Cr Miles Hannemann: 'Burn or be burnt'

DISCUSSION: Cr Miles Hannemann standing in a patch of high grass near a Tatiara parking bay.
DISCUSSION: Cr Miles Hannemann standing in a patch of high grass near a Tatiara parking bay.

Australia has experienced one of its most destructive summers in recent memory, with firefighters pushed to exhaustion to save people's livelihoods.

As fires burn right across the country, Cr Miles Hannemann believes the Tatiara needs to get on the front foot and safeguard the area for the future.

The South East has experienced its own destructive blaze, with the Keilira bushfire destroying three properties, burning upwards of 24,000 hectares and killing thousands of livestock.

The personnel needed to stop the bushfire from causing more damage further reinstated the need for the Tatiara to be "proactive, not reactive".

Cr Hannemann said people see on their television screens how easily fires in New South Wales can ravage an entire area, regardless of how many firefighters are on the scene.

"The New South Wales 'fireys' are completely exhausted and they have more people to fight those fires, compared to the Tatiara," he said.

"We need to do something now, instead of waiting until someone's house is burned down."

A longtime advocate for cool burning, Cr Hannemann believes the proven strategy will provide significant benefits when it comes to controlling the area's vegetation.

"I am a massive supporter of cool burning - I have talked about in council and it has been backed by the other councillors," he said.

Cool burning reduces the amount of damage done by hot fires to ecosystems by promoting new plant growth and clearing natural waste materials.

He reaffirmed to potential skeptics that cool burning doesn't destroy vegetation, the technique will allow for regrowth to occur.

In late December last year, Cr Hannemann invited the Border Chronicle to a parking bay between Bordertown and Keith, highlighting the large amounts of vegetative growth visible on the side of the Dukes Highway.

He pointed out how easy a bushfire could be started in the area, stating all it can take is someone not paying attention for a split second.

"With some of this long grass all it would need is the right conditions and a fire could easily burn and reach Keith in no time," Cr Hannemann said.

He also mentioned an altercation with an individual in Keith, which further reinstated the need for people to be aware of how easily a bushfire could start.

"I saw someone in Keith throw a cigarette butt outside of the window of his vehicle and I pulled him up on what he'd just done," he said.

"All it takes is someone to do something silly and fire could be lit."

While the Tatiara is experiencing some of its hottest weather on record, now is the perfect opportunity to start a discussion.

"We need to create a discussion - we can't not do something about this," Cr Hannemann said.

Dedicated to keeping the Tatiara safe, Cr Hannemann will continue to push for cool burning to occur throughout the district, potentially saving the heartache of someone losing everything in the future.