National Parks - 4WD Access & Hazard Reduction

Submitted: Tuesday, Feb 10, 2009 at 10:13
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National Parks and Four-Wheel Drive Access

A number of threads on the Victorian fire situation have had a common theme – what can we do to assist. Longer-term there are some things that are ‘big picture’ that could have a large impact.

As the tragedy of the fires in Victoria unfolds, the loss of life and the devastation of small rural communities will hopefully galvanise authorities into rethinking some of the strategies and policies surrounding the management of our forests and, more importantly, our National Parks.

It is evident that those who manage State Forrest areas have a good understanding of what needs to be done in terms of control and management of these areas, including fire hazard reduction.

In sharp contrast are the National Park authorities, which are largely managed on a State by State basis. Over time we have seen large areas of land sliced off and gazetted as National Parks. The green element has often, in the case of National Parks administration, hijacked the debate for proper control and management of these parks, especially with respect to hazard management. Essentially there is often a do nothing approach from the ‘don’t touch the bush brigade’.

This has also seen access to these areas severely curtailed to the four-wheel drive fraternity on the basis of the ‘perceived’ destruction caused – this has lead to access tracks becoming overgrown and impassable, at times, and severely limiting access when needed. With appropriate access to the four-wheel drive fraternity this would not happen. Many of us know the arguments….

No doubting, in the aftermath of this national tragedy there will (should) be a full review of all aspects of National Parks management and hazard reduction. This will be a great opportunity for the four-wheel drive fraternity to argue the role we can play in the management of these areas brought about through greater access.

For those involved in four-wheel drive clubs perhaps this is something that can be raised and advanced to the relevant State associations with a view to having a single voice to argue the four-wheel drive case.

Hopefully, food for thought!
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Reply By: Alan H - Tuesday, Feb 10, 2009 at 10:38

Tuesday, Feb 10, 2009 at 10:38
If my memory serves me rightly Landy, I believe John Howard was going to open up the access tracks for 4bys after the fires during his last term in office, as fire trucks couldn't use them as they were over grown.
Also I believe he was going to let the stockman continue to run cattle in the high country as there had been some talk of destocking and letting it run wild and we can see from these fires what sort of effect that would have.
I don't know if the destocking ever happened though, maybe it was just hot air from the greenies.
Probably this Howard idea was dismissed by KRUDD as he wants to keep those greenies on side just in case he should need them.
They have far too much say in who can and can't access the forests and the high country and what management should do to reduce the amount of fuel in them.
I certainly don't think total unrestricted "do what you like access" should be allowed but believe the country should be open for all not just ramblers, as long as it's looked after.
Alan.
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Follow Up By: Member - Warfer (VIC) - Tuesday, Feb 10, 2009 at 12:50

Tuesday, Feb 10, 2009 at 12:50
**Probably this Howard idea was dismissed by KRUDD as he wants to keep those greenies on side just in case he should need them. **


Hiya Al

I can see you will be donating your part of the stimulas package or tax break to the Bushfire Appeal or the extra dosh if your a pensioner when you get it...

My opinion (and just mine) Johnny was awash with money from the Chinese (2 billion lost since financial downturn) but chose to save it and give nothing to the average working man..Run down schools,Hospitals the lot..

Now Rudd has to come in and fix what Howard severely neglected on a shoestring budget and has only been in a year.

Howard did some good stuff,Am i Liberal or Labor, i dont care as long as they start looking after the lower-middle class person/s a bit more which i believe Rudd is doing more so than Howard at this point in time..


Cheers
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Follow Up By: Willem - Tuesday, Feb 10, 2009 at 13:25

Tuesday, Feb 10, 2009 at 13:25
Warfer

I thought that you were more akin to East Island politics


Cheers
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Follow Up By: Madfisher - Tuesday, Feb 10, 2009 at 16:15

Tuesday, Feb 10, 2009 at 16:15
Schools and hospitals have always been a State respnsibility, and we are lucky that howard had left some monery in the bank.
Cheers Pete
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Follow Up By: Member - Keith C (NSW) - Tuesday, Feb 10, 2009 at 19:03

Tuesday, Feb 10, 2009 at 19:03
Totally agree Madfisher,schools and hospitals are state,Warfer,sounds like KRUDD has bought your vote, with the money Howard left him.LOL
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Follow Up By: Member - Warfer (VIC) - Tuesday, Feb 10, 2009 at 21:29

Tuesday, Feb 10, 2009 at 21:29
***I thought that you were more akin to East Island politics ***

LOL


**Warfer,sounds like KRUDD has bought your vote, with the money Howard left him.LOL**

Not at all Keith,Its like the Government running a car, Howard left Rudd one that was Unregistered,Bald Tyres and a big bloody hole in the exhaust (and thats after getting billions of extra bucks in revenue from the chinese thats not there now)...Sure i would hav money in the bank if i left my cars in that state...

