A Problem-Solving Pathway to Resolve the Controversy Over

Fuel Load, Hazard Reduction Burns, Risk Analysis and Bushfires:

A Royal Commission or a Scientific Round-Table? (Posted 14 January 2020)

TAGS: Bushfires; Australia; climate change; hazard reduction; fuel load; ecology; window of opportunity; risk; threatened species; critical habitat; resilience; scientific round-table; royal commission; conflict resolution

1.0   The 2019-2020 bush fire season in Australia has been one of the worst fire seasons on record. The total area of land burned during the current bushfire season now exceeds 10.7 million hectares (26.4 million acres).

2.0   All Australian mainland States have been impacted. Thousands of homes have been destroyed; 27 people have been killed. There have been significant impacts on native fauna and their habitat.

3.0   Public and political comment has identified a number of key interests that need to be satisfied. They form a framework for risk management of bushfires in Australia:

(i)    Understanding  fuel load, hazard reduction issues and climate change;

(ii)   The need for a national plan or policy for hazard reduction;

(iii)  The need for a Royal Commission or Inquiry into the current crisis; and

(iv)  The need to consider resilience of communities, as well as ecological communities, as goals.

All these issues are reviewed.

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Dr Ted Christie has had key roles in two public interest environmental Commissions of Inquiry – as Principal Adviser to the Commission Chair in Queensland's Fraser Island Commission of Inquiry and as Chair of its independent External Scientific Expert Review Panel; & Commissioner, Commonwealth Shoalwater Bay Commission of Inquiry.

 

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