If I got out a dozer and flattened my house …

Comment on West Macs fire mitigation critically inadequate: Scientist by Steve Brown.

If I got out a dozer and flattened my house because I was worried about the wind knocking it over, would you understand that that is actually a pretty dam stupid thing to do?
You would … so then understand that in burning grass before it can burn is every bit as stupid, especially when it results in exactly the outcome you claim to be protecting against!
Burning grass of all kinds, not just buffel, in places where it is not a threat to physical assets and human life is a completely unnecessary and extremely destructive thing to do.
The constant burning of country that is being undertaken suits buffel to a tee … you are actually assisting its dominance while destroying all other vegetation!
Despite popular fiction, our trees and shrubs let alone native wildlife, struggle to recover from burning. Burn them two years in a row and they are gone. Guess what replaces them?
I have lived at White Gums, once a dairy farm which now runs beef cattle right next door to Simpsons Gap for 65 years this year.
I drive through it several times a day. I have watched it progress from cattle station to national park.
I watched it through the early years when Bob Darken and others who actually new that land oversaw it
I watched it gradually recover from overstocking and I watched it through the seventies and eighties as buffel colonised the once bare ground.
I watched years later as the moron mentality took hold, the uni-trained experts indoctrinated with cultural garbage and the lefty politics of envy brought this vile culture of burning to life.
Since that time, I’ve watched the complete destruction of what was once a World Heritage level park by burning.
Everyone should understand, it’s not just buffel grass that is burnt! Everything is burnt!
These guys aren’t just burning fire breaks, they burn the entire country!
This reckless irresponsible and ongoing assault on our National Park has led to the destruction of shrubs, trees and wildlife including the vary rare colonies of possums … all gone to deliberate lit, poorly controlled fire.
Once upon a time our ranges were covered with shrubs and trees. They are gone. Killed not by buffel grass but by burning it!
At White Gums every year we get deliberately lit fires which we put out. They rarely do much damage because we graze the grass. This is the natural, sensible way to control buffel that leaves trees and shrubs intact.
And it generates an income! Yes, money! That stuff many of us have to earn so that those dependent on the public purse get paid.
Of course there are fires that occur constantly from lightening ect.
Yes, they burn country however the now rampart culture of burning often sees these fires extended rather than being extinguished.
The attitude is: “We might as well burn it while we are here.”
You have to work alongside these guys to realise the ridiculous levels to which this anti buffel thing has taken us.
We run cattle so on a number of occasions we’ve had to stop the burning out of whole grassy paddocks trying to make them understand that grass is food!
That food translates to a big part of the Territory’s earned income and its not only domestic animals that depend upon it.
Buffel is here. We need to learn to live with it. Buffel does little or no harm, improves our soils, lessens run off and raises overall food production enormously.
Because it contains more energy it also burns hotter than native grasses, destroying native trees and shrubs as a result.
Its ability for rapid regrowth allows it to dominate other species after a fire, so the more you burn, the fewer trees and shrubs survive and the more buffel you get!
So guys, don’t burn it. Put the fires out like you’re supposed to.
Graze the grass and leave our country presentable for both ourselves, our tourists and especially our native wildlife.

Steve Brown Also Commented

West Macs fire mitigation critically inadequate: Scientist
@ Alex Hope: So Alex do you think Parks is achieving its purpose now! Is the buffel eradicated? Is the flora and fauna in a better state than when it was a pastoral lease?
Is the park in a condition that we can show it to the world in order to attract the tourists who fund our economy? Have we protected near extinct species?
To just what level of destruction to you propose we go in chasing what some see as a weed and what others know is actually a highly beneficial grass?
At what stage do you stop this battle against grass and look behind you to see the horrific damage that has been done?
By the time the mentality which you espouse is through, if left to run unchecked, there will only be vast fields of buffel grass left all our native animals, trees, shrubs and grasses will be gone, driven into the ground through the actions of irresponsible idiots.
Sensible licensed grazing by shepherded animals is a practical tool that will not only protect the park to a much greater degree from fire but can also add to the park’s attractiveness for visitors, locals running mobile Dude ranch activities and the like.
Parks are for people Alex, not for the sole use of left wing ideologues hell bent on proving some political point at any expense!
As for Illparpa Rd … you are kidding aren’t you? To keep buffel out of that tiny area quite literally thousands of litres of highly toxic now thought to be carcinogenic sprays has and is being used on a continual basis!
So just how much chemical and how much man power would we need for the park, do you think?