Aussies are not idiots and where sick and tired of his antics..Thats why after finally trying to throw all the cash in total desperation to try save his ass they'd had enough...


**schools and hospitals are state**
So you telling me the Government dont giv $$$$ towards these services !


Cheers
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Follow Up By: robertbruce - Tuesday, Feb 10, 2009 at 21:32

Tuesday, Feb 10, 2009 at 21:32
what money was that - the over-taxing???
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Reply By: Isuzumu - Tuesday, Feb 10, 2009 at 11:11

Tuesday, Feb 10, 2009 at 11:11
The Northern Territory has the right idea, they did while I lived there in the eighty's anyway, after the wet season comes the SE Trade winds which they called "know hem downs". I believe it was always done by the aboriginals for every. The grass and timber has not totally dried out making so the fire has not got hugh amounts of heat, the wild life have no problems and the new growth is small but better feed. I know they get more rain up there in Summer, but now where this has happened in Vic they have to keep it under control.
So fire reduction needs to be done regularly, not let it build up for years and then let this catastrophe happen.
I hope I have made sense here.

Cheers Bruce
Cheers Bruce
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Follow Up By: Willem - Tuesday, Feb 10, 2009 at 13:21

Tuesday, Feb 10, 2009 at 13:21
Bruce

"knock 'em downs"....lol

Your theory might not work down south. In the NT it is sparse Tropical Woodland Savannah with a mixture of flora. In Vic the majority of forests are heavily timbered with Eucalypts giving a fire every chance to rage.

Top End burns are normally cool burns and fires burn out quite quickly....sometimes!


Cheers
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Follow Up By: Leroy - Tuesday, Feb 10, 2009 at 21:23

Tuesday, Feb 10, 2009 at 21:23
And the fuel reduction burns in vic are cool burns also that are carried out during april/may in autumn when there's dew and it's cooler. We have them each year in north east vic.

Leroy
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Reply By: Sigmund - Tuesday, Feb 10, 2009 at 12:46

Tuesday, Feb 10, 2009 at 12:46
Think you need to ask how many fires started in Nat Parks this time around.
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Reply By: Nargun51 - Tuesday, Feb 10, 2009 at 13:14

Tuesday, Feb 10, 2009 at 13:14
Agree whole heartedly with the concept of having a united voice representing all recreational 4WD drivers. I'm sure everybody in this forum will be able to contribute in one paper a submission, given the united voice presented.

Fire management has changed over the years; look at the Gippsland fires of 12 months ago; they pulled back and built containment lines 20 km from the fire front, and patrolled the other side of them from the air .

Would you want to drive down a non overgrown fire trail last Saturday?
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Follow Up By: The Landy - Tuesday, Feb 10, 2009 at 14:11

Tuesday, Feb 10, 2009 at 14:11
To answer your question - no.

But the point is that overgrown tracks have hindered fire operations in the past. This is something that the four-wheel drive fraternity can assist in managing.
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Reply By:- Tuesday, Feb 10, 2009 at 13:31

Tuesday, Feb 10, 2009 at 13:31
Perhaps if any point is to be made in relation to bushfires and 4x4 tracks, is that those idiots who deliberatey go looking for mud and thus creating the huge bogholes (which make tracks impassable)...are putting peoples lives at risk, these tracks may be someones only means of escape from fire.

As people have just lost loved ones under horrific circumstances I don't think it is very considerate to be right now looking to use these fires as an argueing point for personal gain ie. keeping tracks open for 4x4 drivers!

The only thing of concern right now should be looking after those who have survived!
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Follow Up By: The Landy - Tuesday, Feb 10, 2009 at 14:05

Tuesday, Feb 10, 2009 at 14:05
And you are right to voice that view; but this is an area that four-wheel drivers can make a positive contribution, lack of adequate access because of the poor condition of tracks has hindered fire control operations many times in the past.

