The Fire Experts from Central Casting

The Fire Experts from Central Casting, by Vic Jurskis.

Seventeen years ago, after 500 homes burnt and people died in Canberra, a federal inquiry chaired by Gary Nairn MHR came up with the right answer, as recorded in its report, A Nation Charred : we need to do more mild burning. It noted that local knowledge and experience is being ignored by an increasingly top-heavy emergency bureaucracy.

A dissenting report submitted a city-based Greens member quoted Wollongong University’s Professor Robert Whelan, who had written a book on fire ecology despite what I would regard as very limited experience in management of land and fire. Whelan asserted “broad scale hazard reduction is threatening biodiversity conservation and must therefore be avoided by land managers and resisted at a political level.”

The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) receives advice directly from the top-heavy bureaucracy criticised by the Nairn Inquiry and was disinclined to adopt its recommendations.

Instead, they turned to Whelan, together with Professor Peter Kanowski — his Conversation articles illustrate his views and sympathies — and former Special Forces Officer Stuart Ellis, none of whom seem to have much experience in forest management and prescribed burning, if any at all. This trio was charged with conducting another inquiry which produced “Living in a Land of Fire”, a document which posits that educating the public about bushfires was more important than reducing hazards. They claimed that we don’t really know how prescribed burning affects biodiversity across the landscape, and they added insult to injury by questioning the effectiveness of hazard reduction burning. …

And climate change?

As I wrote in my book, Firestick Ecology:

“Climate hysteria conveniently absolves green academics from culpability for the human, environmental and economic disasters that they have visited on Australia through their bad advice to governments on land and fire management.”

And that’s how  the Australian bureaucracy went with the green nonsense. They did it because they wanted to. Which is why we got this bushfire mess.

It’s ideologically driven stupidity at the top of the unelected bureaucracy. They ignore the knowledge of experts and millennia.