For­est of flames

Euroa Gazette - - LETTERS TO THE EDITOR -

I RE­SPOND to the let­ter by Mark Blackwell in The Euroa Gazette dated Novem­ber 23.

In par­tic­u­lar I take ex­cep­tion to his state­ment in re­la­tion to fuel re­duc­tion, it is to­tally wrong.

He im­plies fuel re­duc­tion is not harm­ful, it quite of­ten is.

An ex­am­ple be­ing the well doc­u­mented Tame’s Road Burn in 2015, the phys­i­cal ev­i­dence is still there for all to see.

The 2009 Vic­to­rian Bush­fire Royal Com­mis­sion (VRBC) er­ro­neously con­cluded that an area based fuel re­duc­tion should take place, this was then im­ple­mented by the Depart­ment of En­vi­ron­ment, Land, Wa­ter and Plan­ning (DELWP).

Mem­bers of the Strath­bo­gie Sus­tain­able For­est Group (SSFG) – not SSFA dis­agreed with this ap­proach, we ar­gued for a sci­en­tific and risk based ap­proach to pro­scribed burn­ing.

DELWP are now do­ing this. In no small part to the SSFG the depart­ment - DELWP in­sti­gated a work­ing group in re­la­tion to proscibed burn­ing, it is called the Strath­bo­gies Com­mu­nity Bush­fire Plan­ning Group (SCBPG).

It should also be noted the Euroa En­vi­ron­men­tal Group and Fire Fight­ers for Forests – not the CFA were in­volved in this.

This group – SCBPG is a widely based, both in area and back­ground of par­tic­i­pants, com­mu­nity con­sul­ta­tive group.

Mr Blackwell could have joined this group if he so wished.

Fi­nally I chal­lenge Mr Blackwell to make a choice ei­ther be­have like Billy Liar and make cheap po­lit­i­cal shots from the side­lines.

Al­ter­na­tively con­tact the co­or­di­na­tor of SCBFG and avail your­self on the facts on proscibed burn­ing.

I am more than happy for you to con­tact me per­son­ally to fa­cil­i­tate this.

Given the fire sea­son is upon us, I wish all a safe sea­son and Christ­mas.

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