This isn't about simply using it as an argument for access for four-wheel drives, this is a genuine issue and there will be no better time to argue the point before (more) lives are lost as a consequence of previous inaction on the topic.

Regards
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Follow Up By:- Tuesday, Feb 10, 2009 at 14:29

Tuesday, Feb 10, 2009 at 14:29
The authorities could keep tracks drivable and well maintained but with exception of recreational 4x4's banned from using them.

Hence the point: it has nothing to do with recreational 4x4's, it's more to do with the authorities maintaining the forests appropriately.

So my point was that we should not be using a horrific situation like these fires merely in an effort to try an justify keeping areas open for receational 4x4's.
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Follow Up By: The Landy - Tuesday, Feb 10, 2009 at 14:56

Tuesday, Feb 10, 2009 at 14:56
The government could, but doesn't.

I have no intention of inflaming your view, to which you are entitled and I respect; however this is an alternate view which may well provide much needed assistance to something that has long be neglected..

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Reply By: Doodle - Tuesday, Feb 10, 2009 at 17:10

Tuesday, Feb 10, 2009 at 17:10
There is an interesting article on the subject of “fire prevention” in The Australian by David Packham (honorary senior research fellow at Monash University's school of geography and environmental science). http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,25031389-7583,00.html

He has been a bushfire scientist for more than 50 years, dealing with all aspects of bushfires, from prescribed burning to flame chemistry, and serving as supervisor of fire weather services for Australia. He says we need to understand what has happened so that we can accept or prevent future fire disasters.

Davis Packman basically blames the lack of fire prevention on the Pollys not doing anything to retain some support from the Greenies. I like his final statement concerning action on fire “But don't hold your breath. Do you hear that lovely sound the warbling pigs make as they fly by?”

Cheers…….. Kenjo
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Reply By: DIO - Tuesday, Feb 10, 2009 at 17:56

Tuesday, Feb 10, 2009 at 17:56
In light of the seriousness and extent of the recent (current) firesd I suggest that authorities are more likely to restrict access into bush/remote areas with a view to restricting the activities of arsonists - particularly during fire danger season. Many arsonists are people whp live in the very communities they often destroy and have, in quite a few cases, been members of Country Fire Services.
AnswerID: 348492

Reply By: Member - Doug T (NT) - Tuesday, Feb 10, 2009 at 18:58

Tuesday, Feb 10, 2009 at 18:58
I thought they would have learnt from the Canberra fires a couple years ago, it seems they have not learnt a damn thing, rather listen to Baldy and the green tree huggers .

.
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Follow Up By: The Explorer - Tuesday, Feb 10, 2009 at 20:16

Tuesday, Feb 10, 2009 at 20:16
Not that simple Doug, unfortunately.
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Follow Up By: Leroy - Tuesday, Feb 10, 2009 at 21:31

Tuesday, Feb 10, 2009 at 21:31
And what was the outcome from the Canberra fires?

Leroy
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Follow Up By: Richard Kovac - Wednesday, Feb 11, 2009 at 00:42

Wednesday, Feb 11, 2009 at 00:42
Yes another smart comment by Doug, people have died and or lost everything and your reply is to lay blame????
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Follow Up By: OzTroopy - Thursday, Feb 12, 2009 at 12:29

Thursday, Feb 12, 2009 at 12:29
Werent the properties lost in the ACT fires, surrounded by Nat Pks too ... same as Torrington in NSW a while back ????

The question is ....

Are Nat Pks providing enough firebreaks, access and fuel reduction ... or ....... are there people building lifestyle homes in areas that need more property design /maintenance / protection than an average suburban block.
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Follow Up By: The Landy - Friday, Feb 13, 2009 at 09:26

Friday, Feb 13, 2009 at 09:26
Hi OzTroopy

I suspect it is both and there is no doubt that is where the debate will head as the authorities work out how to minimise the risk going forward.

Papers all already picking up this theme.

Cheers
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Reply By: Member - John (Vic) - Tuesday, Feb 10, 2009 at 20:21

Tuesday, Feb 10, 2009 at 20:21
Landy this has occurred to some degree.
After the High Country fires back in 2003 ish the state government via DSE and Parks Vic recognized that clear track access was paramount.

