Hazard Reduction, Only Proven Bushfire Management Tool

The Volunteer Firefighters Association (VFFA), the body representing the Voice of Volunteer Rural Firefighters in New South Wales, refutes the claim by green alarmists that climate change is the cause of the recent bushfires in New South Wales.VFFA Truck

“It’s ridiculous to blame climate change when we know there has been far worse bushfires stretching back to the earliest days of European settlement in Australia including the Black Saturday Victoria 2009, NSW Bushfires 1994, Ash Wednesday Victoria 1983, Blue Mountains NSW 1968, Black Tuesday Hobart 1967 and Black Friday Victoria 1939,” said Peter Cannon, President of the VFFA.

The VFFA is angered by comments from the green lobby groups that tackling climate change was more important than prescribed burning of forest fuels to reduce bushfire risk. The real blame rests with the greens and their ideology as they continue to oppose and undermine our efforts to conduct hazard reduction in the cooler months and to prevent private landowners from clearing their lands to reduce bushfire risk.

Hazard reduction is the only proven management tool rural firefighters have to reduce the intensity and spread of bushfires and this has been recognised in numerous bushfire enquires since the Stretton enquiry into the 1939 Victorian bushfires.

“The amount of ‘green tape’ we have to go through to get a burn approved is beyond frustrating,” says Peter Cannon.

The VFFA is calling on the NSW State Government to reduce the amount of green tape involved in planning and conducting hazard reductions, so that our Volunteer Firefighters can get on with the job of conducting fire prevention works in the cooler months to prevent the inevitable summer bushfire disasters that are now becoming a more regular feature.

The NSW State Government must also provide sufficient funding for bushfire hazard reduction works on a planned and sustained basis, including the creation of asset protection zones and upgrades of all fire trails in high bushfire risk areas.

“Remember that it’s far more cost effective, say around 66 to 100 times more cost efficient, to prevent wild fires through hazard reduction than it is to have reactionary fire response, which is what we have at the moment. With the great number of lost homes and decreasing property values through these wild fires, what then will the total fiscal amount be… when it could have all been prevented by effective Hazard reduction.”

Mr Cannon says, “The area treated by prescribed burning on bushfire prone lands needs to be increased from the current level of less than 1% per annum to a minimum of 5% per annum, as recommended by the Victorian Royal Commission and many leading bushfire experts.”

***
This is a media release from the VFFA made on October, 30, 2013.

35 Responses to Hazard Reduction, Only Proven Bushfire Management Tool

  1. John Sayers October 30, 2013 at 4:05 pm #

    Good on The Volunteer Firefighters Association – it’s about time the facts of the matter were made public – a copy of this should be sent to the ABC 7.30 report so they can get their spokesman on TV telling their story.

  2. Luke October 30, 2013 at 4:26 pm #

    “by comments from the green lobby groups that tackling climate change was more important than prescribed burning of forest fuels to reduce bushfire risk.”

    I’m looking for a substantiation of the above comment.

    and they themselves could reflect on this political comment https://twitter.com/KieraGorden/status/394323350719184896/photo/1

  3. Peter pond October 30, 2013 at 4:57 pm #

    Perhaps hazard reduction could be a task assigned to Tony Abbott’s “Green Army”?

  4. John Sayers October 30, 2013 at 5:22 pm #

    Peter, there are plenty on people on the ground to do the job, it’s getting permission to do the job which is the problem.
    Every person with years of experience in forestry and fires has said the same thing, be it Roger Underwood, the Volunteer Firefighters Association and the various people we have linked to in previous threads. They have all stated quite succinctly that it is Green influenced rules and green tape that prohibits them from performing their hazard reduction burns. It couldn’t be any clearer.

  5. Luke October 30, 2013 at 6:06 pm #

    Well actually I don’t think it’s clear at all. It’s simply an assertion that greens have significantly influenced fire policy across the whole nation.

  6. Robert October 30, 2013 at 6:23 pm #

    Reasons to ignore spin, climate exceptionalism, green tape:

    The most extensive and severe October fires occurred across two states and the NT in 1951. In Northern NSW, after the enormous dump of 1950 and big rains into the autumn of 1951, the north dried out quite suddenly, as with the 1895 winter fires. We can be sure there was plenty of fuel, and westerly winds are a very good bet.

    While NSW’s biggest fires were those of the mid-seventies summer emergency (fuel, long La Nina!) it’s important to remember the Waterfall Fire which wiped out up to a million hectares right on Sydney’s massively loaded fringe in early November 1980; and the 1968 Blue Mtns and Illawarra blazes which cost 14 lives and a million hectares…but missed the month of October by a single day.

