How can we be better prepared to deal with major bushfires and reduce their impact on South Australian communities?

Your input will help us identify how South Australia can adapt and learn from recent events to be better prepared for dealing with future bushfires.

Read the Terms of Reference and provide your feedback by logging in and commenting below.

 

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Trevor Fiegert

20 Feb 2020

Bushfires on Yorke Peninsula
The danger period for Yorke Peninsula is Nov to Xmas----when crops are bone dry and readying for harvest
Solution: The many towns on Yorke P. should have a 200metre safety zone around the town
This zone can still be farmed but ONLY used for haymaking purposes
Haymaking occurs Sept-October . this would leave areas of very short stubble which would aid any fire protection during the "Danger Period" mid Nov -Dec
Please Consider This Solution
Thank you ----Trevor Fiegert ---resident of Coobowie

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SA Bushfire Review Project Team > Trevor Fiegert

20 Feb 2020

Hello Trevor, Thank you for your feedback.
Regards Leigh, SA Bushfire Review Project Team

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Ian Preston

18 Feb 2020

Following the Black Saturday bushfires in Victoria, the Victorian Bushfire Safety Policy Framework was amended to support and recognise the use of accredited private bushfire shelters as a suitable shelter during a bushfire. That change meant that Victorians then only required planning approval to install a bushfire shelter; they no longer required building rules consent. The latter was covered by the Victorian certificate of accreditation for bushfire shelters. Accredited bushfire shelters had passed rigorous testing (in accordance with the Australian Building Codes Board).
DPTI regulations make it unreasonably difficult for South Australians to install private bushfire shelters. In contrast, South Australians should be able to expect that DPTI regulations should help to reduce the risk of death during bushfires.
The regulations are also out of step with the Australian Building Code, which indicates that the Victorian Certificate of Accreditation can be used as evidence of building rules consent, as is the case in Victoria.
In August 2018, DPTI released a revised technical advisory notice for private bushfire shelters. That notice outlines a cumbersome, costly and largely opaque process to gain building rules consent to install such shelters in South Australia.
The DPTI regulations had been revised without any public consultation.
Because there was no public consultation, it is impossible to determine why DPTI staff do not trust the Victorian Government’s Certificate of Accreditation for bushfire shelters. The Victorian Government appears to have engaged the CSIRO to test the bushfire shelters. Rather than ignoring the Victorian Accreditation, testing such as this is exactly what DPTI staff should be proactively seeking, to save public money and meet public expectations.
South Australians expect DPTI staff to proactively promote bushfire shelters that have passed tests in accordance with the Australian Building Codes Board. The unintended consequence of the DPTI regulations is that many South Australians are unknowingly installing structures, such as concrete water tanks, as bushfire shelters. Such shelters have not been tested and may be death traps during a bushfire.
The severe bushfires across South Australia require Government leadership, particularly in cases like this, because bushfire shelters have been shown to reduce the risk of death during bushfires.
The Victorian Bushfire Safety Policy Framework (https://files-em.em.vic.gov.au/public/EMV-web/Bushfire-Safety-Policy-Framework-2018.pdf) should be used to guide a revision of the DPTI regulations. DPTI regulations should support the use of the Victorian Accreditation for private bushfire shelters as a suitable shelter option.
Victorian Certificate of Accreditation for bushfire shelters (https://www.vba.vic.gov.au/building/building-regulations-advisory-committee/building-product-accreditation).
Building Code of Australia - performance standard for bushfire shelters (https://www.abcb.gov.au/-/media/Files/Resources/Education-Training/Performance-Standard-Private-Bushfire-Shelters.pdf).
Building Code of Australia handbook on evidence of suitability (page 7, https://www.abcb.gov.au/-/media/Files/Resources/Education-Training/Handbook_Evidence_of_Suitability.pdf).
DPTI technical advisory notice for private bushfire shelters (https://www.saplanningportal.sa.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0007/488212/Advisory_Notice_03_18_-_Private_Bushfire_Shelters.pdf).