Four Wheel Drive Victoria has developed a very good working relationship with these two responsible state bodies and actually Victorian four wheel drive clubs undertake working bee/track clearing with various Parks Vic and DSE Rangers supervising.
Funding has allowed those who participate to receive a fuel rebate to help cover their personal costs involved from the state government.

The kick back for the 4 wheel drive community is continued access.
It has been so successful that access to formerly "Management Vehicles Only" tracks has been arranged with the keys being provided to locked gates to allow such access.

All credit to Four Wheel Drive Victoria for its proactive approach to negotiating and forming a very good working relationship with DSE and Parks.
Maybe its a lesson for other state 4x4 Associations??
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Follow Up By: The Landy - Tuesday, Feb 10, 2009 at 20:50

Tuesday, Feb 10, 2009 at 20:50
Hi John

Thanks for the comments.

The Victorian experience may well be a template to be looked at as a way forward in other States.

I don’t envisage that all tracks and fire trails in National Parks be opened to all and sundry; far from it as it needs to be controlled. But it could be offered to accredited four-wheel drive clubs who, in return for access, ensure the tracks are kept well maintained. This could be a good starting point for reasonable access versus control of access and works towards achieving the over-riding aim of ease of access to emergency services when required.

If deemed a worthwhile aim, it is important that the State four-wheel drive associations stand behind and support this as a way the four-wheel drive fraternity can actively be involved in the community.

And I acknowledge there are four-wheel drive clubs who are already actively involved in community projects.

Cheers
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Follow Up By: robertbruce - Tuesday, Feb 10, 2009 at 21:39

Tuesday, Feb 10, 2009 at 21:39
yep, great idea...
Only target the certified fire-fighters in accredited four-wheel drive clubs, GOSH... why didnt they think of that earlier...I8)
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Follow Up By: The Landy - Tuesday, Feb 10, 2009 at 21:56

Tuesday, Feb 10, 2009 at 21:56
Hi Robertbruce

With all due respect your point isn't obvious - no talk of of certified fire-fighters in either post above??

Plenty of tracks have been blocked to emergency vehicles by things such as fallen trees etc, regular access would ensure these are cleared and there could be a role for four-wheel drive clubs here. All that is needed is people with a commitment to four-wheel driving, the environment and to fellow Australians who may benefit from such action....

Easy to knock ideas I guess, harder to come up with something a little more constructive though; but then everyone is entitled to a viewpoint.

All the best....
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Follow Up By: robertbruce - Tuesday, Feb 10, 2009 at 22:24

Tuesday, Feb 10, 2009 at 22:24
my point is what if the arsonist is one of the 4x4clubbies??... locking the gate is the only way, everyone is rightfully sus' then... anyway ,those fire trials are useless in this sort of fire-storm and not worth the effort for something smaller that usually burns out...
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Follow Up By: Member - John (Vic) - Tuesday, Feb 10, 2009 at 22:56

Tuesday, Feb 10, 2009 at 22:56
robertbruce, And what if the arsonist was a copper, fire fighter or a kid??
We have suffered from all sorts of criminals from all walks of life and not everyone who lives in society is a criminal!!

In this instance those fire trails were no doubt useless (As was the sealed road system) but never the less does not lessen the importance of access for fuel reduction burns or after the fire front has passed for mopping up etc.

With such negativity its a wonder you get out of bed in the morning, go back to sleep.

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Follow Up By: robertbruce - Wednesday, Feb 11, 2009 at 00:30

Wednesday, Feb 11, 2009 at 00:30
initially, i was being negative about your bigotry...

...eg "1 don’t envisage that all tracks and fire trails in National Parks be opened to all and sundry; far from it as it needs to be controlled. But it could be offered to accredited four-wheel drive clubs"

...parks may possibly probly feel that locking the gate on them is the only way to control access, besides, these areas often have other dangers as well ...

the victorian model may not work on other states...vic are fiscally tight anyway. Imagine if someone seriously injuries themselves on this sort of mowing trip..



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Follow Up By: Member - John (Vic) - Wednesday, Feb 11, 2009 at 00:51

Wednesday, Feb 11, 2009 at 00:51
robertbruce I don't follow any of your reasoning as it simply defies any logic regarding the course of this thread.

Whats the "Vic are fiscally tight anyway" comment supposed to mean???
Can't see them being any tighter than say NSW.
And if the State can't for whatever reason fund works that the community may need then so far as I'm concerned members of the community have always been prepared to stand up and do what ever is needed to be done for the wider community benefit, I offer the Victorian CFA volunteers as one large group who gives without compensation by the state.

