Angry survivors blame council 'green' policy

Andrea Petrie, Arthurs Creek
February 11, 2009


ANGRY residents last night accused local authorities of contributing to the bushfire toll by failing to let residents chop down trees and clear up bushland that posed a fire risk.

During question time at a packed community meeting in Arthurs Creek on Melbourne's northern fringe, Warwick Spooner — whose mother Marilyn and brother Damien perished along with their home in the Strathewen blaze — criticised the Nillumbik council for the limitations it placed on residents wanting the council's help or permission to clean up around their properties in preparation for the bushfire season. "We've lost two people in my family because you dickheads won't cut trees down," he said.
Good for them! We run a prescribed fire program out here and our motto is "Burn, Baby, Burn". We know all too well what happens when there are no fire breaks and the fuel load gets too high. I can't understand why the Eco-Nazis oppose burns. In both Australia and the United States, people have been intentionally burning the land for thousands of years. New growth forests and scrub land are wildly productive and diverse in terms of both plants and animals. Old growth forests have little biodiversity.

At the least, they should allow property owners to manage timber and brush. In Colorado, it's pretty much required in most counties.