitably creates firestorms with long distance ember showers. Firebreaks, fire engines and waterbombers can’t stop them.
In this article, Vic shares his thoughts as the NSW Fire inquiry reviews 1000 submissions.
Captain Matthew Gray and his team from the Kangaroo Valley Community Busshfire Committee have completed a comprehensive submission to the NSW Independent Bushfire Inquiry.
Kangaroo Valley look to be leading the way in proper community consultation and the submission really highlights the benefits that can be achieved. It also shows the importance of devolving responsibility to a local level and involving all government agencies in the solution.
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.