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SA Bushfire Review Project Team > Ian Preston

19 Feb 2020

Hello Ian, Thank you for your feedback.
Regards Leigh, SA Bushfire Review Project Team

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Renee Sporne

18 Feb 2020

Last year I wanted to buy a property with a boundary along the Onkaparinga River in Balhana; the river area was an easement with an access track for vehicles (emergency services I believe). It was over grown and had fairly large fallen trees across the track which had been there for a very long time. Although is was not on the township side of the town boundary it was a residential property surrounded by properties which were within the township boundary. Earth-moving equipment was not available to the owners and in any case they would not be qualified to operate it. Rivers and other waterways like the Onkaparinga River (I assumed) should be managed by the relevant local council as the water is not contained by the land owner. Surely the EPA has some guidance on how to properly manage these areas which can be uniformly rolled out under local council management? How do we get something like this started? Is there a need for a group/body to get this sort of initiative started?

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SA Bushfire Review Project Team > Renee Sporne

19 Feb 2020

Hello Renee, Thank you for your feedback - both have been noted.
Regards Leigh, SA Bushfire Review Project Team

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Renee Sporne

18 Feb 2020

On a recent road trip to Alice Springs I noticed public roads are cleared of vegetation for at least 4m either side; the land is also graded.
Can someone please add this to the Risk Register as a possible control (risk minimization) option?
Although roads on inclines are more difficult to clear it would vastly improve road safety in general as well as help control combustible fuel levels and fire progression.
Overtaking lanes would also assist in this way; increasing the distance embers must travel before igniting and spreading flames.

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Robert Stewart

16 Feb 2020

I've already submitted an 18 page submission for the review but left out 1 key point in Public Information and Warnings

* introduction of funding to enable families, businesses and schools to purchase/install UHF radios in their vehicles, homes, schools and work places so in event of a fire emergency like cudlee creek they have some sort of communication system to keep them in the loop#

The hash tag next to this point refers to back in 1983 where 27 MHz CB played an integral role in giving early warning to at risk towns and travelers on the road but also communication amongst farmer's who tackled Ash Wednesday as well

Robert Stewart > Robert Stewart

16 Feb 2020

It was a fairly common sight to see 27 MHz cbs in cars, truck's, fire appliances during the 80's as I still have my fathers old kraco 23 ch ssb radio he used during the 83 fire season

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SA Bushfire Review Project Team > Robert Stewart

17 Feb 2020

Hello Robert, Thank you for your further feedback.
Regards Leigh, SA Bushfire Review Project Team

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John Stafford

15 Feb 2020

Developing policies and standards to reduce bush fire risk.

A fundamental issue that must be resolved in any bush fire review is whether we have made any progress at all in learning to live with the eucalyptus trees that occupy much of southern Australia.

The fires that ensued from the horrific weather conditions experienced in January 1939 destroyed 90 houses in the Adelaide Hills and razed much of the state of Victoria. Oddly enough we have just experienced a far too similar repeat. Both events have served to demonstrate that under severe weather conditions, no post-ignition reactive control measure can stop a eucalyptus canopy fire.

Subsequent to 1939 we have established numerous conservation parks and crown land reserves in the Adelaide Hills where native vegetation has been allowed to form a natural climax. This is where the near exhaustion of soil moisture reserves determines the mass of vegetation that is allowed to accrue. In practice every plant in this vegetation association is annually subjected to moisture stress where only the fittest survive.

In the case of eucalyptus trees, the water content of their foliage is reduced thus raising the eucalyptus oil to water ratio and making the leaves highly volatile. (There was an instance in the Cudlee Creek fire where radiant heat from the flaming canopy of a single row of modest sized eucalyptus trees cooked every vine in an adjacent vineyard that was within 60 metres of the trees). Leaf eating koalas that normally do not have to drink water are now being subjected to long periods of tortuous thirst. Eventually (if they survive long enough) they are put out of their misery by being burned alive in a raging wild fire.

Years ago, native vegetation under aboriginal management was maintained in a sub-climax state where adequate moisture reserves were retained in the soil to the benefit of both plant and animal life. Have fire disasters associated with white European settlement been the result of innocent ignorance, arrogant indifference or culpable incompetence?

