Flint stokes more burn-offs calls

The Advertiser - - NEWS - JADE GAILBERGER

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.

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