Greens not to blame for reduced hazard reduction burns

Greens Central Coast Greens member, Cath ConnorCentral Coast Greens member, Cath Connor

As debate continues to rage around factors contributing to the bush fires which posed a huge threat to the Central Coast in the months leading up to Christmas, The Greens have hit back at suggestions that the party’s policy on hazard reduction burns was somehow to blame.

Central Coast Greens member Cath Connor, who stood as a candidate for the party for the seat of Robertson at the 2019 Federal election, said The Greens support hazard reduction management guided by the best expert advice. “After the recent devastating bushfire season, some commentators have blamed the Greens for a lack of hazard reduction burns to prevent bush fires, ” Connor said.

“The Greens, however, back the statements of senior bush fire professionals that hazard reduction has become more difficult due to longer, hotter and dryer conditions leading to fewer safe periods for hazard reduction burns. “The unprecedented nature of these fires is linked to climate change which has increased the dryness of the fuel load.

“Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology has presented findings concluding that 2019 was our hottest year ever, with the mean temperature at 1.52 degrees Celsius above average. “Australia’s national average rainfall was just 277mm – the lowest ever recorded. “The government has shown an appalling lack of leadership.

“They took no steps to prepare for or mitigate the extreme bushfire season that they were warned we would face. “Instead, the blame shifting game (it’s the Greens’ fault) is being pushed as hard as it can be. “This is despite all the accurate information presented by people like the RFS Chief and CSIRO scientists.

“With a large number of our homes close to or in bushland areas of the Central Coast, there is more we can do to address the bushfire threat, the most urgent being to act on climate change. “In addition, the Central Coast Greens call on the government to adequately fund rangers to conduct hazard reduction and to create a National Disaster Response Unit. ”

Connor said if elected to Central Coast Council at September’s local government elections, the Greens would work hard to improve local responses and preparation for catastrophic bushfire conditions.

Source: Media release, Jan 17 Cath Connor, Central Coast Greens