"Imagine if someone seriously injuries themselves on this sort of mowing trip"
Yeah well I'm imagining it and so what??
May clubs undertake community work and hold insurance cover covering members working in a volunteer capacity for injury and death.
They also hold Public Liability cover for damage to others.
In the instance I raise above the respective State Government Departments also hold insurance cover protecting volunteers.

It seems quite apparent with your attitude that you would not volunteer to cross the road.

Go back to sleep.

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Follow Up By: robertbruce - Wednesday, Feb 11, 2009 at 17:17

Wednesday, Feb 11, 2009 at 17:17
Landy, honestly, your post did nothing to further the thread except allow the ugly head of bigotry to be raised ..; suggesting or implicating that only 4x4 clubs deserved to have access is ludicruis..

your comment
"Imagine if someone seriously injuries themselves on this sort of mowing trip, Yeah well I'm imagining it and so what??"
....i would be a bit worried with an attitude like that, lets drop the insurance and donate it to the professionals eh'...

as for me not crossing the road... wrong, the ACCC, TIO and OFT know this only too well
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Follow Up By: The Landy - Wednesday, Feb 11, 2009 at 18:00

Wednesday, Feb 11, 2009 at 18:00
Hi Robetbruce

I've articulated my view in the first instance with this post, in a response to you here, and lower down this morning (around 9am).

To make it perfectly clear; I am not about elevating the interests of clubs above the interests of others, however, when it comes to four-wheel drive access to gated areas in National Parks, I suspect it will only be achieved by clubs who can demonstrate responsibility and accountability, something individuals would find very hard too achieve.

To further clarify; If you review this series of follow-up posts you will find that you have confused other posters comments with those of my own.

I acknowledge you are not in agreement and happy to leave it on that note with you. Should you want to discuss it further please feel free to contact me at my email address, however I've no interest in furthering this discussion with you in a public forum.

Kind regards,
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Follow Up By: robertbruce - Wednesday, Feb 11, 2009 at 19:44

Wednesday, Feb 11, 2009 at 19:44
Landy, I'm not confused....IMHO, for you to grandstand an alternative plan employing elitist private citizens is a waste of time and cyncical at the least... the fiscal savings sniggers would make one sick ...

you might get a few eager-beavers going in for new gear try-out but clearing firetrials is hard, solid dangerous work that should be reserved for adults... sure, let the kids replant the beaches but lets leave the terrifying tinder-box bush for the professionals...

.. and gee, cant you just mow someones lawn for them...I8)
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Follow Up By: The Landy - Thursday, Feb 12, 2009 at 19:28

Thursday, Feb 12, 2009 at 19:28
Hey Robertbruce

I’m a fair and reasonable person and willing to listen to all views, especially those contrary to mine as I might be overlooking something and I see that as an opportunity to learn.

Through all the noise and condescending comments you’ve made it appears you might actually have something constructive to say, so why not cut the crap, be a bit more concise, and outline why you don’t think what I’ve suggested will work... And I’m big enough and ugly enough to understand other people have differing views, just tell me what yours are without lowering the discussion to personal insults………

And mate, I drive a 1994 Landrover Defender....nothing elitest about that and if you lawn needs mowing give me a call I’d gladly help you out we might even be able to share a beer afterwards!

So help me out here, what is wrong with the suggestion?

Cheers
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Follow Up By: robertbruce - Thursday, Feb 12, 2009 at 20:59

Thursday, Feb 12, 2009 at 20:59
heya Landy,

I have a disability as a result of lack/neglect of government spending and when I see citzens invovled in something that can lead to harm i like to make a stand...
Just put me down as sort of advocate against the "she'll be right mate" and "it wont happn to me"...
Landy, thank-you for your patience with me and allowing me to articulate my concern.
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Follow Up By: The Landy - Thursday, Feb 12, 2009 at 22:10

Thursday, Feb 12, 2009 at 22:10
Hey Robertbruce

Thanks mate.....you're alright!

I understand fully where you are coming from and thanks for sharing an insight on your experience. When I re-read your comments a couple of times I could see you had a point to make about something, and it is an important one; just wasn't quite getting what it was.

