Parlours Creek paradise – a sacrifice to the God of fear

Barjarg Rd and Dry Creek planned burns - a vast area to be burnt in a single year.

Barjarg Rd and Dry Creek planned burns – a vast area to be burnt in a single year.

… or is that politics, or perhaps bureaucracy. They all blend in this debate.

The Parlours Creek block is one part of the 30 sq km Barjarg Rd burn that will go up in smoke in the next few weeks, along with Koalas, Greater Gliders, old-growth trees and other innocent victims of this arrogance. Once burnt, the fuel in the much of the forest will be reduced, perhaps reducing the severity of a bushfire for at least the next couple of years. After that, there may well be an increase in fuels compared to before the fire, as fire stimulates regeneration of disturbance-loving species (like dogwood Cassinia aculeata and wattles).  So, what might have been an open shrub-layer beneath towering old-growth Mountain Gums (Eucalyptus dalrympleana) before the fire, could well become a dense tangle of shrubs with elevated fuel loads, for the next 20+ years, beneath charred stumps of former forest giants. The fire may create a few years of reduced risk and a few decades of increased risk – a questionable strategy, really.

A group of 45 people ventured into part of Parlours block on Easter Monday, to view first-hand what exactly was at stake.  The creek and surrounding slopes are very special, not least because the entire area we walked through was virtually weed-free; not one blackberry! Will it remain so once the burn has opened up the canopy and understorey? This is another one of those pesky little issues that can’t be measured and don’t rate a mention in the Fire Operations Plan. Enjoy the pics – click to view the slide show.

One of the reasons for the walk was to retrieve six trail cameras that had been out in the block for two weeks, to see what sorts of animals frequent this bush. Those results coming soon.

2 responses to “Parlours Creek paradise – a sacrifice to the God of fear

  1. enviro.images@bigpond.com

    Hello.

    I too am fighting DELWP (and Parks Victoria) in their fuel reduction burns program, in particular in the Greater Bendigo National Park. I have found and proven substantial environmental damage and a TOTAL DISREGARD for EPBC Act and FFG Act listed species, communities and protected matters. I presume the same is occurring in the Strathbogie Ranges?

    As part of my fight, I have undertaken numerous studies which constitute hard evidence against DELWP. I have also made many approaches to the Victorian Minister for Environment Climate Change and Water Lisa Neville, the Federal Minister for Environment Greg Hunt, the Federal Department of the Environment, the Secretary of DELWP, the CEO for Parks Victoria, etc. However, nobody is willing to intervene, or do anything. Nobody is willing to ensure adherence to environmental Statutes. Nobody is willing to take responsibility. As such, and so serious is the matter, that I have called on Minister Neville for an independent public inquiry / investigation into the Greater Bendigo National Park matter. However I still expect, if things remain consistent, that this will be “fobbed off” as has every other matter put.

    Has your group checked out the threatened species of the area (both EPBC Act and FFG Act)? One, for example, is the Murray Spiny Crayfish that I saw at I think Sandy Creek Falls last year?

    Another approach I have taken includes that whilst DELWP may be undertaking a “noble” outcome of “protecting human life and property”, this does NOT give it the right to override environmental law. Further, DELWP has refused to publicly advise its fire risk assessments, fuel load assessments, flora and fauna assessments, and alternative fire management measures assessments. I wonder why!!! These are FUNDAMENTAL to proper and conscionable determinations.

    Has your group also discussed the matter with Environmental Justice Australia?

    Also, if you might be interested to hear about my approach to trying to stop the burns, I would be very pleased to discuss with your group, if you want.

    Regards,

    Date: Thu, 31 Mar 2016 10:35:16

  2. Pingback: Parlours Creek fauna on film | Our Strathbogie Forest

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