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  • Writer's pictureDave Layzell MP


The Minister for Environment and Climate Change and the Minister for Regional NSW are being called on to undertake an urgent audit of public land management at Scone following the recent grassfire that scorched the area.

Member for Upper Hunter, Dave Layzell, has made the call so the public can have confidence in the NSW Government’s work with the grass and bush fire threat now a clear and present danger across much of the state.

“The Barton Street Scone fire from Sunday 22 October must serve as a serious warning to all landowners and land managers – public and private – that preparedness for the current bushfire danger period has to be a priority,” Mr Layzell said.

“The Scone fire scorched the landscape through farm and grazing land all the way to Segenhoe, the doorstep of Australia’s world-class thoroughbred breeding industry.

“My post-fire discussions with the community have me concerned about the amount of dry vegetation reportedly on the ground at the Soil Conservation Service’s Scone Research Centre.”

The Barton Street fire burned over 1,000 hectares east of Scone and required a multi-agency response as the Rural Fire Service supported by Fire and Rescue NSW Brigades and waterbombing aircraft worked to rein in the outbreak and extinguish it.

“Having spent time at the Liverpool Range RFS Fire Control Centre and the Upper Hunter Shire’s Emergency Operations Centre, I can only praise the work carried out over the four days responding to those challenging fire conditions,” Mr Layzell said.

“But, I am concerned about a lack of on-ground preparation that potentially put lives, property, equipment and high-value livestock at risk.

“The NSW Government can call for the community to be prepared for the bushfire danger period but the taxpayers also expect that their public land manager is doing its share of the work.

“NSW Labor in Opposition was quick to criticise any lack of Hazard Reduction (HR) work conducted – now in Government, it has the responsibility to ensure the full suite of HR activities from mowing and slashing to earthworks and burning are being carried out on public land.”

PICTURE CAPTION: Dave Layzell MP meeting with the Rural Fire Service for a briefing on the Scone fire and with RFS firefighters at the Scone fire.


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