And I’m glad you’re an advocate against the "she'll be right mate" and "it won’t happen to me" (attitude)...because it is worthy to stop and pause and reflect on those comments as it does happen to someone.

The offer stands good for the mowing, but only if we get a beer in as well.

Good luck, The Landy

Oh, and ps.. I sort of fibbed a little….driving a 1994 Landrover Defender is actually (a little) elitest, just not enough of them to go around….
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Reply By: blue one - Tuesday, Feb 10, 2009 at 20:54

Tuesday, Feb 10, 2009 at 20:54
Been through it before and with those winds there is little you can do.
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Follow Up By: Leroy - Tuesday, Feb 10, 2009 at 21:35

Tuesday, Feb 10, 2009 at 21:35
yup and no amount of fuel reduction burn would of made a difference. It was the 'perfect storm'; Extremely high temps, Strong 100kph northerly winds and very low humidity.....and a fire bug.

Leroy
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Follow Up By:- Thursday, Feb 12, 2009 at 10:51

Thursday, Feb 12, 2009 at 10:51
Very valid points guys, exactly this was the perfect fire storm.....glad someone understands a bit more of what happened Sat.

Nothing was going to prevent or stop this firestorm.

Only thing the authorities can really take away from this horrific event is that the current warning of It's a day of Total Fire ban is not good enough given the conditions on Sat!

There needs to be a level of warning above it being a mere Total Fire ban...It should be a warning that:

1.) Tells people - do not attempt to stay and try to save your homes, as in these conditions it will not be a normal bushfire........ it will be a Firestorm!........ and your home cannot be saved.

2) In these conditions, if possible do not stay in areas of bushland. If you can stay with friends or relatives elsewhere then do so.
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Follow Up By: Leroy - Thursday, Feb 12, 2009 at 11:41

Thursday, Feb 12, 2009 at 11:41
It was well publicised that this was going to be a horrendous day but even I put part of it down to sensationalised journalism and the Premier over reacting.

In hindsight I can't begin to think how lucky we were. If the Beechworth fires started at Midday for example instead of 6pm Sat they would of roared down the Ovens and Keiwa Valley's with those northerly winds.

Leroy
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Follow Up By: OzTroopy - Thursday, Feb 12, 2009 at 12:13

Thursday, Feb 12, 2009 at 12:13
FollowupID: 616938 Submitted: Thursday, Feb 12, 2009 at 11:41 ... Leroy posted:
It was well publicised that this was going to be a horrendous day but even I put part of it down to sensationalised journalism and the Premier over reacting.




If the excessive amount of victim support money, required to fund a Royal Commission does anything ... I hope it highlights a finding similiar to your comment Leroy.

IMHO ... Years of rating seeking, over dramatised, excessively covered events by media ( not too mention political grandstanding ) are causing a ho hum attitude to publicised infomation ... that or just plain cynicism ....
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Reply By: The Landy - Wednesday, Feb 11, 2009 at 09:14

Wednesday, Feb 11, 2009 at 09:14
There have been a number of interesting, if not surprising responses to my original post, which was floated as an idea and in response to the numerous posts about wanting to ‘do something’ following the tragedy of the Victorian bush fires.

This is all about ‘exploring’ what we as a four-wheel drive community ‘might’ be able to do to assist in the longer-term management of fire and access trails in National Parks. We’ll never be able to stop fires, but perhaps there are ways we can assist in easing the destruction they cause, and providing ease of access to the bush when required by emergency services.

I recall a number of years ago that fire-tenders were severely hindered whilst trying to fight a fire in the Blue Mountains due to having to clear seldom used tracks of debris and fallen trees. These were gated tracks. I suspect this happens regularly, often goes unreported, and just adds an additional burden onto the shoulders of the people who make up our volunteer bush fire services.

If four-wheel drivers are to be involved solutions will require the co-operation of the appropriate State Administrators of our National Parks and the peak Four-Wheel Drive Associations that represent our many four-wheel drive clubs.

For the type of activity I have proposed and for it to be considered by the State National Park Administrators the appropriate Four-Wheel Drive Associations will most likely need to demonstrate that clubs they represent are accountable and responsible, have in place appropriate training for members and have liability insurance. Without this it is unlikely access would even be considered, let alone granted, to the restricted areas (closed tracks) in National Parks. I doubt it is something that individuals could achieve; if it was that easy the gates would be open now.

