Safer not to burn at all – govt report
Although the IGEM report into the 5% burn target, released in April, didn’t say burning was pointless, its evidence is clear. The $30 million annual bill to carry out burns achieved a 13/48 score for effectiveness in keeping communities safe.
“The report also recommended moving from the purely hectare-based fire management to a risk-based strategy, which scored a more effective 40/48” said Jill Redwood from Environment East Gippsland. “East Gippsland’s fire experience in 2014 reflected this as well. If the government is unable to implement this recommended strategy this year, we might all be better off not burning at all.”
“Knowing that burning has not affected the occurrence or severity of bushfires over the decades (table on page 11-12 of report), that it is extremely damaging to the environment and there are far more effective means to keep communities safe, why has the government decided to continue burning another 300,000ha this season?”
“It appears that after so many years of convincing the public that we need to burn to be safe, reversing this myth to bring in a more effective fire safety measures will be politically difficult.
“The recommendations are in the report – if safety is truly the government’s intention, we urge the Premier and Minister Neville to adopt the recommendations of the report immediately, before more damage from planned burns occur.”
For comment: Jill Redwood 03 5154 0145
(Summary of report here )