Monday’s Experts always know what’s best. Always tell you what you should’ve done – Weddings, Parties, Anything.

There’s certainly no shortage of Monday’s Experts in the wake of Australia’s bushfire crisis. Everyone from politicians to activists to That Bloke Down the Pub is more than willing to offer the benefit of their boundless wisdom and expertise to anyone who’ll put up with them.

Even while the fires were raging, the Greens and their useful idiots were furiously whipping their hobby horse, shrieking that climate change, and climate change only, was the sole culprit. Ignore fuel loads in state-managed forests, ignore the dead hand of Green-inspired land-management regulation, and definitely, definitely ignore the maniacs running amok with matches in the tinder-dry bush. State governments and their bureaucrats have been happy enough to go along with that particular narrative, as it conveniently lets them off the hook.

But other Monday’s Experts who just happen to have a bit more expertise than an inner-city Green are offering their own wisdom of hindsight.

Six farmers are preparing to take legal action against the state government, arguing a massive bushfire in northern NSW could have been prevented if more hazard reduction had been allowed.

In what could be the first class action after this summer’s horror bushfire season, graziers hit by the August blaze in the Guy Fawkes National Park, west of Coffs Harbour, say it was “a disaster waiting to happen”.

Beef farmer Tony Brazier, who lives just outside Guyra, said[…]Mr Brazier said since cattle had been prohibited from grazing in national parks, the fire threat had increased significantly resulting in a firestorm that tore through the park.

“But the big problem is that there was just no burning, everyone is too scared to burn anything because they think they will end up in jail,” he said.

There’s a whiff of self-interest for graziers there, for sure, but also a huge dollop of truth. Rural landowners who’ve cleared fuel loads on their properties have been subjected to relentless lawfare by local government authorities, sometimes racking up hundreds of thousands of dollars in costs and fines.

In any case, fire is inherently uncontrollable. Even the best-managed burn can get away. Acrimony and almost-certain lawsuits follow. Even when a burn behaves, townsfolk, especially “tree changers” unfamiliar with the norms of rural life, complain about the smoke. Then there are the activists who try to prevent burns altogether – as well as banning other long-standing rural practices, such as cattle grazing in national parks.

The lawyer representing the farmers, Peter Jackson, said some graziers were seeking compensation while others wanted to see significant changes made to land clearing policies.

Mr Jackson said the farmers had been told by National Parks that the fire was “blacked out”, meaning extinguished, after three days only for a burning log to roll down a hill and reignite it.

It then quickly became a firestorm that swept across the state.

“My clients have been fighting fires for decades but they say they have never seen anything like it,” Mr Jackson said.

“They want to protect the biodiversity of the national park and certainly don’t want to destroy it but since the park has been locked up, the fuel loads have increased significantly.”

https://www.smh.com.au/politics/nsw/we-saw-this-coming-for-years-farmers-take-legal-action-after-fires-20200206-p53ygl.html

Farmers are relentlessly demonised by the Green lobby. But the same Green lobby who coo over Aboriginal practices which were intended to manage the land for human benefit, refuse to even countenance the idea that farmers might be similarly motivated or have similar expertise.

Sure, graziers are looking out for their own interests, here – not least their interest in not seeing their land reduced to a blackened wasteland – but they also have generations of experience that makes them worth at least listening to.

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