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TAS Country : January 17th 2013
4 Tasmanian Country Friday, January 18, 2013 News FARMERS' FIRE RELIEF HOTLINE 1800 154 111 Bedevilled by threat of fire ROGER HANSON WISDOM WANTED: John Hamilton's devil park was spared this time but he wants a defence system ready for next time. Picture: LUKE BOWDEN THE bushfires on the Tasman Peninsula have highlighted the need for lateral thinking to protect native animals in an enclosed park. John Hamilton, who operates the Tasmanian Devil Conservation Park at Taranna, said he could not back burn to protect the park and needed to find other ways to safeguard his animals when a fire threatened. Luckily the recent bushfire stopped about a kilometre from the park. ''But the way it was jumping like a grasshopper, anything could have happened,'' Mr Hamilton said. He is now looking at a sprinkler system to spray the 6ha park and animals if fire threatens again. ''Possibly with the new irrigation schemes going in, there might be a farmer with an old tractor or obsolete pump, and someone could lend advice on how we could rig a sprinkler system to keep our native animals protected. ''This fire was a real eye-opener. We really need a sprinkler system to protect the native animals because they can't escape.'' Mr Hamilton is restocking disease- free devils. The park now has 15 devils and other native animals and birds. ''Soon, possibly the peninsula will be the only area disease-free.'' Mr Hamilton is open to ideas on how to protect the devil sanctuary. His contact is 0408 641 642. Farmer hits at burns ban ROGER HANSON A SOUTHERN farmer caught up in the bushfires says conservation values placed on property raises a major issue of fire management that needs to be addressed. Leigh Arnold's 1000ha at Carlton House near Copping was wiped out by the bushfires. He says he was stopped from doing a fuel reduction burn because of parrots, eagles and bureaucratic red tape. ''I was stopped because a bird might call in for lunch,'' Mr Arnold said. ''You can't stop fires, but there are no excuses for a firestorm. Where the forest was there were balls of fire flying 500 to 600 metres into the air. Swans were dropping dead out of the sky.'' A DPIPWE spokesman said with fire fighting and recovery efforts still in progress, it was too early to speculate on causes or contributing factors to the fire. ''Issues such as those will be looked at when there is an opportunity to examine all the factors in detail,'' he said. ''It should be noted, however, that there were extreme weather conditions experienced last week which contrib- uted to extreme fire behaviour that affected all land tenures.'' Tasmanian Greens leader Nick McKim also said his party had actively encouraged fuel reduction burns acro- ss all tenure. Mr Arnold said he bought the grazing land and private forest about three years ago but almost 95 per cent of the property and all the buildings have now been wiped out. ''I wanted to selectively harvest the bush, and reduce fuel on the ground with a burn-off, but I was stopped because the bush was deemed to be potential swift parrot foraging habitat and there were two wedge-tailed eagle nests. Well it's all gone now.'' He went through the forest practices appeals process and a minister- approved claim was close to being settled before Christmas. Mr Arnold said other farmers are in the same situation where they can't manage the land and reduce fuel on the ground. ''We have bureaucrats making de- cisions who have no practical experi- ence, no idea of land management, yet determine everything,'' he said. ONE OF OUR WEBSITE DEVELOPMENT MEETINGS Registered trademark of OneSteel Wire Pty Limited, Ingall Street, Mayfield, NSW 2304. Phone: 13 10 80. ABN 59 000 010 873. ONE1493/TC NSW Permit No. LTPS/12/10341, ACT Permint No. TP12/4695, SA Permit No. T12/2426. When we wanted to improve our website, we turned to the experts -- our customers. Based on the feedback of 400 farmers, we then created an innovative, updated Waratah site with easy-to-use information and straightforward solutions to all your fencing needs. Now you have the chance to WIN prizes, just for updating your login details, or if you register for the first time. You ll have exclusive access to: -- Detailed product information and specifications, -- Pricing information, hints & tips -- A library of even more how-to videos And that s just the start. Over the coming months we ll be introducing even more innovative features and tools. REGISTER OR UPDATE NOW So visit onesteelwaratah.com.au and see innovation at work.
January 10th 2013
January 24th 2013