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Environmental

How to get your home Bushfire ready

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Shed with FSA Firecoat paint vs shed without in controlled real life burn situation Bushfire ready

How to get your home Bushfire ready 

 

University of NSW & FSA Firecoat 

With Australians being warned about one of the deadliest Bushfire seasons approaching, residents are being urged to get their homes bushfire ready now.

Lyn Gunter is the former Mayor of Murrindindi Shire; she was Mayor at the time of the Black Saturday fires in Victoria when 173 people lost their lives. “Coming into this summer’s Bush Fire season we need to be doing more to protect our communities. Australia is the most fire prone country on the planet and being prepared is one of the key ways to try to avoid tragedy.”

Prof. Guan Yeoh from the University of New South Wales Training Centre for Fire Retardant Materials and Safety Technologies, says Australians need to be better prepared for bushfires.

“Flame Security International and the University of New South Wales is developing ground breaking fire protection products with minimal environmental impact under the FIRECOAT brand,” said Prof. Yeoh.

Shed with FSA Firecoat paint vs shed without in controlled real life burn situation Bushfire ready

Shed with FSA Firecoat paint vs shed without in controlled real life burn situation

The top tips to protect Australian homes from Chartered Professional Fire Engineer Ben Ignis are:

Clear vegetation and trees – Reducing the vegetation around your home is one of the most important things you can do when getting ready for bushfire season. The best place to start is to remove dead branches, leaves and undercoat. Depending on where you live though permits may have to be obtained. Contacting your local council is the best way to determine what can be cleared and what cannot.

Use the world first fireproof paint, FIRECOAT – Use FIRECOAT, the first paint to protect in extreme bush fire conditions. Paint you your house, sheds, decking, fences or any other property you need to protect. This product has been created in Australia in conjunction with world leading scientists and engineers from the University of New South Wales (UNSW). The non-toxic paint which has passed stringent testing both here and around the globe is a world first and now available for consumer purchase from Bunnings.

Pre-pack for an emergency and know your location – Pack an emergency survival kit for yourself and your family. This may include fresh clothing, which include portable battery-operated radio and waterproof torch with spare batteries, candles and waterproof matches, first aid kit and manual, at least 3 litres of water per person, waterproof bags ready for valuables, cash and ATM or credit cards, medications, and toiletries, mobile phone charger. Also, draw up an evacuation plan for family and pets that designates an assembly point, responsibilities, and transport. Not everyone responds calmly in a crisis, so regular practice of the evacuation drill with the whole family is important preparation.

Check windows and screens – Your home is your safe haven and a place that does not welcome fire. Fire can creep in though, quite literally through cracks in window and door fittings. Fire knows no boundaries and will spread itself wherever there is oxygen to nourish it, with your house no exception. Embers are the perfect size to billow into your home through gaps and crevasses in your windows and doors you may not have previously thought to cover. Assuage unwanted cinder with wire screens that are not only fire resistant but also block impinging fire threats. A good screen installation company will be able to fit out your windows and doors within a day.

 

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Environmental

The ‘purple plague’ threatening our rainforests

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Miconia

The ‘purple plague’ threatening our rainforests

 

Rous County Council (Rous) is pro-actively taking steps to protect rainforests in the Northern Rivers region from Miconia – a highly invasive weed species that can cause devastating environmental damage if not reported in time.

Rous has launched a public awareness campaign asking the Northern Rivers community to contact them immediately with potential Miconia sightings.

Miconia quickly forms monocultures by shading out its competitors. It has caused widespread damage to rainforests internationally and is growing in the northern parts of Australia.

Although Miconia it is not currently established in New South Wales (NSW), it continues to be a serious environmental and economic risk to the region, according to Rhett Patrick, Weed Biosecurity and Bush Regeneration Manager, Rous County Council.

“Our Biosecurity team at Rous are dedicated to preventing Miconia from establishing locally and ruining our pristine rainforests, including the World Heritage-listed Big Scrub and Border Ranges National Park among many other important environmental sites,” Rhett Patrick said.

“Miconia thrives in tropical and subtropical areas. Our climate and terrain in the Northern Rivers provide the perfect environmental conditions for a potential outbreak.

Miconia

Miconia

“Commonly known as the ‘purple plague’ in Hawaii, it has wiped out natural forests by replacing the native vegetation. In Tahiti, it is estimated that Miconia has destroyed and invaded 65% of the island and endemic plant species are now directly endangered.”

Miconia seedlings are spread by birds that eat the fruit. A mature Miconia tree can flower and fruit three times per year producing up to five million seeds. These seeds can remain viable in the soil bank for up to 16 years.