West Macs fire mitigation critically inadequate: Scientist
@ Alex Hope: My very point. It only does harm when you burn it! Not quite sure what’s so hard to understand. It’s simple: You must not burn buffel except when absolutely necessary – back burning, for example.
Patch burning does every-bit as much harm as a major fire and because its mandated in park management it does more harm because its repeated so often, accumulating damage upon existing damage until there is complete loss of anything but buffel.
Further, because of the fire happy culture that’s grown up around this practice, we are seeing a more and more reckless use of the method where we see fire actually being extended, run on, instead of being put out!
Even on days declared as catastrophic risk! In complete contravention of the Act!
The damage being inflicted in the idiotic hell bent fervour to eradicate Buffel is both horrific and completely self defeating.
Because burning suits the buffel and not our native plants.
Despite popular fiction our native plants do not recover well from fire!
With our variable rainfall it can take many years. When you destroy trees hundreds of years old, it takes hundreds of years to replace them!
So after yet another fire disaster, it might just be about time to stop and think a little deeper don’t you think.
The safest way, the least destructive way to deal with buffel is by grazing it, and you should keep in mind that it’s not only the large herd animals that eat it, much of our wildlife has also come to depend upon it.
Further, buffel is a grass. Any attempt to eradicate it by the introduction of a beetle grub or the like would be putting all our grasses at risk, along with our food security and the economy of the nation.


West Macs fire mitigation critically inadequate: Scientist
The problem is a management problem not a buffel grass problem!
A toxic culture of burning!
Various organisations charged with managing our land assets are infested with persons usually referred to as “Fire Bugs”.
They operate on a bureaucratically perpetuated lie and a culture of paternalism. The lie is “fire-stick farming” which was never in traditional use in the central desert regions where fire was used in small patches only, mostly in spinifex country for hunting purposes only.
If burning had been used on the scale used in our national parks there simply would have been no people left in this country, they would have starved!
The paternalism or if you like barefaced racism … the presumption that a person born and raised in town or community away from any kind of traditional upbringing but identifying as an Aboriginal person, has inbuilt genetic knowledge others don’t have, that allows them or those working with them to burn country as they please!
The practice remains unchallenged because of a fear of being branded racist for doing so!
In fact the lack of action in curtailing this destructive vandalism and wanton destruction of this country by wilful idiotic burning, is not only stupid … its barefacedly racists!
Case in point just a few weeks back along Larapinta Drive a person identified as a firebug lit a series of fires.
These were small fires because they were found quickly, they could have been extinguished with relative ease. It was on a day declared by bushfires as a “catastrophic fire day”!
Very hot with high winds.
Those charged with controlling the fires were deliberately running the fires on. This means lighting up country in front of the fire – yeh, burning it before it can burn, presumably at some more inconvenient moment!
Pretty damn hard to imagine a more inconvenient moment than a catastrophic fire day!
These fires were encouraged to run the length of Larapinta – all the way to town and even deliberately started on the opposite side of the road where at that stage there had been no fire.
Worse, the fire was run over an area that had been traditionally burnt just a few months prior resulting in fatal damage to trees still struggling to recover from previous vandalism.
So, what has this to do with the complete burnout of the Western Macs you ask?
Well, the fire of which I speak wandered off in that direction given the attitudes shown alongside the road I can hardly imagine it was ever put out.
That being said, a lightning strike has been claimed as the source of the vast fire through the ranges.
My question is was the same destructive fire bug mentality in evidence in the efforts to put this fire out?
Excuse me for being cynical but after observations of the fire fighting efforts on Larapinta one can only wonder if we haven’t lost a huge part of our wonderful natural environment not to buffel grass as apologists claim, but to a toxic culture of burning!
Remember, fire is always destructive! Buffel grass is simply food! If you don’t burn it, it is a highly productive food asset!
And further to that if we do get a sprinkle of rain it will be the quick response growth of buffel that saves the last vestiges of wildlife in the ranges from starvation.
Because when burning isn’t immediately followed by rain, starvation follows swiftly.
Stop burning our country!
Graze our country, save our plants and wildlife, preserve our tourism assets.