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SA Bushfire Review Project Team > John Stafford

17 Feb 2020

Hello John, Thank you for your feedback.
Regards Leigh, SA Bushfire Review Project Team

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Lesley Friedrich

14 Feb 2020

Thanks for the opportunity to comment.
First thing is to ensure all relevant experts have a say at the table before any decisions are made...with the right scientists who understand the needs of the land for sustainability, as well as environmentalists, farmers, indigenous people, plant biologists, water managers, people who understand animal habitat requirements as well as councils, and all others who have a stake in this, and somehow gain agreement to the best management plan. It should not be a win for the party who has the loudest voice ( or most money behind it). A big ask!
Some considerations :
Consider periodic grazing by sheep in forests?
Controlled collection of firewood -for consideration?...Need to balance with needs for animal/bird/fungi habitat.
Indigenous methods for burning off to be considered. Any burn off strategy to make consideration to minimise the loss of living species within the area.
Undergrounding all new powerlines and perhaps some old lines to prevent ignition of fires.
Consider grants/rebates for rural landowners for fire safety measures such as rainwater tanks, farm firefighting units, roof sprinklers? (Were available for a short time after Sampson Flat Fire.)
Grants to assist landowners in hazard reduction of property. (Eg cost and effort of removing trees close to the house is prohibitive for some landowners in high risk areas. Especially retired property owners.
Boundary firebreaks of mown grass on rural properties, looks nice, but useless for slowing down fire fronts in big fires like we had this summer. Roadside verges overgrown one side of the fence, firebreak on the other, when many summer paddocks are grazed down anyway?
Increase Community awareness of the problems associated with planting introduced species that are declared weeds in their garden. These compete with non natives and flourish on roadsides and in bushland. Have different burning qualities. Nurseries shouldn’t be allowed to sell them. Eg lantana. More financial Support for groups such as Trees for life who do a fantastic job of removing the declared pests from bushland to restore the native areas back to how they should be. Bring the Aboriginals into this conversation to manage the land better.
If /Where large cleared areas are deemed necessary as firebreaks, consider wooded corridors for animal movement.
During and after bushfires, make consideration for people who are not on the internet or who are disadvantaged by language barriers, deafness-or other disability, when mobile and /or internet access is unavailable.
Insurance policies need to be easier to read and transparent, so that policy holders know exactly what they are covered for.
Is there a system to ensure distribution of charitable funds is fair and rort proofed? It is upsetting to bushfire affected people to hear that some people have double dipped or been successful in receiving more than their fair share of charitable funds, whilst others are suffering and unsupported, for whatever reason.

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SA Bushfire Review Project Team > Lesley Friedrich

17 Feb 2020

Hello Lesley, Thank you for your feedback.
Regards Leigh, SA Bushfire Review Project Team

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Scott Jansons

14 Feb 2020

I said on Facebook the day the Duck Ponds Fire started here in Port Lincoln, and I have forgotten how many times I have said the same this summer. There are three things which could be done to enhance our ability to fight fires. These all apply to part 7 of the terms of reference.
#1 Incentives to recruit more CFS volunteers.
In regional areas there are very many volunteers, it is a community thing it's what people do. One of the noticeable things is the lack of inner city volunteers and younger volunteers.
I propose that individuals willing to actively volunteer with the CFS receive a concession on their HECS Debts. This should provide a far more equitable provision of reinforcements when needed in campaign fires . Sure these people are not generally in regional areas meaning they are not able to be first res-ponders, however they can be bussed to incidents to relieve crews to continue fighting or mopping up. Also provision of Emergency Services Levy Exemptions for volunteers would be an incentive to boost recruitment.
It comes down to the saying many hands makes lighter work!
#2 Insurance companies should be sponsoring fire fighting assets, if a million dollar home is lost they need to pay up. However instead of looking at it that way, a million dollars would buy 10 fire trucks. If those 10 trucks saved just one million dollar asset they have paid for themselves. It really seems like a sensible approach. If we look at the Yorketown fire and the cost of that fire alone in loss of property and crops and machinery, it equates to an extra fire appliance for every CFS station on the Yorke Peninsula. And that makes a significant difference in the response capability where every station is able to deploy at least one unit without seriously compromising the ability to respond to new incidents.
Wise man once told me "You are better looking at it, than looking for it", more volunteers and more appliances is a good start.
#3 Technology
We will look back on the 19/20 season in the same way we look back on ash Wednesday with fires being fought with wet heshin sacks and hand pumps. I spent many hours listening to the GRN during the KI fire, it sounded organised to the credit of those involved however it sounded at times there is tech advancements that are needed to better coordinate efforts in large scale fires. I'm not a fire fighter, I'm a fisherman, so I bring a different perspective to things, perhaps a different way to look at things. In our industry we have had a major move towards integrated interface in our electronics. To me it sounds like CFS don't have such a comprehensive interface system.
To me what CFS needs is a system able to show all these on the same map at the same time.
*Where the fire is
*Where the appliances are
*What the appliances are
*What task the appliances are doing
*Appliance status (i.e. water levels)
*Terrain
*Weather Conditions
*Prioritised Assets (i.e. Soles undertaking stay and defend)

