Eden Magnet Letters to the Editor, September 6

Argument burnt down

Peter Rutherford’s letter (BDN 3/8) omitted the fact he is a long time employee of the Eden woodchipping industry, so it is not surprising he has a particular perspective on native forest management. 

His argument, that logging reduces fire risk, simply does not stand up. Indeed, logging increases fire risk, starting with the large quantities of highly flammable debris left behind every logging operation.

But it doesn’t stop there. Increased fire risk lasts far beyond the following bushfire season; it’s there for the next 45 or more years.

Forests in this region remain more fire prone today because of the intensive logging from the first decades of the woodchipping industry and will be so for many years to come. Even-aged young trees of uniform height in a dense, dry regrowth forest are always a greater fire hazard than a mature moist forest. Even when it inevitably ends, the legacy of the woodchipping industry will be more fire prone forests in this region for decades to come.

Next time Mr Rutherford writes a letter like this, I think he owes it to readers to declare his interest in the woodchipping industry. 

Harriett Swift, Chipstop convener

XCXC

I often wonder why it is that a handful of people such as our councilors can make a decision on important issues, such as Native Title, on behalf of all? I think this should be a decision put to all ratepayers. Council knows where we all live when it comes to rate notices, so why not send us a voting form for all ratepayers to have a say in the future of our Crown Land, public spaces, beaches and waterways, even our sports ovals. I think this decision may come back to bite us.

SD White, Pambula

Flight school worries

After my retirement from the CSIRO I moved to Mallacoota because of unspoiled beauty, tranquillity and the national park. 

The flying school proposal for Frogs Hollow states that the Mallacoota Airport is 8km out of town. However it failed to state that the flight path is over a part of the township of Mallacoota, about 500 meters away from my property. This proposal will create a lot of noise from low flying aircraft.

The coastal township of Mallacoota is surrounded by a national park designated as a “World Biosphere Reserve” combining undisturbed natural habits supporting rare and significant plants and animals. It is also a popular holiday destination. Thousands of holiday makers may stay away because of constant aircraft noise. 

Aviation statistics show that in 2015 a total of 227 aircrafts were involved in accidents. Around 20 per cent of fatal accidents resulted from loss of control (around 45 aircrafts a year). In 2014, the flying training accident rate was more than double that of any year in the previous eight years. It is not a question if a small plane crashes and creates a major fire - the question is when. 

I experienced the major “Ash Wednesday” bushfires in 1983. This fire nearly killed me. I burnt my eyes badly due to burning debris or burning ash plus radiation from the fire.  About 15 hours later after the fire had passed I heard voices. I screamed and I was found. Unable to see anymore I was rushed to the Melbourne Eye and Ear Hospital. My eyes were badly burned and they have not fully recovered even after a few operations and years later. 

There is no doubt that global warming is due to air pollution and it has increased the risk of fires considerably. Just look around at how many fires we have already had. In winter! It will get worse as time goes by. 

If a training plane crashes and starts a major bushfire what kind of insurance is proposed? In addition, our national parks and bush are priceless. They are not a suitable place to train pilots! The flying school proposal should be rejected as the risks outweigh the benefits.

Wolfgang Kluenner, Mallacoota 

GRATEFUL: Letter of thanks received by the Eden Men's Shed from a Sydney resident who is a fan of their woodwork.

GRATEFUL: Letter of thanks received by the Eden Men's Shed from a Sydney resident who is a fan of their woodwork.

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