I worked for the Forestry Commission (Forestry Corporation now) for almost 43 years and, from 1990 until August 2014, I planned and conducted Hazard Reduction Burns (on forestry land) from Cobargo to Nowra, then west to Moss Vale through to Cooma via Queanbeyan.
I helped do 260,000 hectares of documented hazard reduction burns in that period.
In 1972, when I started work with Forestry, the hazard reduction program was that if an area had heavy fuel loads, it was burnt by anyone who passed by during the cooler months of the year. A few strategically placed matches removed that fuel and prevented the massive fires we see today.
The rot set in back in 1974 when the NSW Government passed The National Parks & Wildlife Act to supposedly protect the native wildlife and natural environment. That was the greatest natural disaster ever visited on the Australian environment because frightfully unrealistic fire regimes were introduced that prevent land managers from doing adequate hazard reduction burns. In 2014 Forestry, on the South Coast, through a Corporate Directive, adopted those incredibly destructive fire regimes. Ill informed emotional green politics has done more to destroy our natural environment than any terrorist group could ever achieve.
During these times of Bushfire Emergencies that are currently across NSW and QLD the Rural Fire Service often seeks additional support from the Australian military when available. The Army has a large fleet of aircraft, plant equipment and vehicles that can be put into service when needed. This is a good initiative and the Army should be utilised at every opportunity. My question to your readers is, why can't the military aircraft be given water bombing capability? The Army has some of the best trained pilots in the country, so why aren't their choppers equipped with water buckets etc, for use in fire emergencies?
Moruya students strike
Moruya Students joined in the global movement ' School Strike 4 Climate' on 29th November, holding a rally in front of the Eurobodalla Council Chambers. Students across the world, were calling on governments to take urgent action on the climate crisis, ahead of the UN Climate Change Conference in Madrid.
The Moruya students "solidarity sit-down" was in support of everyone impacted by the recent bushfires and to demand real climate action on the climate crisis. Over 100 people attended the event, which heard passionate speeches from Moruya and Broulee students. The students also collected money for the Red Cross disaster relief, raising nearly $400.
Several of the students spoke about how the climate crisis is already affecting students' education, referencing the 600 schools closed in recent weeks, due to catastrophic fire conditions.
Bianca, a student striker said " We are the generation suffering the consequences and things aren't going to change unless we change." Fellow striker, Jenna, added "Icebergs are melting, schools are shutting down, animals are dying and what is our government doing about this? I will not stop fighting for what I know matters."
Sam Fletcher, a local young musician, also played "Now or Never", his song about climate change.
The School Strike 4 Climate Australia demands are no new coal,oil and gas projects; 100% renewable energy and exports by 2030; funding for a just transition and jobs for fossil fuel workers and communities; increased support for Indigenous land management and the Rural Fire Service.