Gidarjil Caring For Country practices firestick farming and burns an average 200 hectares a year.
Gidarjil Caring For Country practices firestick farming and burns an average 200 hectares a year.

Gidarjil central to LNP’s push to improve fire management

GIDARJIL Development Corporation’s indigenous rangers would lead the state trial into traditional firestick farming if the LNP won the state election.

Opposition leader Deb Frecklington announced her campaign’s bushfire strategy in Bundaberg yesterday while visiting Gidarjil Environment and Marine Training Centre.

She said Gidarjil would receive more funding to protect state land and private properties as part of the LNP’s strategy.

The reason Gidarjil was chosen for the trial was because the corporation was well equipped and ready to do the work now.

Opposition leader Deb Frecklington, Gidarjil ranger Ron Blair, and Burnett MP Stephen Bennett check the equipment that local indigenous rangers use for traditional fire management.
Opposition leader Deb Frecklington, Gidarjil ranger Ron Blair, and Burnett MP Stephen Bennett check the equipment that local indigenous rangers use for traditional fire management.

Local ranger Ron Blair said the corporation burned an average 200 hectares annually on its own properties and for state departments.

“It’s good for getting rid of rats tail grass, any sort of weed,” Mr Blair said.

“When rains come through it brings up native grass.

When it is burnt it comes up nice and green.”

Gidarjil Caring for Country project co-ordinator Rick Fennessy said traditional methods made use of cooler conditions during winter while restricting the fire to knee height.

“(We) make sure we’re using the evening temperatures and the moisture in the air to put the fire out,” he said.

“There’s no doubt it works because it worked for thousands of years.”

He said mainstream hazard reduction burns occasionally become too hot and high, and burned vegetation that it shouldn’t.

Burnett MP Stephen Bennett said there could be reduced fire damage by reducing fuel locals and employing indigenous land and sea rangers.

“More importantly, we’re not destroying country, we’re not destroying livestock, and we’re not destroying the environment,” he said.



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