    Really, there are people who will tie you up in knots forever if you let them. Dates and events only matter if they can be fitted to some GetUp style spin. Then, my god how they matter! Where I live, this winter drought has been a shocker, but winds have not been of the lethal 1990s sort – yet! Too late this year for fuel reduction, so we’ll just have to hope.

    Fuel reduction on an ambitious scale will be invasive, expensive and tricky. I will hate it. Yet it must be done. Let’s roll.

  7. John Sayers October 30, 2013 at 6:23 pm #

    For f**ks sake Luke:
    from Roger Underwood’s article.

    “In fact the green influence extends beyond policy to management plans and to bureaucratic regulation, including the imposition of ludicrous constraints on the burning program. No forester can undertake a prescribed burn in WA these days without filling in a 73-page document, running a public consultation program and then obtaining the signatures and approval of nine separate senior departmental mandarins, most of whom know nothing about fire. Finally, completed burns are subjected to a costly environmental audit which focuses on bureaucratic trivia, not fire control effectiveness. All of this, it seems to us, is deliberately designed to discourage burning and to make it harder for field staff to accomplish an effective fuel reduction program.”

    he’s not asserting it, he’s stating it as a fact!

  8. Pandanus October 30, 2013 at 6:34 pm #

    Luke,

    It’s not just getting a burn plan through the relevant bush fire committee that is the difficult part. All it tales is one landowner in a strategic location to deny access and then, regardless of the time, money and effort that has gone into the planning process, the burn gets called off.

    I’ve seen it happen time and time again, especially at the 11th hour. The cost is enormous especially for volunteers who have had to take time off work to attend the burn.

    My experience is that there is a co-ordinated effort by green groups to stymie or restrict the area that can be planned for a burn, and then to work to disrupt the burn (usually through the removal of an adjoining landowners support). The NSW Nature conservation Council and teh NSW National Parks Association are the worst.

    The easiest way to fix the problem would be to only allow stakeholder with actual skin in the game to be a part of the planning process. That is they must be land owners or land managers in the area that is to be burnt.

  9. Luke October 30, 2013 at 7:22 pm #

    So John you took Underwood’s 73 pages and 9 mandarins as literal? So John – it’s his assertion. Is he referring to all land tenures? It’s simply unclear.

    Pandanus – so are the dissenting individual landholders influenced by the green activists or are they they just uncooperative or ornery for a variety of reasons. e.g. they dislike their neighbours or are simply uncaring.

  10. John Sayers October 30, 2013 at 7:45 pm #

    It’s not unclear – it’s supported by various foresters, fire fighters and The Volunteer Firefighters Association.

    I’m out of this as Luke just keeps saying “no it’s not” like the Monty Python sketch.

  11. cinders October 30, 2013 at 9:32 pm #

    Some ‘gems’ in this submission from a leader of the green movement.
    http://www.parliament.vic.gov.au/images/stories/committees/enrc/bushfire_inquiry/Submissions/225_Environment_East_Gippsland_Inc.pdf

    Foresters are as appropriate to put in charge of fire operations as a show shop owner
    Local knowledge -simplistic views that have been repeated over radio talk back
    Playing with fire – controlled burns
    forest managers are at serious risk of accepting as fact that current wildfire propensity in our forests is mainly due to excessive ground fuel.
    There is an irrational policy that assumes forests should be burnt over large areas in order for the public to be safe.
    The reason we are now facing extreme fire behaviour has less to do with ‘fuel loads’ and more to do with massive industrialised disturbance of most of our forested landscape.

  12. Debbie October 30, 2013 at 9:37 pm #

    It’s crystal clear Luke.
    Your pretentious dense persona re what Underwodd, Gammage et al are clearly outlining is becoming quite tedious.
    You simply need to come out into the real world to see how it works in practice.
    By the time these people have jumped through all the necessary regulatory hoops (in triplicate) to conduct hazardous fuel load reductions, the window of opportunity has closed.
    The sensible implementation of managing bushfire risk via reducing fuel load is PREVENTED because of the confusing tangle of red and green tape.
    In NSW it has got so ridiculous that even removing a solitary tree on private property can take years (unless of course you want to build a new suburb or subdivision!)

  13. Luke October 30, 2013 at 10:05 pm #

    Debbie – we know enough of your opinions by now that I’m sorry if I have to just discount much of what you say as clueless.

