‘Laws be­ing made by peo­ple ig­no­rant of fire risk’

Daily Mercury - - NEWS -

PROP­ERTY own­ers are out­raged at the state of na­tional parks ac­cord­ing to Coun­cil­lor Mar­tin Bella.

The in­tense bush­fires that ripped through the Mackay re­gion last week have raised se­ri­ous con­cerns about the ne­ces­sity to carry out ‘cool burns’ to es­tab­lish pre­ven­ta­tive fire­breaks. Cr Bella said as a prop­erty owner him­self, he feels res­i­dents are be­ing barred from pro­tect­ing their own land.

“It’s dif­fi­cult to ob­tain a fire per­mit and con­trolled burn­ing is a ne­ces­sity to pre­vent fuel loads,” he said.

Cr Bella said the gov­ern­ment has not been ad­e­quately main­tain­ing na­tional parks, caus­ing a ma­jor prob­lem for fire­fight­ers. “I’ve al­ways said the worst neigh­bour you can have is the gov­ern­ment,” he said.

“The lan­tana up at Eun­gella goes up in sec­onds and all of the na­tional parks and gov­ern­ment land is over­grown.

“We were fight­ing fires last week and couldn’t even get the dozer through to make a fire­break be­cause the growth was so thick and out of con­trol.”

Laws re­gard­ing the width of fire­breaks need to be re­assessed, Cr Bella said.

“The laws gov­ern­ing the lo­gis­tics of fire­breaks on our prop­er­ties are cre­ated in Bris­bane of­fices,” he said.

“They are cre­ated by peo­ple who have never see first-hand the de­struc­tion a bush­fire can cause. They don’t see why fire­breaks are so im­por­tant.”

In or­der to ob­tain a fire per­mit visit the Queens­land Gov­ern­ment Ru­ral Fire Ser­vice web­site.

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