More calls for Wambelong inquiry recommendations to be adopted

VFFA President, Brian Williams talk to ABC’s Rural Country Hour Host, Michael Condon.

There have been more calls for the New South Wales Government to adopt the recommendations from the Upper House inquiry into the Wambelong/Coonabarabran fires.

Brian Williams, President of the Volunteer Fire Fighters Association (VFFA), says the inquiry was conducted in a very methodical way, heard valuable testimony and was very balanced in the way it went about its business.

“The NSW Upper House inquiry made 29 recommendations to help avoid future bushfires across national parks and farmland,” he said.

“The recommendations of the inquiry represent commonsense improvements to fire management.”

“They include more frequent and structured hazard reduction burns on public land, an enhanced network of fire trails in national parks, greater respect for the volunteer firefighters in the Rural Fire Service, greater use of local knowledge in firefighting efforts and standardised communications equipment across different government agencies fighting fires.”

“We think it is a sensible and reasonable approach to the big bushfires we see too often come out of national parks, such as the Wambelong and the Canberra fires.”

Mr Williams rejected the criticism of some of the recommendations, on fire trails and clearing around farmland and national park borders, made by the Nature Conservation Council.

He also backed the call for the new Rural Fire Service headquarters. The service must soon leave its current base at Homebush in Sydney and relocate to a regional area.

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