    I’m trying to determine if most if green policy in all states is inherently anti-fuel reduction burn. Or alleged to be. Or conflated to be. Or is even divided

    And there is a debate if foresters are simply in this as a forestry management action versus the lack of willingness to manage fuel loads close-in near human settlement.

    Tasmanian greens have made numerous statements about supporting fuel reduction burns http://tas.greens.org.au/content/tasmanian-bushfires

    Frankly I found this a more balanced discussion http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/29020.html

  14. Debbie October 30, 2013 at 10:29 pm #

    Oh yes Luke,
    There are numerous balanced discussions. Everybody (even the Tassie greens) agrees that we don’t do enough and we all have so much wisdom in hindsight…but that’s simply not the issue.
    Yet again I suggest you go take a look at all the rules and regs that are in place that PREVENT what is being discussed with so much balance and ask yourself from whence those rules and regs came.
    And don’t forget what Bandt, Milne, Steffan et al have been claiming in the media.

  15. John Sayers October 31, 2013 at 1:21 am #

    You found this article balanced?

    It confirms everything we have been saying for the past week. It’s just yet another professional forester telling it as it is.

    Now shuffle off and tell Christine and Adam, they are the ones who need to take note of it.

    Given the inherent variability of these factors it is ludicrous to suggest that FRB can guarantee the protection of human life and property during bushfires. No forest management practitioner advocating its use has ever claimed otherwise. However, what can be said with certainty is that:

    communities located in close proximity to recently fuel reduced forests have a better chance of emerging unscathed from bushfire than if the same forests are long unburnt with heavy fuel accumulations;

    lower intensity bushfires passing through fuel reduced forests will do far less damage to soil, water and wildlife than would be the case in forests with heavy fuel accumulations; and

    fire-fighting in fuel reduced forests is far easier and safer than in forests with heavy fuel accumulations.

    Restoring FRB to former levels will be difficult due to the social and demographic changes of the last 30 years. These include where we live, our attitudes to risk and increasingly litigious nature, the rise of the NIMBY phenomena, and romanticised and city-centric attitudes to nature. These factors are already constraining the capability of government land management agencies to effectively manage forest fire.

    Clearly, restoring preventative bushfire management to former levels of effectiveness will require a considerable injection of government funding. This was presumably the primary reason why the Victorian Government dismissed the June 2008 findings of its own Parliament’s Natural Resources and Environment Committee which recommended a tripling of the current annual fuel reduction target. The government’s unwillingness to acknowledge inadequacies in current public land management may explain why some of its senior figures are wholly attributing recent large bushfires to climate change. Hopefully this will be closely scrutinised by the Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission later this year.

    There is a view that FRB is environmentally damaging. While there has been decades of research into the environmental effects of fire, there is still much to learn and an acknowledged lack of perfect understanding. So, while frequent cool burns could potentially cause subtle ecosystem changes, the same is being said for unnaturally long periods between fire such is the reliance of so much of our flora on disturbance to stimulate regeneration. Those who advocate waiting for complete scientific knowledge are in denial of the inevitability of infinitely greater environmental damage (particularly to soil and water values) from severe wildfires in forests with heavy fuel accumulations – a threat that can be alleviated by FRB.

    In terms of alternative fire management strategies, the opponents of FRB seem to fall into two distinct camps:

    those who abhor deliberate human intervention in nature and would prefer that all naturally-ignited forest fires are allowed to burn unhindered with a view to creating a steady state of low fuel levels throughout our forests; and

    those who favour the total exclusion of fire by a beefed-up emergency fire-fighting service largely compromised of super-sized aerial water bombers.

    Australia will always have bushfires, including occasional ones which are simply beyond control when they coincide with extreme summer weather. As we cannot control the weather or most of the means of fire ignition, forest fuels are the only factor that can be manipulated to reduce bushfire intensity. On this basis, the community should be embracing the strategic use of fuel reduction burning as one of few tools that can effectively minimise bushfire damage.

  16. Luke October 31, 2013 at 6:19 am #

    And a lack of balance in that we have Tasmanian greens arguing for funding on fuel load reduction through the parliament. http://www.dpac.tas.gov.au/divisions/osem/2013_tasmanian_bushfires_inquiry_report/tasmanianbushfiresinquiry_documents/submissions/The_Greens_Tasmania.pdf

  17. Pandanus October 31, 2013 at 6:55 am #

    Luke,

    In my neck of the woods it was due to green politics that landowners withdrew support for fuel reduction burns, making them impossible to undertake, no guesswork here, plainly explained at the time.

