Mr Ross Hampton has called on the federal Government to trial the effectiveness of machinery removal of understory bush and competing trees in an attempt to find new solutions to reducing the intensity of bushfires.
Mr Hampton said, ‘For the second time in as many years the Blue Mountains are going up in smoke. With many authorities citing climate change as a driver of more and deadlier bushfires, it is vital that we look at all options for decreasing the fuel load.
‘The Australian Government allocated $15 million in the May budget to bushfire mitigation measures. I call on the Government to set aside $1.5 million of that fund to fund trials so we can ascertain if machinery removal can combine with the usual winter burn-offs to make a more dramatic impact on risk reduction.’
Deloite Access Economics have conducted a scoping study which has shown that removing fuel from the bush by mechanical removal, in combination with prescribed burning of trees and understorey biomass, could dramatically reduce the devastation caused by bushfires and save the community tens of millions of dollars each year.