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Notice given 16 May 2002

78  Senator Tierney: To move—That the Senate—

(a) notes that south-eastern Australia is the most fire prone region in the world;

(b) commends the support provided by the Howard Government to New South Wales in January 2002, in particular, the provision of aerial fire fighting equipment;

(c) expresses its concern that the state government is whitewashing the causes of the bushfire catastrophe of Christmas 2001 by just blaming pyromaniacs during the current bushfires inquiry;

(d) calls on the New South Wales Government to give serious consideration to the evidence of State Forests of NSW, which believes that inadequate back-burning was the primary cause of the devastating fires;

(e) rejects calls from the Nature Conservation Council to restrict hazard reduction;

(f) calls on the Carr Government to allow non-government committee members to receive witnesses’ submissions without having to first request them;

(g) encourages the inquiry to reach a conclusion based on evidence and not party politics resulting from pressure from extreme green groups; and

(h) hopes that the lessons learned from the bushfire inquiry will be shared to other state governments so all Australians can avoid such an unnecessary disaster.