Media’s role to inform
It seems the blame game over May’s fires continues.
The Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (formerly Parks and Wildlife) continues to count the cost of its two prescribed burns, which burned out of control, destroying more than 17,000ha.
The fires tore through the Stirling Range National Park and Torndirrup National Park — two of nearly 50 fires in the region over two days which left one home razed.
A senior regional DBCA chief criticised the media in a community meeting about the Torndirrup blaze in Little Grove on Monday night.
He said the media posted images of the blaze on the Wednesday night it flared, while the fire was still only at an advice level, possibly causing unwarranted panic.
An image taken at night of the fire burning brightly over Little Grove was shared around Australia.
No homes were under threat in Little Grove but the fire destroyed hectares of bushland and part of the Bibbulmun Track, including a campsite.
The Advertiser will always alert residents to fires, particularly those with any alert level whether a lower-level advice or emergency warning has been issued.
The media’s role is to inform. That’s why we and other prominent media outlets, including the ABC, posted images and video footage of the Torndirrup blaze. We informed people of the fire situation. The massive smoke plume was an eerie sight over Albany and would have alarmed some residents. This newspaper made sure it had the latest updates online. That is our job. Our audience comes first. Always has, always will.