Out of Control Burn Sparks Call for Inquiry from Katter

Apr 17, 2023

Katter’s Australian Party leader and Traeger MP Robbie Katter is calling on the state government to lodge an enquiry into their aggressive reach to obtain more land for under resourced national parks.

This comes following a blaze that became out of control on White Mountains National Park in recent days, destroying valuable pastures on adjoining stations.

Mr Katter was contacted by a concerned local who raised the alarm, advising that the graziers of surrounding properties, who were ill equipped to do so, had been left to fight the fires themselves.

“It was brought to my attention that the controlled burn of White Mountains National Park had become out of control and was now affecting the surrounding properties.

“After speaking with local graziers who had been affected by this, I have been advised that there were several property owners who were not advised that the burn was even taking place.

“They have told that from their point of view there is no issue with the burn itself, however normally the burns happen later in the year, and they as surrounding property owners are given notice.

“This allows them to prepare.

“They can grade their boundaries and have resources in place.

“These fires burning out of control have already cost them several days’ work and hundreds of thousands of dollars in resources and assets.

Mr Katter noted that he was also advised that the burns were only monitored by the Northern Australian Fire Information (NAFI) website, and were not monitored visually.

This stemmed from the issue of more than one fire being lit at once, with rangers unable to visually monitor them all.

“The real issue is the lack of resources provided to maintain and upkeep the national parks that the government insists on continuing to buy”, said Mr Katter.

“The assistance offered by national parks upon the fires becoming out of control was short lived, with the ranger needing to leave to assist with other issues.

“Having fought the fires for several days now, the graziers have not received any emergency assistance and now don’t want any.

“They no longer need help.

“They have told me however that the national parks do.

“The national parks in the area have no resources to prevent these situations from occurring, nor any resources to deal with them if, and when they do occur.

“The rangers managing these large amounts of land are stretched, with many rangers managing and working on several national parks themselves.

“If the government insists on buying up land, that is currently being well managed by graziers who know what they are doing and have been successfully managing the land for generations, then they need to provide more resources.

“Education, equipment, and manpower are lacking in the management of these national parks.

“These national parks are quite literally out of control.

“If its not fires, its weeds and pests.

“I say do it properly or leave it to someone that can.