    The 1997 Putty/Wollombi fires were contained due to the 7500 ha fuel reduction burn that we had carried out 4 months earlier. The SF was subject to a cool, low intensity burn, little to no crown scorch, mosaic of intensities on the ground. Almost text book. The bushfire 4 months later came roaring out of the NP where fuel loads had been allowed to accumulate to very high levels, the aerial photography post fire was as illustrative as it was damning. The trees in the SF were green crowned and the bushfire was contained at its boundary. The NP was torched, complete crown loss as far as the eye could see.

    From an ecological perspective, its not that important if the occasional tree is burnt through to the crown, it assists in hollow development and adds to the diversity of structure within the forest. However when the forest is subject to crown fire as far as the eye can see, it is a disaster. Habitat loss is total and loss of wildlife is immense. In those dryer forests it takes many years for the habitat to reach a similar stage to its post fire form, especially in terms of its structure.

    Of the three elements of the fire triangle only fuel load is able to be managed, but only when conditions allow. Its not the silver bullet but it is an important tool that land managers must have available to them as required. Currently it is only available to them in a very restricted manner and is in effect not a viable tool.

  18. jennifer October 31, 2013 at 8:29 am #

    I’ve just removed five comments from this thread that were off-topic or unnecessarily antagonistic. There’s a new open thread for general comments and general news. Thanks.

  19. Steve October 31, 2013 at 8:40 am #

    The VFFA is right in decrying the disingenuous howling of the green lobby in telling everyone that the support hazard reduction burns but the reality is very different. The plethora of rules, regulations and green-tape that they have injected into the governance system makes meaningful hazard reduction nigh-on impossible. Another facto that needs to be considered is mechanical fuel reduction combined with cool burns. Experience in the US has shown clearly that this is the safest, most environmentally responsible and effective method of reducing the fuel that turns routine fires into infernos.

  20. Luke October 31, 2013 at 8:41 am #

    So Pandanus were the dissenting landholders green or influenced by external greens.

  21. Debbie October 31, 2013 at 9:02 am #

    Luke,
    I have no doubt that there are practical minded and genuinely concerned Greens who know that what the firies and people like Underwood are saying is correct.
    They’re not the problem.
    You are totally missing the point about WHY sensible management has been PREVENTED.
    You won’t find the answer trawling through media releases by the Greens or submissions by Tassie Greens in 2013.
    Once again. . . please go look at the raft of impractical & obstructive rules & regs and ask yourself what drove their implementation.
    The NSW Native Vegetation Act is a good place to start but that’s just a friendly suggestion. . . there are many other relevant acts/rules/regs that you could look at.
    I also suggest, with respect, that you try to widen your current defensive paradigm and consider that perhaps, as landholders so often try to explain, that NRM is subject to very tight windows of opportunity and once they’re closed the opportunity is squandered until the next seasonal window opens.

  22. cinders October 31, 2013 at 9:46 am #

    Debbie, The greens submission was a result of the community backlash against them that saw their loopy policies prevent fuel reduction burning near Dunalley last Autumn, see http://www.theaustralian.com.au/in-depth/bushfires/burn-off-ban-to-protect-habitats-fires-up-farmers/story-fngw0i02-1226551587643#

    Whilst it was the Environment department implementing the green philosophy, such restrictions have only come about since Bob Brown’s flawed Wielangta Case that has made the threatened swift parrot have a vastly increased range of the whole SE of Tasmania!

    PS The swift parrot habitat in question was ‘destroyed’ by the bush fire http://images.watoday.com.au/2013/01/05/3932834/art729-fire-arnold-620×349.jpg

  23. spangled drongo October 31, 2013 at 9:48 am #

    Good comment Debbie.

    Not all Greens are tarred with the same brush. Even Luke can be rational sometimes.

    But I know from my own experience when I know the time is right for an appropriate cool burn and years have passed with nothing having been done, it is increasingly difficult to convince the fire warden that a district-wide burn is necessary as well as safe to carry out.

    You have to take them by the hand months before and point out how there are not yet enough ignitables to damage the rainforest and then keep on their backs, have all the fire-breaks in top order, till it is dry enough to get the right result for the match to be lit. Even then they are very inclined to say,” yeah, well, it was OK yesterday but it’s too dangerous today” and you have to wait another year.

    It frustrates me to madness! I could have done the whole bloody job on my pat but the nannies today won’t allow it.