So to start with CFS has good GPS mapping, the better the mapping the better the system would work.
Onto that mapping there needs to be a real time feed of fire location. This comes from an asset we don't currently have being a high altitude UAV (like the military versions) with thermal imaging sensors. This one machine would be a game changer, it would have the ability to generate a 3D GPS map showing not only the fire and it's behaviour and intensity, but also provide a communications relay point and appliance tracking relay.
This sort of interfaced system makes things far more efficient and safer. Coms cars are then under less pressure in reporting, however with less reliance would be able to deploy wind speed & direction beacons in strategic locations, info that feeds into the real time map.
I mean the tech world really is an oyster that is not out of reach. All we have to do to get our fire defence capabilities to the level of our military defence capabilities is to convince the politicians to take a pension cut

Scott Jansons > Scott Jansons

14 Feb 2020

I'm sorry to end there so abruptly, this page took offence to me talking about politicians income, and became mostly unusable and bugged. I mean you never see their (politicians) houses burn down, they spend all our money on having the best sprinklers and WTF else for their own homes.
I mean hell burn a few politicians homes down and then we will have some reduced impacts, until then I'll keep a few heshen sacks handy ;)

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SA Bushfire Review Project Team > Scott Jansons

14 Feb 2020

Hello Scott, Thank you for your feedback.
Regards Leigh, SA Bushfire Review Project Team

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Adam Leske

13 Feb 2020

Go back to back burning like the old days
Have sheep in the bushland to keep the grass down it worked back in those days
Just go back to the old methods that work years going back common sense

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SA Bushfire Review Project Team > Adam Leske

14 Feb 2020

Hello Adam, Thank you for your feedback.
Regards Leigh, SA Bushfire Review Project Team

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Alex Wilson

13 Feb 2020

Allow the general public back into the bush. There are far too many locks gates in this country. There is so much conversation around prescribed burns, yet this comes at a cost. If gates were unlocked and general public allowed to travel through fire trails etc it would assist in keeping the tracks clear, and if we were able to collect fallen timber for firewood if would assist in reducing fuel load. This would be free preventative maintenance of our heavily vegetated areas.

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SA Bushfire Review Project Team > Alex Wilson

14 Feb 2020

Hello Alex, Thank you for your feedback.
Regards Leigh, SA Bushfire Review Project Team

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Karel Michielsen

13 Feb 2020

In the terms of reference there is no mention of considering dwelling suitability, nor is there any consideration of infrastructure that provides escape routes (the new suburbs in Mt Barker will be a nightmare if a fire threatens them)
Seeing the fires were spotting up to 2-3 kms in front of the fires and creating an inferno during the weather conditions that existed I don't think more extensive prescribed burns will help a lot. I think we need to rethink where we live in the bush and if so adapt the building to the conditions that apply (BAL). Existing dwellings and surroundings should be assessed by an independent authority and modified to be sustainable or resumed by government and demolished. Firefighters should not have to risk their lives defending fire traps. Insurance premiums should also be coupled to the location and suitability of the dwelling and not just the post code.
These suggestions will probably be received negatively as they will cost the householder money, but we should be prepared to pay for how we want to live.
It is hard to find information on how to better fire proof a building, except for the old adages of cleaning your yard, gutters etc.. Looking at the fire damaged homes it seemed to me that the windows and roofs are the weak points and that upgrading windows to toughened low E glass and roofs to have gutter guards and insulated (R2) sisalation sarking under the roof membrane and sealing off all ember entry spots would help a lot. I found all the government web based material totally confusing and unhelpful and more concerned about avoiding legal liability then help

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SA Bushfire Review Project Team > Karel Michielsen

13 Feb 2020

Hello Karel, Thank you for your feedback.
Regards Leigh, SA Bushfire Review Project Team

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Mellissa Preusker

13 Feb 2020

Create rules that allow property owners to slash their verges leading into summer.

With non-native grasses being so high on road verges this is definitely increasing fire spread more than it should.

We need to maintain biodiversity but also ensure that property owners in Fire prone locations can help increase fire breaks or lack of material that can catch alight. I feel this task is now too large for councils to maintain alone, so something needs to be suggested in this area.

