Central and North Burnett Times - - OPINION -

Flu­o­ride re­moved

CON­GRAT­U­LA­TIONS to the North Bur­nett Re­gional Coun­cil for the good and “com­mon” sense to re­move flu­o­ride from the water sup­plies.

How­ever, con­dem­na­tion must go to the health bu­reau­crats and politi­cians re­spon­si­ble for the im­ple­men­ta­tion of this farce in the first place.

How any­one could spend mil­lions of dol­lars (plus on­go­ing an­nual costs) on a scheme (in an area) where just about ev­ery­one drinks tank-water beg­gars be­lief.

Shame also on the coun­cil­lors and coun­cils through­out Queens­land, along with the LGAQ, who meekly ac­cepted the de­cree of government about this is­sue.

Noth­ing short of a ref­er­en­dum would have been ac­cept­able.

The fact re­mains that any­one who be­lieves in (the need for) flu­o­ride can ob­tain all they want from other sources. JACK MULLER


Ev­ery­one’s an ex­pert

FIRE seems to elicit some ba­sic, pri­mor­dial stir­ring in the hu­man brain, caus­ing ev­ery­one to think they are an ex­pert on the topic and com­pelled to write un­in­formed ar­ti­cles, let­ters and edi­to­ri­als in news­pa­pers.

This per­pet­ual cy­cle of mis­in­for­ma­tion oc­curs af­ter ev­ery large fire event in east­ern Aus­tralia, ped­dling un­truths about Abo­rig­i­nal fire man­age­ment and the ef­fi­cacy of haz­ard re­duc­tion burns.

Not con­tent with blam­ing state agen­cies for mis­man­ag­ing fire, th­ese in­stant ex­perts have de­cided it is ap­par­ently the fault of the Greens now. Truly amaz­ing. While it is true re­mov­ing fuel on the ground will mit­i­gate against small fire events, it is naive to think that re­moval of ground fuel will pre­vent the spread of a crown-fire, as it ig­nites gases hun­dreds of me­tres ahead of the flame front.

The trees them­selves are the fuel, not a few sticks. And some species, notably Moun­tain Ash, re­quire a large fire event to kill the adults, al­low­ing the next gen­er­a­tion to ger­mi­nate.

The same is true for many Aus­tralian plants, in­clud­ing some grasses.

Coex­is­tence of plant species killed by fire with those that re­sprout af­ter fire is only pos­si­ble when there is vari­a­tion in the fire regime over time. This en­sures di­ver­sity and there­fore re­silience against dis­tur­bances.

If fire is used too fre­quently and uni­formly, it will favour re­sprout­ing species over seed­ers (and is) of­ten a very good method for spread­ing weeds.

So, con­trary to numer­ous un­sub­stan­ti­ated claims, the term “con­trolled burns” is more of­ten than not a eu­phemism for “she’ll be right burns”, sub­ject to very lit­tle or no reg­u­la­tion.

While it is the land­hold­ers’ busi­ness how they want to in­flu­ence the species com­po­si­tion of their pas­tures with fire, it is in­cum­bent on the com­mu­nity to en­sure fire sen­si­tive plant com­mu­ni­ties and fire lov­ing weeds are con­sid­ered dur­ing burns on or ad­ja­cent to pub­lic land. But then again, we might as well just pick up our clubs and try and beat each other into ac­cept­ing one an­other’s opin­ion.

If you’re in­ter­ested, type ‘plos one Arm­strong Tri­o­dia’ into Google and look at the first link for an ex­pla­na­tion of how fire en­ables plant species to co­ex­ist. GRAEME ARM­STRONG


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