    In my area, because of the disappearance of small farmers, there are just not enough locals with sufficient bushfire experience to supply constructive advice and bring pressure to bear on the rural fire brigades. The brigades and the vollies are great people and a great organisation but they aren’t necessarily aware of the best local fire strategies.

    But with ever more wealthy tree-changers the Green philosophy is creeping across the landscape. They realise that this has contributed to serious bushfires and they are bum-covering and finding other scapegoats at full speed.

    So guess what the No.1 scapegoat is!

  24. Debbie October 31, 2013 at 10:24 am #

    Yes SD,
    I can clearly see who the No.1 scapegoat is.
    It’s such a shame.
    These people pretend they’re conducting constructive ‘brain storms’ when in actual fact that are conducting highly destructive ‘blame storms’ and completely alienating the very people who could help.
    Meanwhile…as each season passes…and more pointless and directionless enquiries are conducted which inevitably rehash the same material….more and more hazardous material is building up as the next accident waiting to happen…..

  25. spangled drongo October 31, 2013 at 10:44 am #

    I should ‘ve said that it is not just my property that I do this for but also a couple of neighbouring national parks awa about 40 neighbours and cut the fire-breaks for them.

    I also try to get a much bigger area incorporated and burnt at the same time.

    I get the impression they think I am a pain in the arse ☺. But it works.

    However I still get an occasional comment that because I have a few acres of bush I should contribute more generously to the RFB.

  26. cohenite October 31, 2013 at 11:18 am #

    luke, I must say I agree with John, your robotic naysaying about the Greens pernicious influence is wearying; the evidence is overwhelming. It’s here:

    http://theclimatescepticsparty.blogspot.com.au/2013/10/adam-bandt-is-bastard.html

  27. spangled drongo October 31, 2013 at 12:00 pm #

    Good one cohers.

  28. Debbie October 31, 2013 at 1:15 pm #

    Good point SD,
    Landholders in my part of the world are responsible for having good firebreaks around their properties by Spring. They are subject to quite onerous legislation if this is not done.
    However. . . guess what’s happening on the river areas and other properties or designated ‘wildlife corridoors’ that have been taken over by several different government departments such as parks&wildlife, OEH, CMA’s, Govt funded programs such as ‘envirowise’ & ‘environmental champions’ & etc? ???
    It has been happening progressively for over 2 decades.
    They have, in effect, created a dangerous tinder box because they don’t create, use or maintain fire breaks &/or clear accessable fire trails. Since the drought has broken and we have had several natural and artifucially produced flooding events. . . we truly have an accident waiting to happen in the Murrumbidgee Valley.
    The ‘window of opprtunity’ to do something responsible this season has already slammed shut. The real victims will be the very same native fauna & flora that these rules & regs are supposedly designed to protect and nurture.
    To partly borrow Luke’s terminology. . . . these ‘virtuous’ ideologists are truly ‘clueless’ . . . despite the fact that some of them are likely well meaning & ‘interested academic ecologists.’ . . and could even be ‘peer reviewed’.
    They unfortunately have no idea how to work with the truly experienced NRM people and choose instead to sneer at them and ostracise them.

  29. spangled drongo October 31, 2013 at 1:55 pm #

    Yes Debbie, isn’t it amazing what the farmer can be required to do but the green bureaucrat can dodge.

    Same with feral weeds, feral predators etc.

    When you’re where it’s at it’s very easy to see the unintended consequences of the Green philosophy.

    But the Lukes and Adam Bandts of this world who wouldn’t know will always get the ear of the ABC and the MSM and sound so aware and informed to the children and others who don’t understand [which is most people].

  30. Stewie October 31, 2013 at 1:59 pm #

    At the end of the 1982 my neighbourhood of Belgave Heights was exceptionally dry. Crispy, crackily dry. I was aware of people in the neighbourhood (locals and fire brigade members) were arguing in the background about bushfire fuel management. The local paper ran stories and letters on this theme. The local council, with its newly appointed ‘green’ councilors however seemed to strongly disagree. There was obviously strong points of view which led to high emotions. The council introduced laws, its version of a native vegetation act. A similar Act I believe was being considered at State Governmemt level. I beleive Joan Kirner was involved in the background??

    You would of have to of been pretty silly at the time not to realise that the cured state of native vegetation, prominent in the neighbouhood, was ready to burn. Even people with little experience became worried. It was a little obvious that conditions were particularily dangerous.

