Hello again all,
There’s no shortage of news so let’s launch right in with a few items. There will be more come through next week, but the comments on the review of 5% burn targets are a bit time sensitive.
Forests Forever is also on again – details below.
Battling for owls
EEG’s legal action against DEPI/DELWP and VicForests to force them to protect threatened owls (post bushfires) is continuing. We are obliged to try and settle by mediation before heading to the Supreme Court. Meanwhile VicForests has agreed to not log in 81 stands of prime owl habitat we identified, until at least the end of June.
Read more on the EEG website here
Battling for the Mallee birds
EEG and the lawyers at EJA (formerly EDO) are pursuing another case against the state government over their almost complete obliteration of Mallee emu-wren, Mallee fowl and Western Red-tailed Black Cockatoo habitat in western Victoria due to their enthusiastic machos with matches (we know, East Gippy going in to bat for the western species, but it’s a Federal Court action and no western groups would/could take it on). These burns should have been referred to the Feds under the federal EPBC law, because the three birds are all federally listed as needing protection. The result could have wider ramifications.
Napthine's aggressive fire policy and the subsequent likely extinction of Mallee birds was reported on in The Age
That segways nicely into this section .…
FIRE and BURNING
Review of 5% burn target
There will be a review of the 5% statewide burn target to report back to the govt by end of March on the best way to keep communities safe. Comments are due by March 13th and the report presented by end of March.
The government is taking the advice of the Victorian Environment Commissioner, Kate Auty plus the Royal Commission’s implementation fella, Neil Comrie. Both have said for ages that the 5% target was environmentally destructive, ridiculously costly, didn’t achieve a reduction in fire threat and was a target that couldn’t be attained anyway; only they put it in more diplomatic terms of course.
The Inspector-General for Emergency Management wants people with experience or knowledge of their local area to send in comments as to the best way to keep communities safe. We reckon $300M currently used to destroy wildlife and ecosystems by government bushfires could buy us all fire pumps for starters or build community fire shelters.
The details of the review are here; http://www.igem.vic.gov.au/home/our work/reviews/review - performance targets for bushfire fuel management on public land
And a summary on the EEG website here
The damage by Gammage – exposed
There are many well researched and references critiques of the Bill Gammage dogma of Aboriginal burning theory. Here is just a small selection. More will be found on our website soon.
Bill Gammage’s popular book ‘The Biggest Estate on Earth: How Aborigines Made Australia’ contains many fundamental flaws and represents ‘blind advocacy’ for repeated burning’ because ‘Aboriginal people did it’. Bill Gammage only used and interpreted references that supported his hypothesis; that all Aboriginal people farmed all of Australia using fire. Read more, including links and references, on the EEG website
Another critical look at Gammage's claim of widespread Aboriginal burning here
More research that undermines the white fella myth of Aboriginal broadscale burning has been shown by the clear evidence of a massive increase in fires since Europeans arrived. Gammage’s credibility has been shot down again. www.smh.com.au/environment/cold-water-is-poured-on-aboriginal-burnoff-culture
And lastly, the disastrous WA Northcliffe bushfire earlier this summer started in a forest block that had a controlled burn five years ago. Blaze started in controlled burn area (ABC News)
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If you missed any of our past forest news updates you can always catch up and read them on the new EEG website online here.
If you like what we do, or if you feel outraged and want to help somehow you can donate here EEG provides the most enviro-bang for your buck – and we work 7 days a week – no holiday pay, no office rent, power bills, wages or overheads.
Jill and the team.
Environment East Gippsland Inc.
FORESTS - our breathing space!