Jul 17, 2009

The bushfire blame game: greenies, loggers or arsonists?

Victorian conservation groups have hit back at claims greenies and National Parks are culpable for the severity of the Black Saturday bushfires, blaming logging companies.

Victorian conservation groups have hit back at claims greenies and National Parks are culpable for the severity of the Black Saturday bushfires, blaming logging companies for monopolising the government personnel who undertake burning operations.


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5 thoughts on “The bushfire blame game: greenies, loggers or arsonists?

  1. Simon Birrell

    In response to Institute of Foresters of Australia Victorian Chair Michael Ryan, I stand by my estimate that 1 and 20 fires are cased by logging practices on public land.

    Mr Ryan has not acknowledge about 3% of wildfire starts are machinery that includes chainsaws and logging/cartage equipment exhausts.

    Also DSE Regional Fire Protection Plan reports include more detailed information regarding wildfire start categories. The miscellaneous fire starts category (5%) indicted on the DSE pie chart has combined many of these other fire start categories that may also be linked to logging practices.

    The number of wildfire starts attributed directly to the native logging industry has not been specifically calculated by the Government but should be the subject of a specific independent study. This sort of public disclosure is something I would hope the Institute of Foresters would welcome and is something was have asked for in our submission to the Royal Commission.

    I appreciate the Institute of Foresters has not blamed greenies and National Parks for the cause of the Black Saturday fires.

    In response to ANU Forestry Professor Peter Kanowski, yes VicForest now pays for post logging burns however that was not the case in the recent past.

    In response to the DSE comment about more money only last week being allocated for more fuel reduction burns and staff. That is welcome. However is that not also an acknowledgment that past logging practices were historically diverting resources and now the State Government is pumping in more public money? Is that not something the Esplin inquiry six years ago recommended should be done? (See Section 10.36 of Esplin inquiry).

    Simon Birrell

  2. Jan Dash

    Instead of preventing fires by more burning – adding more smoke to the atmosphere, why not cut the timber and chip it?
    It might take longer but the chips could turn a profit and they wouldn’t add to the problem of smoke in the air.

  3. Simon Birrell

    They already woodchip the forests. Over 70 % of trees cut down are woodchipped and woodchips are VicForests main source of income. Still does not fix the problem.

  4. Tom McLoughlin

    Kanowski would have more credibility when he publicly admits that the modus operandi of the logging industry for the last 50 years – with it’s highly mechanised operations – is to convert wet old growth into dry schlerophyll with all the bushfire implications that involves.

    That’s landscape change – in particular hydration levels not so different to the Peter Andrews natural sequencing agriculture – on a national scale. Moisture tends to resist fire.

  5. Lorraine Leach

    Tom McLoughlin is spot on – logging, massive road construction to support logging – and the nonsensical prescribed burns – convert wet forests to drier, increasingly more flammable vegetation. Clearfelling rain generating mountain ash, the most carbon dense trees on the planet is a lose, lose situation all round – increasing climate change, decreasing rainfall inland as well as available water flow into catchments and destroying what’s left of our biodiversity. It’s a no-brainer, all funded by the taxpayer to effectively destroy our life-support systems and cause ever more intense bushfires. Will we never learn!!

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