Fire access concerns raised
Injidup residents are concerned fire access roads to the Leeuwin Naturaliste National Park are inadequate and could result in a “disastrous wildfire” at the surf location.
Currently the four-wheel-drive track into the national park is not drivable because of erosion with the City of Busselton prioritising an upgrade of Injidup Spring Road near Karli Rise through to Teatree Rise in the west.
However, Wave House Studios owner Ken Eichenburg said he paid for the City to have the existing road laid. “It’s good to see the City of Busselton is finally upgrading Injidup Springs Road after I paid to have it bitumened halfway up,” he said.
Mr Eichenburg has currently closed off Indjidup Springs Road on the west side calling for immediate bushfire mitigation action.
“I have been providing the road for 30 odd years for ratepayers, surfers, rangers and Parks and Wildlife officers,” he said.
“We worked on a comprehensive fire management plan for the whole area with the Aboriginal community and Parks and Wildlife and it was completely ignored by the City.”
City of Busselton manager of planning and development services Paul Needham said fire mitigation funding recently received by the City would support programs across the district, with prioritisation reflecting the City’s Bushfire Risk Management Plan.
“While the City can and does assist with bushfire mitigation strategies in this area, it is important to note that most public land in the area falls within the national park and is therefore the responsibility of DBCA,” he said.
However, Mr Eichenburg said the City’s response was part of the problem.
“The City’s insular attitude is the problem. Aboriginal people were shocked at how their knowledge was completely ignored,” he said. “When will colonial governance attitudes realise that bringing the whole community in is an amazing resource.”
Wardance Centre chairman Bill Webb said the City had never come to the property to inspect fire tracks or discuss fuel reduction strategies.
“We need an escape route but the City has never addressed it,” he said. “People are going to lose their lives because it’s one of the last fire prone areas in the region without a proper track.”
The Department of Biodiversity Conservation and Attractions said there was currently a network of strategic firebreaks in the Injidup area which were annually maintained via mechanical mulching.
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