Flint stokes more burn-offs calls
MORE hazard reduction and less red tape is needed to prevent bushfires across the Adelaide foothills, Liberal MP Nicolle Flint says.
In a submission to the bushfire royal commission, the Member for Boothby also raises concerns about funding for the Country Fire Service, and Belair train line maintenance.
“Practical local on-theground action … could enhance local bushfire mitigation and preparedness in our community,” Ms Flint writes.
“The submission does not cover global issues.”
Speaking with Sturt CFS volunteers following the Black Summer bushfires, Ms Flint found it was “very difficult” for the CFS and private land owners to obtain permits to undertake preventive burn-offs or clearings.
“This has increased the fuel load and also means that CFS volunteers obtain far less reallife firefighting experience than they ideally should,” she says.
Increased funding is needed to adequately fund the CFS headquarters and staff salaries which Ms Flint argues is critical for co-ordination of volunteers and prevention activities.
She says past fires along the Belair train line, where freight trains can reach up to 2km in length, have also been started by sparks coming off tracks with dry vegetation nearby.
“Considerable concern about the safety of the fuel load in Belair National Park was consistently raised by the community,” Ms Flint says.
More than 18,000 residents live in Boothby’s high bushfire risk suburbs of Bellevue Heights, Eden Hills, Blackwood, Belair, Glenalta, Lynton and Mitcham.
A bushfire response survey, representing the views of more than 400 residents, reveals four in five are supportive of more hazard reduction in the area.
“Task local councils to help landowners maintain fuel loads especially for elderly people,” one local suggested.
Several respondents also proposed a weekly green bin collection in bushfire-prone areas.
More than half did not believe all three levels of government were working well together to prevent, respond and recover from bushfires.
While only two in 10 did not support the Federal Government having the power to declare a state of national emergency.
MP: Nicolle Flint has called for more controlled burn-offs.