June 23, 2020
Bunya Peoples Aboriginal Corporation Rangers will be invited to attend hazard reduction burns carried out this year by the Toowoomba Regional Council.
Councillors voted unanimously to invite the rangers, based at Gummingurru, to the TRC’s prescribed burns carried out under Operation Cool Burn 2020.
The resolution, moved by Cr Rebecca Vonhoff, also included that Council consider a report – prepared by Council officers – about how cultural burning could complement the efforts of Council in land management.
Cr Vonhoff said the motion recognised 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.
“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,” Cr Vonhoff said.
“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.
“Rangers 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.”
The resolution was carried unanimously.