With Liberty in mind, examine the Australian position post-world-war-11. Australia leaped ahead. The Nation was taking large quantities of refugee’s who required work. Wheat and wool production soured along with industry and public housing. In the 1960’s, Princess Pier in Melbourne was abuzz with great ships delivering migrants by the thousand’s.
Building materials were in demand to build homes. Radiata pine forests were established in south-east South Australia, Victoria and in Queensland . They take 30-40 years to mature and are providing a valuable building resource. However, they are not native to Australia, brought in by the white people from other countries.
Prosperity for the nation brought many antagonists who believed they were being left out. The shipping industry suffered for many years and probably still suffers. Union strife on the waterfronts no longer rates a mention exceeding one paragraph.
While other forces were at play in Australia, the environmental movement was quietly moving into Local Government and becoming a formidable force. Intent on forcing the “greening” of Australia, they began to succeed.
This then leads to other groups, the developers and builders. By the purchase of near city land, subdivisions were created and each metropolis started to grow. Iron roofing designed to collect water was essential. A number of land owners were farmers. Appropriation was mostly voluntary at a price and farm land was subdivided to become building allotments. Development encroached into the forest and hillsides were bulldozed. A considerable benefit flowed to councils. The legal profession and lawmakers did little by way of control simply because solicitor's, builders, developers and other entrepreneurs managed to be elected to office and there was a dollar to be gained.
The Councils cashed in on this growth and were ready for development to start. They required developers to set-aside portions of land from the bulldozers and leave them as parkland. Citizens were asked to green their suburbs and the ¼ acre block provided ample opportunity to green the nation. The nation probably benefitted from this greening and Councils all over the country aided the effort. Indeed, laws were passed that prevented the removal of trees from metropolitan areas. A tree of 40cm or more and 1.3 metre in height must not be removed without council approval. Naturally, a green council (and most are) will not consider this.
The end result is that quite acceptable rules in the beginning resulted in leading a large number of home-owners up a costly, perilous and dangerous path. Today, some considerable numbers of suburban homes are in the midst of a jungle. Tree’s after all that time have developed into 20 or 30 metre high monsters.
Susceptible to strong wind they sometimes fall, they at least shed a branch or two. A branch cannot be described as a twig: They may weight a tonne, will kill a man and crush a car. Native species are adaptable with the climate (they resist the so called climate change.) If it is too cold, they conserve energy. If it is too hot, they avoid stress by spontaneously shedding a limb.
Meanwhile, the now huge trees continue to grow. The urban forest is beginning to show the results of consecutive groups of environmentalists and green movements, One not so cheerful thought is that a tree will reach the final stage of its life and die. All it then takes is an electrical storm and a lightning strike.
Who is to blame?
The short answer to this has to be you and me. As far as Australia is concerned a need existed for a population increase. An increase in population means a need for housing, essential services, food and much more.
The population ventured into the forested areas in search of land on which to building a home. Many believed a home in the bush was trendy and you did not need to be as feral. Take a look at the development in the blue Mountains of Sydney; the Dandenong Ranges in Melbourne and the Lofty Ranges in Adelaide. A resident of the Gold Coast may look to the west and see development and homes high in the ranges; in forests of course.
Any thinking person will know the cause of fire. Everyone is to blame and to enact a law is a waste of time when a fire break is prohibited. Council approval for removal of trees is invariably not granted. It goes without saying that this is all derived from the action of splinter groups impacting on the Federal and State jurisdictions who endanger life, limb and property by ill-conceived action taken some twenty or thirty years ago add to the dangers of suburban life.
Is further evidence necessary?
The media have numerous film of the fire areas, homes on fire and the damage. Google Earth will show views of the streets prior to the fire. It will show the surrounding forest. You may note that building developments butt directly onto the forest and no fire breaks or road access are to be seen. Many only have an access route from one direction. It is Apparent that adequate planning has not been considered to be of value.
The urban developments affected by fire have been planning failures. They have been disasters waiting to happen. Fire will happen spontaneously and a period of wet weather after drought only intensifies its effect. One may ask are town-planners so poorly educated?
In Australia's north, it is only a matter of time before the “big wet” as the Monsoon turns dry land into as lake. Yet people build homes a couple of metres above sea level with no thought of rising sea levels,
All we need to do now is wait for similar conditions and fire on the Gold Coast, Melbourne or Adelaide. Or will rising sea level flood the thousands of homes on reclaimed land that is only a couple of metres above sea level. Nobody seems concerned, not the home owners and definitely not councils.
Is the legal profession ready to circle and defend the misguided home owner in the forest development or on the seashore?
Postscript: Maybe it is not Climate Change that will destroy the earth. That 400 metre meteor presently circling could do the job.