Time to take action on catchment protection

Another "reactive" media release from the Logging Industry - this got a run on ABC 774 radio this morning.

People are making the obvious link between catchment destruction by fire and the loss of water

So the industry is now desperately trying to reframe themselves as protectors of catchment rather than destroyers.

Some points for letter writers:

  • Logging industry claims that logging our catchments will improve water yields are false.
  • Scientists have confirmed that logging in our water catchments, like bushfires, decreases the quality and quantity of water they produce
  • Every drop is precious - it is time that Melbourne's water catchments, and other across Victoria, were immediately protected.
  • The Victorian government has been sitting on their hands holding continual reviews about the destruction of catchments by logging; it is now time for action.
  • The Victorian government must immediately protect our water catchments from logging in the interests of all Melbournians; we are now facing less water in our dams and Stage 4 water restrictions in the near future
  • It is interesting to note that the recent bushfires travelled at alarming speed, up to 100km/h, across farmland and through plantations and heavily "managed" forests, including forests where recent fuel reduction burns had been done.
  • Bushfire and climate scientists have confirmed that Victoria's hottest day every, combined with very strong north winds, created conditions for an unstoppable firestorm.
  • The bushfires have slowed considerably when they eventually entered Melbourne's water catchments.
  • Intact wet sclerphyll forests in our water cathcments are less prone to burning, and temperatures and wind speeds have eased.
  • Water catchments across Victoria, including East Gippsland forests such as Brown Mountain and Yalmy, must now be protected in a time of drastically reduced rainfall across the state.

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Extreme weather and mega-fires : forest expert

In the search to find a scapegoat in the ashes of Victoria's Black Saturday fires, the environment movement became an almost immediate target. Green groups have been accused of unduly influencing state governments to wind back controlled burning in large areas of public forested lands.

Last Thursday, we spoke to former CSIRO bushfire researcher Phil Cheney, who blamed the build-up of forest fuels for the severity and extent of the Victorian fires. But Brendan Mackey, Professor of Environmental Science at the ANU, says that's 'scientifically wrong'. On the basis of his research in Victoria, he says extreme weather events are linked to the recent unprecedented spate of megafires in south east Australia, three in the past six years.

Listen to interview


National Bushfire Summit Urgently Needed

On 9 February Allan Hansard said: "this is no time to be laying blame, or pointing the finger." Apparently a week later, it was perfectly fine to be laying blame.Read More

Greenie love of bushfires goes deeper than global warming

February 10, 2009

Article from: The Australian

Clive Hamilton, in yesterday's Crikey, says bushfires are caused by climate change, but the PM won't talk about it.

Read More

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Green Ideas must take blame for deaths

Miranda Devine
February 12, 2009
It wasn't climate change which killed as many as 300 people in Victoria last weekend. It wasn't arsonists. It was the unstoppable intensity of a bushfire, turbo-charged by huge quantities of ground fuel which had been allowed to accumulate over years of drought. It was the power of green ideology over government to oppose attempts to reduce fuel hazards before a megafire erupts, and which prevents landholders from clearing vegetation to protect themselves. Read More

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