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Illogicalities and sleight of hand in bushfire accounting and management

Photo by Jill Quirk

In Victoria in 2010

Why is it that bushfires, regeneration burns, ecological burns, asset protection burns etc., are not considered fuel-reducing?

Why is Victoria logging in water supply catchments when we are short of water - especially after they have burned?

Why has not the impact of continually losing hollow trees as a result of increased deliberately lit fires and logging and the threat of extinction this poses to possums, parrots and other species being referred for consideration under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Act?

What are the projected carbon emissions from all deliberately lit fires such as fuel reduction burns, asset protection burns, regeneration burns, etc.?

Why aren't the fuel loads before and after these deliberately lit fires and bushfires measured? If you believe they are, where and when?

The author suggests that readers
Email these questions to the Bushfires Royal Commission enquiries[AT] your local Federal and State Members of Parliament Victorian State Members in the Upper House and the Lower House; Victorian Federal House of Representatives and Victorian Senators email

Please send all and any replies to jim_w304[AT]

Source of this article was an email.


The Office of the Emergency Services Commissioner has put out a Fire Refuges Discussion Paper and is asking for community submissions. Unfortunately there is not much time left as submissions are due on Friday 30 July.

It is really important that we put in submissions and that we tell as many people as possible about this. The community need to make sure we are heard about this issue, which is so critical for our safety and our communities.

And if you fancy reading a bit of a rave about why this attempt at community consultation falls short, go to the Fire In Mind blog. Fire In Mind blog.

The Burned Area Emergency Response Report (BAER) from a team of more than 60 scientists and specialists recommended that the government "must reduce logging volumes to reflect the reduction in habitat and timber resource". The reports acknowledged that only a small area could be safely salvage logged. However, this advice was ignored.

More than ten times the amount of salvage logging stipulated in these reports was logged. Excess logging continued under the smoke-screen of pseudo-science. VicForests used the tragic Black Saturday fires as an excuse for a timber grab.

The abundance of large trees with hollows is significantly reduced in forests after salvage harvesting. Salvage logging also reduces the number of places that typically support the highest diversity of tree-living marsupials and forest birds.

Thousands of tonnes of high-quality sawlogs from Victoria’s bushfire-devastated Central Highlands forests (near Healesville) are being secretly shipped to China, against state government policy, The Wilderness Society has revealed. “VicForests is responsible for implementing the ban on whole log exports, but it appears they have allowed the system to be rorted. We find it very hard to believe that VicForests didn’t know this was going on” said The Wilderness Society’s Victorian Campaigns Manager Richard Hughes.

Secret export of sawlogs destroys native forests, betrays Victorian communities

A timber merchant has been accused of putting Victorian jobs at risk by sending thousands of tonnes of wood salvaged after the deadly Black Saturday fires overseas for processing.

VicForests investigates timber claim
Now the timber merchants, the pillagers and the plunderers who are stripping our Victorian native forests, are fighting over the spoils of their crimes! Our native forests are another natural asset being stripped to fuel China's economic growth.

VicForests?... more like Viking Foresters! - raping, pillaging, and plundering - an apt stereotype for those marauding barbarians arriving in their helmeted hordes to pillage their way through native forests.

Suggan Buggan
Snowy River Region
Victoria 3885

(as above)