Fuel load call doesn't gel
Despite the media hyperbole and reactionary ranting about a lack of burning being the cause of the past summer's horrendous bushfire, the recent NSW Bushfire Inquiry has found that fuel loads themselves were not to blame.
Section2.2: "On average, fuel loads were no higher than they have been over the last 30 years. The dryness of the fuel and therefore its availability to burn appears to have been the dominant contributing factor."
The dogmatic cries for more burning do not resonate with this finding. What it does show is that, in a warming climate and drying conditions, we can expect more forest fuels to become available, creating increasingly extreme bushfire.
Therefore we must act on climate action, stop subsidising fossil fuel emissions and reduce the frequency of these extreme bushfires.
We will always have bushfires, there's no doubt, but we can reduce the likelihood they will be catastrophic and far more frequent in nature - it's science stupid.
Jamie Shaw, Mogareeka
Early bush fire danger period
Bringing the bush fire danger period ahead each year by one month does nothing to help us manage our bush fore fuel loads.
If anything, it discourages spring burns.
Although I would rather conduct autumn and winter burns, some spring burning can be very useful. There may come a time where the RFS insists on permits all year round, a situation that concerns me greatly.
Mick Holten, address supplied
Abbott makes sense
Who would have thought that Tony Abbot would say three sensible things?
Firstly, that governments lied to us (no surprise there) by saying that they were restricting our freedoms, putting hundreds of thousands of people out of work and ruining countless small businesses in order to "flatten the curve". Now that there's practically no curve nothing's changed, but now it seems to be in order to pursue the unattainable ideal of elimination of the COVID virus.
Secondly, that the panic sown by governments has caused many people to concentrate on staying alive rather than living. Instead of hugging their grandchildren and eating and drinking with friends and family (when we're allowed these simple pleasures) many people are locking themselves inside their houses and scuttling out, fully masked, only when it's essential. Fear of death has triumphed over the joy of life.
Thirdly, that these extreme measures are on the advice of anonymous "medical experts". Our new dictators are the same experts who have constantly changed their minds over the decades about how much butter, margarine, sugar salt, alcohol, etc, we should consume, and about what we should feed our children and about how much television we should let them watch.
By the nature of their profession these "experts" will keep telling us ordinary people how we should live our lives until we all attain immortality. Even if this were a laudable aim, it's hardly a realistic one.
John Scott, Bega
Save the dingo
The long, winding road down the Clyde mountain from Braidwood to Moruya along the Deua Valley gives the motorist a close-up view of the damage caused to the densely forested region by the recent bushfires.
Some trees have been completely destroyed, while others survived, their blackened trunks and twisted limbs already softened in part by green shoots.
Animals and birds do not have this wonderful power of regeneration, and there were no signs of life to be seen or heard at stops we made along the way.
At the newly repaired picnic spot beside the Deua River, it was alarming to find a sign warning of 1080 poisoning in the area.
This poison is so dangerous and cruel to animals and the environment it has been banned in most countries of the world. In spite of this risk it is being implemented here and state-wide as part of the state's planned action to control feral animals and protect farmers' livestock, under the auspices of the state's Bushfire Recovery scheme.
This largely unpublicised scheme classes "wild dogs" as being dingoes as well. (Even if not recognised on this sign!). The debate over how long the dingo has been in Australia, and the fact that it can breed with domestic dogs is being be used to deny it the protection scientists and ecologists believe it is entitled to receive from state, federal and local governments as being an iconic native species that has existed and evolved to suit Australian environmental conditions over thousands of years (Canis lupus dingo, and not Canis lupus familiaris).
The irony of this plan, which claims also to be helping to preserve bio-diversity is that elimination of the dingo, known to repel foxes and feral animals, will only make it harder for the natural balance of nature to be restored.
In the next few years how many dingoes, already threatened with extinction in the South East will be subjected to an ugly death by shooting or by trapping and baiting with 1080 poison? Do we know? Do we care? Or will we only care when canis lupus dingo is in a glass case beside the thylacine exhibit in an Australian museum?
Write to your local MP urging greater transparency and community involvement and the establishment of an independent federal body with the control and the scientific knowledge to implement decisions that protect that our natural environment and wildlife from further damage. A board with the power to save animals such as the dingo from extinction.