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Forestry Regeneration Burns Ignore Health Impacts

Rosalie Woodruff MP

Rosalie Woodruff MP  -  Thursday, 4 May 2017

Tags: Air Quality, Forestry Tasmania

Ms Woodruff to move—That the House:—

(1) Understands that in March 2017 Forestry Tasmania proposed to light 230 regeneration burns in Autumn 2017, stating these burns would only occur when weather conditions were suitable and smoke could disperse.

(2) Notes that on 29 to 30 April 2017 in communities across the State, and specifically at New Norfolk, Judbury, Cygnet and Huonville, residents were subjected to thick choking smoke from Forestry Tasmania burns.

(3) Further notes that air quality reporting data showed high spikes in smoke pollution in April 2017, particularly across the New Norfolk, Huonville and Cygnet areas.

(4) Recognises massive regeneration burns are a serious health concern, as particulate pollution is a known risk to people with respiratory and cardiac conditions, elderly people and children.

(5) Also recognises these burns damage our reputation as a clean, green tourism destination, and that there are other methods for Forestry Tasmania to achieve regeneration.

(6) Further understands Forestry regeneration burns are again not being adequately controlled, that these fires escaped their bounds in Judbury, and the Tasmanian Fire Service had to be called in to control the situation while there were two other vegetation fires around the State.

(7) Further understands Forestry regeneration burns compete with the TFS’s opportunity to conduct fuel reduction burns.

(8) Calls on the Government to realise extremely high levels of smoke pollution and fires escaping control are not in the interests of public health and safety, and to direct Forestry to put these first as their business priorities.