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SA Bushfire Review Project Team > Mellissa Preusker

13 Feb 2020

Hello Mellissa, Thank you for your feedback.
Regards Leigh, SA Bushfire Review Project Team

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Adrian Menzel

13 Feb 2020

Where possible use Earthmoving Equipment to make longer and wider control lines. Start a large distance to where the current fire front is and then go into the direction of where the fires is coming from and whilst this is being done use Fire Trucks and Aircraft to create a buffer between the mound of dirt and the fire front. Make the Control Line approximately 500 metres wide and then start another one.
Increase the amount of Back Burning to reduce the amount of combustible material so that when a fire start it is not as severe as it would be with that material there.

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SA Bushfire Review Project Team > Adrian Menzel

13 Feb 2020

Hello Adrian, Thank you for your feedback.
Regards Leigh, SA Bushfire Review Project Team

Adrian Menzel > Adrian Menzel

15 Feb 2020

Further to my previous comment I would like to add several issues which include the location/s where houses are built.
You only have to look where some of them are, where there are trees all around them and very close to the house/s. The landholder is not allowed to remove them to protect their property so what chance do they have for protection to their property.
The approval where they are allowed to be built is done by their local council and I believe that they have to be more stringent in giving approvals where they need to make sure that when an approval is given the following has to be taken into consideration.
1) Located the house in a clear and accessible location to have a large area around the house
2) Make sure that there are no trees close to the house that in the event of a fire occurring they will not endanger the house and allow it to be burnt
3) If a landowner is going to stay when there is a fire, they must install a sprinkler system around and on the house so that there is no way that the house will burn and as a result of that it will protect their lives.
4) Where the landowner is going to stay, the sprinkler system that they have to install has to have a diesel engined pump and 2 sources of water supply. i.e. Mains Water, Water from a Large Rainwater Tank and/or a Dam.
5) Just after the commencement of the Fire Season, Council's Fire Prevention Officer/s makes an appointment for a Compulsory Inspection with the Landowner to give approval that the house, out buildings and surrounding area complies with the requirements and is issued with a Certificate of Compliance.

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Peter Hughes

13 Feb 2020

regular cold burns of areas such as road sides ,national parks ,native veg,or have stock feed these areas out every 5 years to reduce fuel loads this was obvious after the fires this year after seeing the areas.

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SA Bushfire Review Project Team > Peter Hughes

13 Feb 2020

Hello Peter, Thank you for your feedback.
Regards Leigh, SA Bushfire Review Project Team

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Vic Lodge

13 Feb 2020

Put large cleared firebreaks in the National Parks.
Regular Cold Burns in the Parks.
Allow Farmers to do cold burns on their own properties
Strategic firebreaks on roadside vegetation

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SA Bushfire Review Project Team > Vic Lodge

13 Feb 2020

Hello Vic, Thank you for your feedback.
Regards Leigh, SA Bushfire Review Project Team

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Andrew Fairney

12 Feb 2020

One of the most important things is low biomass fire breaks with a difference. Whether it be around a house or a national Park or a roadside, you can still have biodiversity and a fire break. NATIVE GRASSLANDS.
They are low biomass and chock a block full of biodiversity.
Fuel reduction is one thing but creating a highly functioning ecosystem that is habitat for threatened species as well as significantly reducing fuel loads.
Nothing will stop a fire like what we have experienced this year however you can have a shot at it if the fuel loads is low enough to reduce the intensity and vigor of the fire. Even if it doesn't let you put it out it will reduce the risk of loosing people's lives.
Roadsides are a wick for fires to travel, a low fuel, high biodiversity grassland inserted as a break on the roadside vegetation will not only allow fire fighters a place to fight the fire from bug also provide a safer spot for someone caught by the fire
The benefits are endless.
I would be delighted to discuss this further with people that can make a difference.
Kind regards
Andrew Fairney
CEO Seeding Natives Inc
Registered Environmental Charity

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SA Bushfire Review Project Team > Andrew Fairney

13 Feb 2020

Hello Andrew, Thank you for your feedback.
Regards Leigh, SA Bushfire Review Project Team

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Sue Slater

12 Feb 2020

*More Big planes with retardant and /or water.
*Use Aboriginal knowledge to do burn offs as often as they deem necessary.
* Manufacture ALL personnel carrying fire trucks with fire proof parts.
*Put a sprinkler system on fire trucks used for bush, wild, brush fires.
*Routes used for fire trucks free of trees close by.
*Use robotic fire 'things'.
*All homes in fire danger areas to have a fire proof basement.
*Pay ALL volunteers after a week with all the benefits of paid staff plus danger money.
* Pay only 1/8 donations to big charities... ALL, ALL the rest goes to the people who've lost homes, businesses, stock, spouse and children of those who die fighting fires.
*Stop all chemical sprays to control weather and whatever else they spray us with.
*Don't sell water to international companies.
*Don't dam flowing rivers EVER.
*Somehow provide a safe area for stock and wild critters so they aren't just left to burn alive.