Recent Comments by Steve Brown

Gallery fiasco: school heritage process ‘massively flawed’
Oddly enough Domeninco, from around 1984 I’ve noted an escalating deterioration of our town’s earlier strengths and character.
Those of us who are amongst the town’s earliest families, the builders of the Alice and other towns in the Territory, understood what it took to create healthy, well balanced, economically viable, communities.
Unfortunately the vibrancy once driven by a very healthy private sector has long since given way to petty bureaucracy and welfareism along with all the blow in petty politic of envy and ignorance those sectors brought with them.
Replacing vibrancy, hope and belief with a petty mentality of obstructionism and envy, glaring down, standing in the way of, anything that might create, dare I say, the dirty words economic progress!
This attempt to save an ugly, rotten old, asbestos riddled building of no architectural merit is just another example of that moronic stifling mentality.
Crime and corruption about which these people winge constantly, flourishes in places that don’t offer hope and progress!
Sloth and disillusionment flourish in places of bureaucratic overload and petty envious obstructionism!
To clean our town up, to get it moving, to offer hope, we need to deal with those things!
We simply must learn to walk right on bye the wingers, specially the blow-in wingers, and to get right on with building our town, a place of enormous potential if only it is given enough air to breathe.


Gallery fiasco: school heritage process ‘massively flawed’
There is absolutely nothing architecturally noteworthy about this crappy old building, just because a particular person visited, walked past, looked at or went to this school doesn’t make it a place that must be preserved!
It would hang like a millstone around the community’s collective necks for perpetuity.
This building has been sitting there rotting for years yet you suddenly find a deep underlying passion and love for it when another use for its location is found?
I cry BS on this claim!
You are simply being obstructionist! As per usual I might add!
Keeping old completely un-noteworthy buildings in premier positions simply creates an enormously expensive ulcerating rot in the central locations of town, forcing us to extend our CBD over a wider and wider area destroying along with that expansion any chance of creating a thriving central CBD.
So while there certainly are buildings that are noteworthy and worth preserving despite this fact ie Flynn Church and Adelaide House etc.
Much less noteworthy building such as this old school must give way to the new!


Private forecaster tips massive rains for Alice
Heavy rains will certainly be welcome, no doubt about it Ed, but 30 to 50mm is a long way short of what’s required to produce floods like the one pictured.
That kind of flood requires closer to 200mm over a fairly short period of time … wouldn’t that be nice?


Big crowd at local School Strike 4 Climate Action
@ Evelyn: While I agree with the general intent of your comment it is important to note for the interested children’s education, that neither their action nor any taken by this nation will have the slightest effect on the world climate! Even if we could completely halt all of our carbon production tomorrow, it would not make the slightest difference to climate change.
So by all means kids work towards a cleaner environment, cleaner air and cleaner oceans, but don’t be taken for a ride by those who seek to create irrational fears about your own beautiful world, through politically motivated, fear mongering garbage, about climate change.
It is a natural part of our world and always will be!
The thing we really do need to need fear and guard against, are the mindless efforts of indoctrinated climate fanatics who seek through their ignorance and city bred real world isolation, to do something irrational about planetary warming.
It would benefit everyone to keep in mind that a warming climate is a more productive climate, while on the other hand a cooling climate very quickly becomes a threat to all life on earth, through starvation!
Let’s hope we get to sit somewhere in between. In the meantime there is one very real threat we should all fight and guard against, the life threatening efforts of climate science to artificially interfere with our climate. One stupid mistake and “Winter really will be coming”!


‘Arrogant’ government fails to answer 20 questions
Didn’t Robyn spruik long and loud the benefits of having an Independent Member for Araluen?
Now she is completely bound up in petty squabbling about more resources.
And not one single question to Government about things that affect the rest of us.
While the Territory goes to hell in a hand basket!
No pressure on Government at all!
Talk about ineffective.
You are payed a dam good wage plus expenses. Write your own speeches and for the Territory’s sake, get on with the job.
[ED – Mr Brown was the CLP candidate for Araluen.]


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