I accept that not all will agree with the thrust of this. That is fine, but consider – this is something the four-wheel drive community can do to assist others; to demonstrate that we are not a bunch of red-necks hell bent on destroying the bush and will give controlled access to parts of our country that is currently denied. How often do we see in this forum claims that our access to certain areas is being eroded by the authorities or other groups. Here is an opportunity that might create a win/win situation for all and elevate our standing within the community. How could that be a bad thing?

Once again, I recognise that many four-wheel drive clubs are already actively involved in local community projects.

The Victorian tragedy is devastating and has had a profound affect or many, if not all Australians, there are many ways we can help prevent conditions that create this type of outcome, and ways in which we can assist emergency crews do their job, when required.

This may well be one of them.

If it is something you can support, great! Let your four-wheel drive club know of your views if you are a member, if not a member of a club then contact one or speak to your local Member of Parliament.

I will be raising this issue with the Associations and will let you know of the outcome.

Kind regards…..
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Follow Up By: Alan H - Wednesday, Feb 11, 2009 at 11:29

Wednesday, Feb 11, 2009 at 11:29
Hear hear Landy. My post following your original was that ceratin sections of our community have far too much say on what should be done to lower the risk of fires and I mentioned the greenies as being one of those that want no access or fire fuel reduction burns.
Strangely that attracted comments about money being showered upon us by KRUDD although what that had to do with it I don't know!
Here in the West LROCWA has recently been involved with DEC with installing fencing and shade netting to assist in stopping sand erosion in a coastal park south of Northcliffe. More will be done at the next long weekend.
Other clubs have been involved in track maintenance, again with the approval and supply of equipment to help from the relevant authorities.
What we need is less track closing to appease the greenies to get their support at elections, so that yet more work can de done and access allowed generally in order that obstructions be cleared should they be needed early an emergency.
I doubt anything will stop real fires such as in Victoria but any reduction in their intensity should be welcomed.
Alan.
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FollowupID: 616765

Follow Up By: OzTroopy - Wednesday, Feb 11, 2009 at 12:56

Wednesday, Feb 11, 2009 at 12:56
Landy .....

The 4wd clubs - adopting areas as as done on highways ... may well do something about the false image of the majority - as presented by greenies etc ...... and whilst it may be a nescessity in the future ... the idea of 'having' to join a club - to access areas I have been using with care for well over forty years is an imposition .... but slightly more bearable than the one that states "you cant go in there anymore ........ "


Alan H .....

Good point about ... fire "intensity" reduction.

A bushfire will always be devastating thing ... especially when weather conditions are as they were in Vict.

The length of time the burnt ground - burns for ... is what determines reqrowth.

If the fire intensity, behind the fire front, is so high because of all the loose timber not allowed to be picked up for firewood or lack of burnoffs, then the area will be dead for a lot longer than it needs to be.

No conservation of anything - if it all becomes eroding soil ......

Additionally - inadequate fire fighting resources ... needed to deal with the fire front will be constantly engaged dealing with more than usual - still burning fires, behind the firefront.


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FollowupID: 616773

Reply By: blue one - Friday, Feb 13, 2009 at 18:49

Friday, Feb 13, 2009 at 18:49
My brother is in the CFA in VIC. They were pulled out of isolated areas due to the risk to the crews.

The fires in the southern states have an identity of their own as the strong nth west winds create a micro climate of intense heat.

In NSW where I now live, we have stop and go bush fires, due to wind changes. They are a different animal to the ones down south.

Your intentions are morally well founded though they wouldn't help in the recent VIC fires.

Maybe the Gov in NSW would listen!

Cheers
AnswerID: 348912

Reply By: The Landy - Monday, Feb 16, 2009 at 13:01

Monday, Feb 16, 2009 at 13:01
For those with an interest; a couple of four-wheel drive associations responded to an enquiry I sent.

Generally, the four-wheel drive associations continue to push the NPWS and Department of Lands on this issue. In NSW there is a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the NPWS and covers some of the activities mentioned in my original post.

There is an ongoing dialogue with the Department of Lands, who also have significant track maintenance and fire management obligations, with the aim of putting together an agreement. This appears to be progressing given recognition of the capability of the four-wheel drive clubs to assist in this regard.

Importantly, the four-wheel drive associations are attaching high priority to this area and if you are so inclined you might be able to follow up with a four-wheel drive club.

Regards
AnswerID: 349354

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