from Townsville bureau
Mining giant Rio Tinto in spite of its much-touted support for indigenous people on Cape York Peninsula has economically suppressed the Napranum Aboriginal community which adjoins the township of Weipa.
Three years ago an application was made to Rio Tinto by local elders who hold a Forestry Department timber cutting permit, to resume timber harvesting on Rio’s vast mining lease.
A Napranum native title group had been cutting timber on the mining lease and processing it in their modern sawmill since 1996 but halted production due to management and distribution problems in 2015.
A spokesperson said the sawmill and at least 10 local jobs had been idle ever since. Rio management at Weipa made every excuse during negotiations to recommence harvesting to prevent timber cutting on any part of their lease.
Instead at least three times a year the miner clears and burns large areas of valuable hardwood.
In 2017 at least 3000 acres of prized Cooktown Ironwood and Darwin Stringy timber worth at least $1.8M after processing was cleared and burnt without a single log being salvaged.
This occurs on an annual basis.
The mining giant claimed timber cutting could not go ahead because they had found palm cockatoos and quolls on parts of their lease. It was explained to the environmental section that these animals are not endangered and can be found across the Peninsula and south to Mareeba.
Never mind their fate when clearing and burning occurs.
The State Government, which issued the harvesting permit, has done little to get the timber cutting and sawmill restarted. It seems Rio rules the roost in Queensland.
by Robert J Lee
A levy imposed on the fossil fuel industry to pay for fighting bushfires allegedly caused by climate change is absurd, unscientific and will not stop wildfires.
It comes as part of 165 recommendations by the Emergency Leaders for Climate Action (ELCA), a group of more than 150 experts and affected community members, in a bid to improve bushfire readiness, response and recovery.
How 150 so-called experts could get it so wrong is typical when academia in concert with government closes ranks to assure a pre-determined outcome. Climate change has been discredited by thousands of scientists around the world.
The real cause of the Queensland, NSW and Victorian wildfires was four decades of disastrous Labor Party environmental policies. Grazing properties, forestry reserves, national parks and state land were locked up then the socialist governments threw away the keys.
After the Aboriginal firestick disappeared 100 years ago the problem grew worse across the nation but in particular NSW and Victoria where successive state governments acquired hundreds of grazing and farming properties and turned them into national parks or environmental reserves.
Wet years would see vegetation grow uncontrollably in these parks and reserves creating a huge amount of fuel for fires. Firefighters in Victoria were reported as saying they saw forest detritus one to two metres thick over large areas they were trying to protect.
Naturally with such fuel loads nothing could save these forests. A complete lack of hazard reduction burning over many years by authorities left vast areas potential fire bombs of nuclear proportion.
The other major fire prevention deficiency was a lack of cleared firebreaks. Hours of television footage covering the wildfires revealed almost no firebreaks and no machinery to make any.
In Queensland, NSW and Victoria, all suffering from decades of Labor rule, it was most evident that rural firefighters had only public roads or power line tracks for access to reserves and private property to conduct back burning.
It was a hopeless, dangerous situation that volunteer firefighters faced and there were no bulldozers or graders to construct breaks even when the RFS had weeks of opportunity to build breaks before fires arrived. Labor policies prevent disturbing any trees or vegetation growing in reserves and on private property from being damaged or removed by constructing a firebreak.
Fire experts and seasoned firefighters know that in temperate climates during the dry season hot bush fires stoked by half a metre of detritus in eucalypt forests create their own fire environment developing strong winds and wild atmospheric conditions to create crown fires.
These fires are impossible to stop, but they are relatively easy to prevent. Climate change is pure nonsense and Labor and Liberal governments must shoulder most of the blame.
Then there are the city people who want a life in the bush but have no idea of rural conditions especially fire prevention. They set up bush camps in the hills to live their dream.. No water, no power, no machinery, no fire breaks and no sense.
Many of the burnt-out homes, ranging from subsistence dwellers to large well-constructed houses had eucalyptus trees growing out of the lounge room, so to speak. How did they think they could prevent their homes from burning down?
The television footage of burnt out homes from all states in the aftermath of the conflagrations said it all, the most evident mistake being a complete lack of fire breaks due to government regulations, an inadequate water supply and lack of fire-fighting equipment.
In NSW alone 2439 homes were lost and at least 33 people died in the summer fire season of 2019-20. More than 400 homes were burnt down in Victoria and 5 people lost their lives leaving nationally, 46.3 million acres ravaged and many of the forests permanently damaged never to recover.
Hard as it is to believe, this man, Greg Mullins, a former NSW Fire and Rescue Commissioner and a member of the ECLA is supposedly a seasoned fire fighter. He is blaming climate change. He is simply deflecting blame from the socialist policies of the political party duopoly.
“The escalation in natural disasters is driven by climate change,” he said.
“There should be a levy on the fossil fuel industry, given all their tax breaks.
“We had the hottest, driest year ever — a year that would not have happened without the impact of climate change.
“It drove the worst bushfires in Australia’s history — they were bigger, hotter, faster and more destructive [than] what we’ve ever experienced before.”
“The fires were weather driven and the weather was driven by a warming climate,” Mr Mullins said.
Australia was on average hotter in the 18th century than the 19th or 20th and the extent of the fires was not unique. The climate varies widely according to changing cycles of the Sun. Earth has been wobbling on its axis in recent years causing abnormal, prolonged exposure to the Sun in southern areas of the continent.
Blaming excess carbon dioxide emissions for fires is pure fantasy. Carbon dioxide is essential for life and responsible scientists say we need more not less.
Australia’s hot, arid climate and wind-driven bushfires were a new and frightening phenomenon to the European settlers of the colonial era. The devastating Victorian bushfires of 1851, remembered as the Black Thursday bushfires, burned in a chain from Portland to Gippsland, and sent smoke billowing across the Bass Strait to north west Tasmania.
State Library of Victoria:
Widespread bushfires occurred in Victoria in early February 1851. The height of the destruction happened on Black Thursday, 6 February 1851.
‘Fires covered a quarter of what is now Victoria (approximately 5 million hectares). Areas affected include Portland, Plenty Ranges, Westernport, the Wimmera and Dandenong districts. Approximately 12 lives, one million sheep and thousands of cattle were lost’.
Mr Mullins should do some research into fire fighting methodology and revert to the tried and proven policies of Forestry departments before the advent of dangerous United Nations environmental policies enacted after Australia signed up to Agenda 21.
This UN policy on Environment and Development was endorsed by world governments at a Rio de Janerio conference in 1992 and is in reality a blueprint for de-population.
All Australian governments jumped onboard and its environmental policies ever since have all but destroyed agriculture and increased the cost of housing by 30 per cent. Environment departments followed this UN dictate closely and now we have borne the brunt of it.
Perhaps the former fire chief should set his sights on reversing the harmful effects of this treaty instead of following some esoteric climate change vision. Demanding another impost on hard hit tax payers is sheer folly.