Australia — Speaking at the launch of the CFS booklet – Farming Guidelines for the Reduction of Bushfire Risk – Mr White said farmers were confused about whether they could cut down native scrub on their properties.
“We would like (the changes) to go a little bit further than it did to be honest with you,” he said. “But, certainly, it’s a great step towards taking the confusion out of it.
“We now have the ability to clear (native vegetation) under certain circumstances, particularly around sheds and houses.
“All the great work that’s been done is not going to stop bushfires, but what we have to do is actually reduce the risk of that.”
Mr White said that “all we need is one dry thunderstorm” to ignite a serious bushfire because of the amount of scrub growing since the heavy winter rains.
The new booklet outlines when farmers need a permit before slashing native vegetation.
Pastoral areas in the north of the state had more foliage growing now that at any time because of the wet winter and a reduction on livestock during the five-year drought beforehand. Mr White said.
“As a result, we’ve seen an incredible build up of the amount of (flammable) material there so that does increase the (bushfire) risk and it’s a risk we need to manage.” he said.