A paper Potoroo Review is in the making (design stage) - but given the events of the last week with the planned burns turning into a raging destructive bushfire near Lancefield in central Victoria, this e-update is all about this very hot topic.
EEG has created an online petition to ask the Premier and Ministers Neville (Environment) and Garret (Emergency Services) to halt more planned burns while a thorough review of the effectiveness of burns is conducted
Please - if you feel as strongly about this as thousands do at the moment - sign and share this online Care2 petition. We'd love to get thousands of signatures! Thanks.
DELWP plans to torch 44ha of the Marlo Bushland Reserve this week (11-17th Oct 2015). It is full of nesting birds and spring wildflowers.
Marlo Wildlife Reduction Burn
There have been no recent flora and fauna studies. We could be about to lose all species' reference data on this reserve - half of which was burnt by DELWP less than a year ago.
The wetland and surrounding area are teeming with life, Golden Whistlers, Scrub Wrens, Rufous Fantails, Superb Blue Wrens, Wonga Pigeons, Whip Birds, Bandicoots, possums, lizards, frogs and more... ALL ARE NESTING & RAISING YOUNG.
Orchids and other plants are also in flower now. These will either be killed or lose their seeding capacity . Spring is clearly the most destructive time to burn anywhere.
Tourists visit Marlo for the beach and to be close to nature - not to see scorched earth and blackened trees devoid of life. The adjoining forest, having been torched by Orbost DELWP earlier this year, is now a bracken wasteland.
This senseless burn will do very little to reduce the fire threat as there is simply no evidence that burning the bush reduces wildfire.
One of the two primary objectives of the Code of Fire Management is to: maintain or improve the resilience of natural ecosystems and their ability to deliver services such as biodiversity, water, carbon storage and forest products.
The Review of planned burns earlier this year acknowledged that planned burns are environmentally destructive and that bushfire risk can be reduced through activities besides burning ... such as early detection, rapid response, land use planning controls, community education, availability of fire refuges, or evacuations.
Another DELWP escaped burn took out four homes, many sheds and other human assets near Lancefield last week. It burnt almost all the Cobaw forests habitat and its wildlife!
It has been claimed that 30 out of the 200 fires across the state on 6th October were department burn escapes. Of course, the Department hasn't verified this figure. They do seem hell bent on burning another 300,000ha this spring and autumn across the state, with Gippsland earmarked to have the bulk of these burns - at 114,000ha.
Why has the recommendations from the Inspector General of Emergency Management's report not been adopted? It was released in May and showed that the 5% broad-brush burn target scored 13/48 for effectiveness. The proposed new risk-based fire safety strategy scored 40/48. Even if the system will take a year to refine, it would be better to stop all burns this year, save the tax-payer $30M and just ensure there is rapid detection of fires and resources to extinguish them quickly. Read our summary of the IGEM's report here.
After years of telling the public that dry leaves are the enemy, the government now have created a fearful public that needs placating with expensive placebo measures. The three main things that start fires are men, women and children.
Forests are the victims not the perpetrators.
(btw - the below image is of a planned 'cool burn' by the dept.)
Please don't forget to sign the petition
On Friday 18th September 2015 the Bob Brown Foundation held their annual Environment Awards. Bob presented the Environmentalist of the Year award to EEG's coordinator Jill Redwood.
2015 Environmentalist of the Year
For over three decades, Jill has been a campaign stalwart for the protection of East Gippsland forests and Australia's native forests.
Jill is not only the coordinator of Environment East Gippsland she is also on the committee of the Australian Forests and Climate Alliance and has been an integral campaigner against native forest biomass burning in Australia.
"Jill has put up with threats, intimidation and even the killing of her livestock, to bravely speak up for the forests. She has had a huge hand in greening the map of Victoria, including a pivotal court ruling against logging at Brown Mountain, and in protecting the habitat of endangered species like the long-nosed potoroo, glossy black cockatoo and Leadbeater's possum. This year her EEG won a reprieve for 2000 hectares of forest habitat for three species of owls. Besides her remarkable knowledge of the issues, Jill is a champion of organic food production, has a great sense of humour and is a fine role model for young Australian environmentalists," Bob Brown said.
Congratulations Jill on such well deserved recognition!
Cost-benefit analysis shows EEG is best value for money
Just joking, but we do punch above our weight. If you have any spare dosh you don't want the tax-man to grab - please send our way. We put every cent directly towards saving our forests. No power bills, wages or overheads.