Since 2003 almost 200 seedlings have been collected by Rous’ Weed Biosecurity Officers in the Northern Rivers.

“Although 200 known plants doesn’t seem like many, given how long the Miconia seeds remain dormant and how quickly it takes over, we cannot let our guard down.

“With the outbreaks our partners in Queensland are facing, we must ensure we continue to stay vigilant and prevent it from also taking hold in the Northern Rivers, NSW.

“However, we cannot take on this challenge alone. We need our community’s help with finding new, potential, locations so we can continue to stay on-top of this weed.

“If you think you may have seen Miconia growing in NSW, please contact Rous right away so we can stay one step ahead and stop the spread.”

To report potential sightings, the community is encouraged to call Rous on (02) 6623 3800 or visit here.

 

For more Rous County news, click here.

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Brunswick Heads News

Minister inundated, more than a thousand Save Wallum emails sent in 48 hours

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Save Wallum

Minister inundated, more than a thousand Save Wallum emails sent in 48 hours

 

The NSW Minister for Planning, Paul Scully, has been inundated with more than a thousand emails in the last 48 hours. Concerned residents of NSW are calling for him to exercise his explicit authority to refer the Wallum development at Brunswick Heads to the Federal Government a development  that will impact Matters of National Environmental Significance (MNES).

Greens MP and spokesperson for Planning and Environment Sue Higginson said “Communities across NSW are faced with disastrous developments that will clear habitat for threatened species and desecrate First Nations cultural heritage, the Wallum development is one of these,”

Greens MP and spokesperson for Planning and Environment Sue Higginson on Save Wallum

Greens MP and spokesperson for Planning and Environment Sue Higginson

“The NSW Minister for Planning has an express authority under Federal law to intervene in development proposals that will impact on threatened species, unfortunately he has refused to do this so far,”

“The wave of emails that have been pouring into the Minister’s email should be a clear sign to him and the Minns Labor Government that the community expects better than excuses when it comes to protecting the environment and cultural heritage,”

“The Minister should act now, take on board the clear community will to protect Save Wallum, and refer this development to the Federal Government for review,” Ms Higginson said.

 

For more Brunswick Heads news, click here.

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Environmental

Hazards Near Me updates to include severe weather warnings

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Hazards Near Me NSW App and Hazard Watch

Hazards Near Me updates to include severe weather warnings  

 

The New South Wales State Emergency Service (NSW SES) has launched the inclusion of severe weather warnings as part of the Hazards Near Me NSW App and Hazard Watch.  

Developed in partnership with the Department of Customer Service, the update to include another hazard will ensure more communities across NSW will be prepared during weather events.  

Minister for Emergency Services, Jihad Dib said the expansion of the app’s hazards was timely given we’re in the middle of Storm Season, which runs from September to March and typically sees an increase in storm activity.  

“Severe weather warnings and alerts are now available immediately on your phone or device. This is in addition to the warnings and alerts for fires, floods and tsunami that are already available on the platform,” Minister Dib said.   

“We know February is typically the busiest month for the NSW SES, and in February 2023, the NSW SES responded to 9,288 calls to the State Operations Centre. More than 4,200 of those calls were for storm damage in communities across the state.   

“This is why it’s so important to have severe weather warnings included as part of the suite of warnings available on the Hazards Near Me NSW app, Hazard Watch and the NSW SES website.”  

Hazards Near Me NSW App and Hazard Watch

Storm Warnings – City of Sydney NSW SES Unit

NSW SES Commissioner Carlene York APM said it had been an incredibly busy summer for volunteers, and urged the public to download the Hazards Near Me NSW app. 

“NSW SES volunteers have already responded to more than 4,600 incidents across the state since Christmas Day. The majority of those were for severe weather,” Commissioner York said.  

“Just last week North Western parts of NSW were experiencing severe weather, which resulted in storm warnings and minor flooding.  

“I would encourage anyone who hasn’t yet downloaded the app to do so and be prepared for whatever hazard may impact your community.”  

Department of Customer Service Executive Director of Government Technology Platforms, Reece Clementi said the app was a trusted source of information for the community to access warnings and advice during hazards 

“If you are one of the more than four million people who already have the Hazards Near Me NSW App, update your watch zone notifications to ensure you are receiving relevant warnings in real time for fires, floods, tsunami and now severe weather,” Mr Clementi said.  

The Hazards Near Me NSW App uses the nationally recognised Australian Warning System. There are three levels of warnings within this system including: Advice, Watch and Act and Emergency Warning. These same categories will now be used to keep communities safe and informed when severe weather is occurring nearby. 

For emergency help in floods and storms, call the NSW SES on 132 500. In life threatening situations, call Triple Zero (000) immediately.

 

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