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February 10th 2009 print

Green bushfires – the warning in 2002

David Packham in 2002: “For almost three decades State and Commonwealth governments have been warned of the potential of a 1939 repeat fire disaster. Those warnings by fire managers and fire researchers have been ignored, discounted or discredited."

David Packham in 2002:

“For almost three decades State and Commonwealth governments have been warned of the potential of a 1939 repeat fire disaster. Those warnings by fire managers and fire researchers have been ignored, discounted or discredited. Well the disaster is here, the response has been to deny, hide and deceive. There has been no acceptance of responsibility or action other than spin and deception and a policy of silence. An illustration of the extent of this deception was the on air comment from an award winning ABC journalist who has become an apologist for the Victorian CFA. He referred to the most damaging forest fire in Australia ever as 1.3 million hectares of prescribed burning. A moments thought will reveal the spin, deception and ignorance within that statement.

“The motives for this disgraceful public response are entirely political and reinforces the politics of marginal preferences. Fear of litigation from its rural population is also a major motive. The state is not entitled to hide its responsibility for this environmental disaster from its own citizens.”

Source: Submission by David Packham OAM to the Inquiry on Bushfire Mitigation and Management, 4 December 2002