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SA Bushfire Review Project Team > Sue Slater

13 Feb 2020

Hello Sue, Thank you for your feedback.
Regards Leigh, SA Bushfire Review Project Team

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Vivian Scott

12 Feb 2020

Burying power lines seems a vital step to reducing risk and spark points. We would make it a more beautiful place at the same time!!

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SA Bushfire Review Project Team > Vivian Scott

12 Feb 2020

Hi Vivian, Thank you for your feedback.
Regards Leigh, SA Bushfire Review Project Team

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Paul Schlosser

11 Feb 2020

The major considerations are hazard reduction, particularly reducing understory fuel loads and forest management, local planning assessment and approvals with major considerations being where people are able to live particularly in high fire risk locations. Approval bodies should have a major say in where development is acceptable and how land owners MUST take responsibility for clearance around dwellings and structures, with severe penalties where these are not adhered to. Local voluntary CFS resources (both human and mechanical) are not adequate in today's fire fighting environments and communities shouldn't be totally reliant on volunteers. There should be a base number of professional firefighting resources who are experienced in understanding all aspects of strategic firefighting techniques. Equipment such as community fire trucks are insufficient for major bushfire operations.
If "Climate Change" is considered as part of the response, then there must be an unbiased discussion between qualified people on both sides of the "Climate Change" belief. Generally these people would have a science based background. If this debate is left to the general public, bias and emotion becomes too prevalent and there will be no resolution.

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SA Bushfire Review Project Team > Paul Schlosser

11 Feb 2020

Hi Paul, Thank you for your feedback.
Regards Leigh, SA Bushfire Review Project Team

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Mark Holman

07 Feb 2020

The residents of the houses on Macquarie Street (northern houses) are very vulnerable to any fire beginning to the north of their properties. There are no fire breaks or hazard reduction along the southern boundaries of the scrub either privately owned or the Moana Sands Conservation Park. A disaster waiting to happen?

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SA Bushfire Review Project Team > Mark Holman

07 Feb 2020

Hi Mark, Thank you for your feedback.
Regards Leigh, SA Bushfire Review Project Team

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David Muirhead

06 Feb 2020

This will upset the status quo, but it's 100 minutes to midnight so I have to say it.
People who choose to inhabit a highly combustible dwelling must live or die with the decision.
I'm one of those, BTW.
I accept that laws change slowly, but I have been reading about the need for tighter regulation of housing construction codes throughout Australia, to reduce susceptibility to everything from drowning in home pools to excessive power usage for cooling and heating poorly energy efficient designs, for 5 decades. And the construction industry has won every major battle against common sense minimal safe and sensible standards ,purely by spending some of their obscene profits on highly effective advertising campaigns, peddling the same old lies about employment opportunities, benefits of population growth (don't start me..),unaffordable new home prices for first home buyers, etc. All utter nonsense that no self respecting economic rationalist will validate, as the facts are diametrically opposed to the mantras peddled by self interested, greedy real estate agents.Builders know that renovation of older dwellings will provide them with ample work, they don't only learn how to build a new house during their rigorous training!
But real estate agents are only happy when they are creating further subdivisions and paying lip service to the bigger picture of community happiness ratings , which ample evidence connects to nature play above all else , with a daily dose for every living person being the most effective way to reduce suicide rates globally.

