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Monday, February 9, 2009

It would be funny except that it's not: Part one

Following huge bushfires in 2003, the Australian Federal Parliament held an inquiry into public land management in relation to bushfires. The states of Victoria, NSW and the Australian Capital Territory refused to take part for political reasons. Victoria finally agreed to hold its own inquiry into these aspects in 2008, with its findings coming down in November - too late for any recommendations to be implemented for the current fire season.

In August 2008, a representative of Yarra Ranges Shire Council told the Victorian inquiry this :

"It is important that the establishment of the new permanent strategic firebreaks are implemented only after rigorous environmental impact assessments are completed. The timing of the burns should also take heed of breeding times and seasons for the species present, particularly those that are already rare or threatened due to the loss of habitat, food or human encroachment. An example of that is the powerful owl, and we have located it in Quinn Reserve, which has a history of fire. We need to work out how to carry out our works without disturbing the nesting, roosting and breeding times for those animals in the immediate area..."

In related news, AAP had this to say in February 2009:

"A bushfire is running out of control in the Quinn Reserve in Melbourne's outer eastern suburbs..."

CORRECTION: the Quinn Reserve fire was 2000 - my apologies.

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