Martin Tebbutt is an ordinary Australian who owns property in the Blue Mountains. Like all of us, he has concerns about fire, and had faith in the process to lower his risk of bushfire.
Mr Tebbutt had fought for almost three years in an attempt to secure permission to undertake hazard reduction burning at his Blue Mountains property.
“It may not have saved us .. but it would have minimised it and given us a fighting change” he said to 9News.
He lost his home in the Gospers Mountain fire, which has been going for 79 days in the Blue Mountains. The fires in Australia come off the back of unprecedented weather, climate change and a reduction in Hazard Reduction Burning.
“We wanted to protect the local animals and exotic bushes here, but now it’s all gone”
Mr Tebbutt’s story is not uncommon, on the other side of the fire, it took 3 years for the Kurrajong Heights RFS to secure permission for a small Hazard Reduction Burning which ultimately helped successfully defend their town of 500 homes.
Mr Tebbutt approached Ministers, RFS, Local Land Services in an attempt to gain permission to secure his home from bushfires. But was fobbed off by everyone.
“The regulations in NSW should allow individuals to protect themselves by stripping the edges of their property, without having go to through this green tape.”
Australia failed this man.
We wanted to protect the local animals and exotic bushes here, but now it’s all gone” Mr Tebbutt added.
“Politicians have taken away our right to protect ourself”
“One of our RFS leaders has said to us that it can take several years to get approval”
“They have 88 pages of requirements they have to comply with to get approval for hazard reduction”