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SA Bushfire Review Project Team > David Muirhead

07 Feb 2020

Hi David, Thank you for your feedback - both have been noted.
Regards Leigh, SA Bushfire Review Project Team

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David Muirhead

06 Feb 2020

Hazard reduction:- I have been disappointed with the minimal media attention, and virtual absence of marketing focus in the nursery industry,on fire retardant local native plants.Across the board i.e. for farmers, residential gardens, public places( e.g. picnic areas, memorial sites, cemeteries,road verges,even street tree species approval lists, many of them exotic or at best natives from interstate). Obviously fire retardant plants play only a modest role in the bigger picture of hazard reduction, but their role in maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem conservation is far greater, and any measure that offers multiple *benefits* should be viewed in a whole of country indeed planetary context.
I'm particularly annoyed with the softly softly approach that Australian government agencies generally take towards countering the increasing use of exotic succulents, including cacti aloes and agapanthus spp in horticulture generally but with a highly inappropriate focus on the home gardener. Where do your democratic rights as a citizen to plant what you like in your garden stop, overruled by the greater good of saving taxpayer money and-lets be frank and honest- the planet's biodiversity, hence reducing climate change ?
(*Other benefits of use of local native fire retardant plants include better carbon fixation by warm season growth perennial native grasses and very long lived rushes and sedges( eg Lepidosperma and Lomandra species), greatly reduced expenditure on weed management in the medium and long term(via reduced rates of new garden escape weed species being added to the already huge list),butterfly conservation, returning of various threatened species of endemic animalia from the brink of extinction,to name a few. )

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Tony Lange

05 Feb 2020

More controlled "Burn offs", reduce fuel and intensity of fires, increase fire unit availably and no more expensive "white elephants", extra fire units to be housed at State Training Centre. and be available for "burn offs"' and to be used inter region fires, these units don't need to meet the standard of town units, these could also be used for interstate deployments or for interstate personnel when responding to our state. There are too many useless meetings and incorrect reporting for incidents and debriefings.
Involve farm units more and keep it basic simple and concentrate on working as a team and safely.
Educate people on fire safety, I believe that people who choose not to stay and protect, to, turn water meters off when leaving, I have seen so many times when an unattended house has poly, pvc or plastic water fitting which gush if the house is lost and there is no water pressure for the ones who have chose to stay and protect, it may mean saving more homes or even a life. the extra fire units could be very useful it reducing houses lost in significant dangerous bush fires, in this situation, extra fire units would be readily available from town units.

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SA Bushfire Review Project Team > Tony Lange

06 Feb 2020

Hi Tony, Thank you for your feedback.
Regards Leigh, SA Bushfire Review Project Team

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Barbara Lockett

03 Feb 2020

My second idea is less easy and will require collaboration between state and local governments.
I suggest implementing a rebate-against-council-rates system for residents who have demonstrated fire preparedness. E.g. a certain rates rebate for properties that have installed (and certified?) fire protection/prevention plans, an additional rebate for rooftop sprinkler systems, additional rebate if a CFS approved/inspected hazard reduction plan has been executed prior to fire ban season, additional rebate for other valid measures - you get the gist.
This is a harder option because it will require someone goes out to inspect the validity of the rebate claim, and potentially also certifies the adequacy and functionality of the system in place (eg was hazard reduction effort adequate or merely tokenism? Is the sprinkler system functional and adequate for the sq m coverage required? Etc).

Government Agency

SA Bushfire Review Project Team > Barbara Lockett

05 Feb 2020

Hi Barbara, Thanks so much for your comments and feedback - both have been noted.
Regards Leigh, SA Bushfire Review Project Team

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Barbara Lockett

03 Feb 2020

I have two ideas: first is easy - hold a community lessons learnt session to be facilitated by experienced firefighting, risk management, and project management personnel. The lessons learnt (LL) should address two levels of interest: community preparation & response, and property-owner preparation & response. People can contribute feedback of what worked/didn’t work, and what surprised them and they need to address before “next time”. Publish the output for all communities stratified by region, so that communities can filter for their area eg LL for Adelaide hills residents may be different for Peninsula or South East regions.

Lesley Friedrich > Barbara Lockett

14 Feb 2020

The lessons learned from the Victorian Kinglake bushfires 10 years ago were published and made interesting and somewhat alarming reading. I took away a big lesson learned being to leave early or not at all, as many people died in their cars or running between house and car. Thankfully this learning has been put into practice since ...with CFS warnings to the public, the reduced deaths evident. The CFS held community meetings in our area (Sampson Flat ) before our fire and provided some of this valuable information. Other lessons learned were the hit and miss nature of the fires. As to which dwellings survived- some well prepared did not survive and others at perceived high risk, survived. As the sample size appears to have has been greater with this summer ‘s fires, it would be interesting to see if there are any conclusions to be drawn about safest dwelling structure.

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