With Forestry Tasmania announcing 150 planned burns and the State Government confirming 27 000 hectares of bushland will be burned this year, Tasmanians suffering from respiratory conditions are again in for a stressful period, Tasmanian Greens’ Health spokesperson, Cassy O’Connor MP, said today.
“Every Autumn, our clear sky days are clouded with dirty smog from forestry burns and this year, there will be even more burning as a result of government policy, which means even more respiratory health risk for Tasmanians,” Ms O’Connor said.
“The state’s estimated 55 000 asthma sufferers must dread this time of year. These burns can, and have, caused considerable respiratory distress, yet they continue unabated and now there will be increased ‘fuel-reduction’ burning that distress will almost certainly be compounded.”
“Forestry Tasmania says it plans 150 ‘regeneration’ burns this season. That is, on average, more than one a day but because not every Autumn day will be a suitable or safe fire day, there will be some periods in the burning season that are much more intense and much more of a health risk for asthma sufferers and Tasmanians with other respiratory conditions.”
“Large scale burning in the name of industrial forestry and the Liberal party’s poorly conceived burn off policy will have a negative impact on the health of Tasmanians. It is time we rethought these approaches to landscape management in Tasmania,” Ms O’Connor said.