Matter of urgency
It is now well and truly the time to look at clearing large amounts of bush. The scrub fuels the fires. This can be done in a sensitive fashion, giving due regard to the wildlife. Many lives, both human and native would be protected if this is done.
I agree with the longer term goal concerning the change in climate but something must be done now. It is now a matter of urgency.
Malcolm Halliday, Wallaga Lake
Basics of fire prevention
I wonder why the 'expert' firefighters don't seem to understand what every firefighter learns in their basic training.
There are three requirements for a fire to start; fuel, oxygen and a source of ignition.
While we may deter the arsonists who start the majority of fires, we can't deter lightning strikes. It is only in enclosed environments that the oxygen can be removed by CO2, Halon and other suppressants. We cannot prevent oxygen getting to bushfires. Thus, the only fire factor that we can change is the amount of fuel.
Firefighters learn that the volatility of a fire depends on temperature, wind and relative humidity; with a drought factor added in. This latter uses the number of days since the last rain, so drought can increase the fire danger rating.
However, the critical factor is the relative humidity. Bushfire fuel can only be as dry as the relative humidity at any particular time allows it to be. Big logs lying in the bush may take days or weeks to dry. Fine fuels (less than pencil thickness) can dry in hours, and it is these fine fuels that burn most vigorously when lit.
So whatever the climate may be doing, it is the weather over shorter periods of time that determines how vigorous a fire becomes, along with the amount of fuel to feed it. If we remove the high fuel loads in our bush, then fires cannot get monstrous, whatever the climate.
Alan Burdon, Dignams Creek
Incumbent on councillors
Bega Valley Shire Council must apply the highest standards of transparency and accountability in deciding on development applications (DAs) from the Eden chipmill.
Chipmill owners want to build a new mill for briquettes and pallets and extra log storage area. If these projects proceed it will have enormous consequences for the shire, the region and beyond. It should not be determined by an anonymous public servant.
ANWE's capacity will expand and its output will expand. Critically, without BVSC approval for a new mill, it will have no legal right to logs under the Eden Region Sawlog Wood Supply Agreement.
At the recent council meeting Greens Councillor Cathy Griff unsuccessfully moved to ensure that elected councillors, not staff, make the decision.
Speakers against the motion clearly stated that if a matter was controversial or if there were enough public submissions against it, then councillors, not staff, should decide. They then went on to vote against Cr Griff's motion. There were 126 submissions on the DA for the new mill; only one (24 words) supported it; all others opposed it.
Woodchipping has been highly contested since it started in this region 50 years ago. The campaign against it is the longest continuous environmental campaign in Australia. Surely these facts alone make it controversial and incumbent on councillors to stand up and be counted.
Harriett Swift, Bega
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