Toowoomba Regional Council (TRC) has resolved to invite the Bunya People Aboriginal Corporation Rangers to its upcoming prescribed burns carried out under Operation Cool Burn, 2020.
The resolution moved by Cr Rebecca Vonhoff and seconded by Cr Carol Taylor stated:
- That Toowoomba Regional Council resolves to invite Bunya Peoples’ Aboriginal Corporation Rangers (based at Gummingurru, Gowrie Junction) to Toowoomba Regional Council’s prescribed burns carried out under Operation Cool Burn, 2020.
- That Council consider a report prepared by officers of how cultural burning could complement the efforts of Council in land management at a future Environment and Community Service Committee upon the conclusion of Operation Cool Burn, 2020.
In moving the resolution, Cr Vonhoff said this motion is underpinned by the recognition of the ongoing work of Toowoomba Regional Council officers in fire management.
“The importance of managing the risk of bushfire, and the positive contribution indigenous Australians have in mitigating risk through cultural burning processes,” Cr Vonhoff said.
“I believe there’s broad support for prioritising fire mitigation and considering approaches that reduce the chance our Region suffers a catastrophic fire.
“For millennia Indigenous Australians have been reading the land and executing burns that aim to reduce the frequency and impact of high-heat fires. They do this while promoting a healthy, resilient country and improved biodiversity.
“Their burning practices are sensitive to the land and consider the long-term; year after year cumulative benefits of using fire to mitigate the risk of uncontrolled bushfires.
“Ranges from the Bunya Peoples’ Aboriginal Corporation have existing partnerships with the Department of Transport and Main Roads and Western Downs Regional Council to conduct cultural burns in the country to the west and north-east of Toowoomba Regional Council area.
“Working with the Bunya People Aboriginal Corporation Rangers, perhaps we could complement our existing practices with theirs.
“We share a common goal preventing devastating, high-heat fires, and sensitively and sensibly acknowledging our role in mitigating the risk of bushfire.”
Seconder of the resolution, Cr Carol Taylor said this resolution intended to include the views of a range of groups of how cultural burning could complement the efforts of Council in land management.
The resolution was carried unanimously.