Cattle producers voice concerns that Australian Defence Force is starting bushfires across the Northern Territory

Cattle producers voice concerns that Australian Defence Force is starting bushfires across the Northern Territory

25 February 2015

published by www.abc.net


Australia — As revealed by ABC Rural last week, Stapleton Station is seeking $60,000 in compensation from the Federal Government, claiming flares from an ADF exercise in 2013 caused a bushfire which destroyed fences and burnt around 5,000 hectares of prime grazing country.

President of the NTCA, David Warriner, said the issue was raised at last week’s meeting in Katherine and the claim by Stapleton Station is not in isolation.

“It’s not the first time this has occurred and it’s been taken up with the Defence Forces before,” he said.

“When I was at Tipperary Station we used to get fires lit in a row and we wouldn’t always take it up, but usually you’d think that (Defence Force flares) would be the most probable cause.

“So [Stapleton Station’s case] is not happening in isolation.”

In a statement to the ABC last week, the Defence Force said it was investigating the matter at Stapleton Station and is investigating the possible malfunction of some flares.

It is understood the use of “black flares” has been suspended pending the Stapleton Station investigation.

“We don’t want fires at the end of the day and it doesn’t matter if it’s black flares or pink flares,” Mr Warriner said.

“At the end of the day, the Defence Force has to get control of it and [realise] it’s illegal [for them] to light fires, as it is for everyone else.”

The ADF has confirmed it has received three claims for compensation from station owners in the Northern Territory (including Stapleton Station).
 


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