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Bushfires Royal Commission

Video lecture: Did Australian Aboriginals burn the bush as we are told? Joel Wright, "The language of fire."

Note: This introduction has been edited for a number of small but important inaccuracies. Candobetter.net editor 29/12/2014.] Fuel reduction and ecological burning etc. are based on the assumption that all Aboriginal people undertook fire-stick farming. Joel Wright, traditional owner in southwest Victoria, is an indigenous language, culture and history researcher. He finds no evidence of wide-scale burning in Aboriginal language and culture, but does find other explanations for the history of aboriginal fires observed by Europeans. These were often smoke-signals exchanged between clans, for general communication and warning of approaching Europeans etc. There was also defensive burning to hinder explorers by burning feed their for their stock. Other fires were to 'cover their tracks' when they were being pursued, etc.. Many of these fires were mistaken for landscape burning. Joel also found one record of burning small portions of dry grass around marshes to expose an area to attract birds to scratch for food there, making the birds potential meals for the indigenous hunters. Nowhere did he find anything to justify the destructive and dangerous annual incineration of the landscapes of the Gunditjamara by the Victorian Government. He was concerned that burning the bush as we do now kills the birds and animals so important to vegetation stories, removes scar and burial trees and 'burns micro particles from axes and spears that holds the clues as to what they were used for.The video was recorded from Wright's presentation at Australian Wildlife Protection Council Fire and Wildlife Conference, "Pause and Review Victoria's Fire Management." November 2014

Bushfire proposal threatens Mallee wildlife: scientists


The Bushfires Royal Commission plan of increasing "controlled burning" in the Mallee is an example of a one-size-fits-all mentality.  It would threaten the long-term survival of the region's native wildlife, a scientific study has found. The Mallee has been recognised as the most threatened environment for birds in Australia.
Large fires burn thousands of hectares and dramatically change vegetation and wildlife habitats.

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