The Fire Fight over Potato Point

The second in a series of adverts has been published in The Land newspaper (page 32) on Thursday 11th December 2014.

VFFA Potato Point Advert 2

The text reads as follows:

The Fire Fight over Potato Point

Imagine for a minute you’re a resident of Potato Point. You remember only too well the 1985 bushfire that sparked spot fires amongst houses and almost took out the village.

It was stopped (just), thanks to some very brave fire fighters and a 600 metre firebreak.

That firebreak has now gone.

It’s been replaced by bushland the responsibility of the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS).

Now imagine a village much larger than it was in 1985. Feel the frustration as a local, who for 13 years has been asking for the restoration of a smaller (200 metre) firebreak, as well as some other preventative measures recommended by one of the world’s most eminent authorities on bushfire behaviour.

Imagine your annoyance when all that is seemingly received from the NPWS, after a very protracted “consultative process”, was some token ground cover and canopy reduction.

Well, we’ve fought enough fires to know that they are never stopped by talk … and tokenism.

So the locals asked their State Member, Andrew Constance, and the NSW Minister for the Environment, Robert Stokes to familiarise themselves with the facts and help break the nexus.

They did. A meeting was held on the 7th August at Parliament House with all parties, including a representative from NPWS.

Imagine our relief when a ten-point plan was agreed by everyone.

Now imagine our anger when the NPWS has seemingly decided to implement just 3 of those ten points and ignore the rest.

It’s time for our politicians to step-up and remind the NPWS that they are there to implement ministerial decisions.

Because, no one wants to imagine the consequences of a catastrophic bushfire anywhere near Potato Point this summer.

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