    Inexplicabily (at the time) the council decided to play hardball, threateneing residence with a new penalty regime they had introduced. $90 per plant or tree branch. If i recall the $90 per branch, was a response by council, to residents, who threatened to remove branches that overhung their houses, regardless of permits. I think a compromise?? of 3 metres from the house was allowed. Threats of fines started when people in the area began saying bugger you, we are worried and we are pruning. I also recall people roaming around looking for people to dob in.

    The council made it quite clear nobody was clearing nothing without a permit and everybody new also, you likely wouldn’t get a permit anyway (either at all or in time).

    2 boys (they say) lit a fire down in paddocks below our suburb, on February 16. The red steer was let loose on us. This became part of the Ash Wednesday fires.

    Inquiries followed, with little information making it into the public. Rumors were later circulating that the council were in big trouble. That is, real big trouble. It may have had something to do with their version of a Native Vegetation Plan or maybe the water mains issue. The water main that runs past many homes in the area turned out to be a 50mm pipe, which also had the fire brigades fire extinguishers on it. When the truck hooked on with a 75 mm hose it sucked all the water from our garden hoses. A garden hose isn’t much but it’s something, it’s wet and helps tremendously with hot embers and embers were the clear problem.

    Anyway, the council at the time was hardline, unforgiving and determined to have its way. No native vegetation removal. And if they did allow it it would have been tokenism anyway.

    Surely it’s time for a Royal Commission in to bushfire management in this country.

  31. Robert October 31, 2013 at 2:06 pm #

    Deb, in the spirit of reconciliation I’d urge you to be more understanding of Greens. They are known to have difficulty detecting heat and humidity, even in extreme conditions on the UHIs which they mainly inhabit. Many can be seen wearing scarves in midsummer, especially the males.

    On a less compassionate note, while green thinking is the excuse and underpinning, much inaction is due to the lack of funds, resources, profit imperative, as well as fragmentation of responsibility. Fire trails become relics once you have no timber trucks. I have forest all around me, mostly regrowth with some nice seeders and choice inaccessible pockets. While our local authorities aren’t too bad and we have a terrific hippie fire brigade, we actually have to rely on some local arson to make buffers. Yet if a good fire regime was combined with shooting and baiting of wild dogs and cats our forests – while never being “natural” or “pristine” – could become wonderful places for native animals and humans. (I’m told that the fire abatement as practised by aborigines in the north is funded and considered an emissions reduction. Wouldn’t know or care about that, but great to see the murris doing their thing.)

    Anyway, the cost and trouble will be enormous, and good conditions for control burning, as Deb points out, can be very brief. Still, if we pulled the subsidies on whirlygigs and burgled that silly Direct Action fund…

  32. John Sayers October 31, 2013 at 2:23 pm #

    In my district there are two aboriginal communities and every year the land around them is burnt. The forest has green grass and beautiful patches of grasstrees. I don’t know whether they get permits or not but they burn off every year.

  33. Debbie October 31, 2013 at 3:05 pm #

    Well yes Robert,
    That’s correct.
    Forestry, timber collection, grazing, slashing, grading, camping and recreational use etc have all been systematically demonised and banned around large swathes of the Murrumbidgee Valley….so no one who would have made sure that fire breaks, fuel loads, fire trails etc were being responsibly maintained are allowed in these areas anymore because as Luke claims….whatever the dreadful emergency was back then …. it was all their ignoramus, redneck fault….and our ‘green betters’ as you call them….had to take over!
    They’re now moving into the phase of ‘crying ‘poor mouth’ when in reality most of these tasks can be adequately and responsibly carried out by the people who actually have ‘skin in the game’ and who actually know what needs to be done and who actually understand when those seasonal windows are open and who actually have the mindset, experience and equipment to get it done on time!!!!
    It would a fabulous material for a ‘Yes Minister’ script, but it isn’t just ridiculously ironic, it’s bloody dangerous!

  34. Beth Cooper October 31, 2013 at 3:49 pm #

    Stewie, seems like yer local council has the guvuhmint master-servant relationship
    topsy-turvey, fergittin’ who funds them. Tsk!

  35. Pandanus October 31, 2013 at 8:40 pm #

    Luke,

    Green viewpoint influenced by external greens. Either way it doesn’t really matter which they were, by withdrawing support we couldn’t burn as we couldn’t guarantee that their property would not be burnt. Topography is important in these things.

    Come the height of summer, a lightening storm started a fire in the area in question and the whole lot went up. The most vocal of the whingers was the green who withdrew his support. His block went up with the uphill run of the fire. No one had any sympathy for the fool.

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