A burning issue for discussion

Created date

Saturday, November 5, 2011 - 3:33am

The launch of the book Burning Issues later this month is a timely reminder of the complex relationship we as a society have with fire.

The use of controlled fire as part the management of forests, woodlands and grasslands has been a matter of ongoing debate for many decades, not just in Australia but in all parts of the globe where bushfire or wildfire are a constant feature of the landscape.

Burning Issues does not provide the definitive answers to these debates – debates that involve science, cultural and social issues – but it does provide a valuable scientific discussion on the current state of knowledge on prescribed burning.

There has been much research in the broad area of prescribed burning over many years, including a significant contribution by Bushfire CRC researchers. The 2009 Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission examined the issue in depth, with significant contributions from the authors of this book.

Burning Issues draws some of this science together and attempts to analyse its contribution to the politics and policy development of various governments. Good government policy should always been based on good science, and although the community is sometimes divided over the merits or the impacts of prescribed burning, Burning Issues now provides us with a sound independent scientific basis for a debate.

Burning Issues, by Bushfire CRC researcher Professor Mark Adams, from the University of Sydney, and Professor Peter Attiwill from the University of Melbourne, will be launched after our Stakeholder Council AGM on Wednesday 23 November, by the Hon Bernard Teague AO, Chair of the 2009 Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission. All Stakeholder representatives have been invited to attend.