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The Weekly Times – Wednesday December 12 2018

The cartoon (pictured above) that appeared in The Weekly Times says it all.

State governments and fire authorities are failing to act upon reports, royal commissions, inquiries, local knowledge and in particular, the knowledge of Indigenous Australians.

It is interesting that climate change is used as a diversionary tactic but the fact remains: more fuel equals hotter fires and these hot fires are destroying our environment, our homes, our way of life and placing the lives of people at risk.

Page 16 – Opinion on Wednesday December 12 2018

Black Saturday lessons ignored

FEBRUARY 7 marks 10 years since Black Saturday’s firestorms tore through 400,000ha, destroying 2100 homes and killing 173 people.

Victoria’s worst natural disaster shocked the world and prompted politicians and emergency service leaders to swear it would never happen again.

The 2009 Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission highlighted the failings of the past, calling on future governments and forest managers to raise the bar and burn at least 390,000ha of public land each year.

But that target sputtered and died in the midst of reviews, red tape and pressure to spend the money on projects that delivered more immediate political gains – such as level crossing removals.

Forest Fire Management Victoria only managed to treat 74,825ha in 2017-18.

Why aren’t we listening to former CSIRO bushfire scientist Phil Cheney’s warning that “if you look at risk, what you can control. fuel load is the only
thing that matters”?

The Victorian Government refuses to release fuel load data, instead giving us a computer-generated residual risk of 80 per cent – where we were just prior to Black Saturday.

Does Environment Minister Lily D’Ambrosio think there’s a problem? Apparently not.

Yet the reality is Victoria’s most dangerous bushfire zone has millions of tonnes of fuel ready to explode this summer or next in the wake of drought and extreme heat.

The Minister best hope she doesn’t have to front another Royal Commission to explain her government’s failure that led to another black day in Victoria’s history.

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