Bushfire mitigation policies must remain

Shooters, Fishers and Farmers MLC Rick Mazza has warned against changing Western Australia’s successful bushfire mitigation policies after learning of a petition and campaign to severely restrict or cease the practice of prescribed burning in south-west forests.

Mr Mazza said he understands an independent group of university academics and environmentalists are circulating a petition and plan to lobby the Premier, calling for a review of prescribed burning practices in Western Australia.

“This group asserts that prescribed burning does not help to control wildfires and instead causes irreparable damage to ecosystems,” Mr Mazza said.

“It is mind boggling that after some of the worst bushfires in Australian history earlier this year that environmental activists will not shift from their dangerous and failed ideology of opposing bushfire mitigation.

“It is an unfortunate reality that we are going to have fires, whether it be from lightning strikes or arsonists. Prescribed burning is essential to reduce the build- up of bushfire fuel and therefore the intensity of fires”.

Mr Mazza said it is imperative the State Government maintains their current prescribed burning program in order to protect WA rural communities and their assets from the damaging impacts of bushfire.

“To the Government’s credit they have been regularly achieving their 200,000 hectare annual prescribed burning goal since coming to power,” Mr Mazza said.

“In the 2019-20 State Budget they allocated $22 million to the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions Enhanced Prescribed Burning Program over four years.

“I urge the Government to continue the progress of current fire mitigation strategies and not bow to the demands of this group’s irresponsible campaign.”

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