Pines Before People

Incredible, secret firefighting mission saves famous ‘dinosaur trees’.

Seventeen people have died in NSW bushfires. I’d like to know if these resources could have saved any of them – or the property of thousands of others. The trees have survived innumerable bushfires. This entire operation was nothing more than a greens-appeasing stunt. Note also “ground fuels” had to be counteracted – something that is strictly illegal for citizens protecting their families.

Desperate efforts by firefighters on the ground and in the air have saved the only known natural grove of the world-famous Wollemi pines from destruction during the record-breaking bushfires in NSW.

The rescue mission involved water-bombing aircraft and large air tankers dropping fire retardant. Helicopters also winched specialist firefighters into the remote gorge to set up an irrigation system to increase the moisture content of the ground fuels to slow the advance of any fire.

“It was like a military-style operation,” NSW Environment and Energy Minister Matt Kean told the Herald. “We just had to do everything.”

“Wollemi National Park is the only place in the world where these trees are found in the wild and, with less than 200 left, we knew we needed to do everything we could to save them,” Mr Kean said.

The National Parks and Wildlife Service, backed by the Rural Fire Service, kept their efforts largely a secret to avoid revealing the location of the Wollemi pines.

 
To avoid revealing the location from the people who own the trees and all of the resources sent to “save” them. More importantly, to avoid taxpayers with ash-heaps where homes used to be from learning a multi-million dollar operation was underway for a stand of trees. You can buy them at nurseries, by the way.

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186 Responses to Pines Before People

  1. Mark M

    Diary of a failed climate denialist by Malcolm Turnbull –

    Some quotes of failure …

    – As Prime Minister, I tried to ensure that our climate and energy policies were governed by engineering and economics, not ideology and idiocy. (fail)

    – I led the coalition twice—first as opposition leader from 2008 to 2009 and then as Prime Minister from 2015 to 2018.
    Both times, my efforts to take concerted action on climate change were followed by my losing my job.
    (Double fail)

    – A majority of coalition legislators also backed it, but a right-wing minority, supported by their allies in the media, sabotaged the bill and then brought down my government. (fail)

    – That’s why I started Snowy Hydro 2.0, a project that will use pumped water to create energy and, like a battery, store enough power for 3 million homes for a week. (bushfire prevention; 0 = fail)

    – Australia and the world need a Green New Deal now.
    https://time.com/5765603/australia-bushfires-prime-minister-essay/?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=editorial&utm_term=ideas_&linkId=80705429

  2. Personally, I don’t really have a problem with that if these are the lats trees of their kind. What I object to is the millions, on top of the $400+ million Turdshit gave, to save a barrier reef that’s not in danger whatsoever.

  3. twostix

    The National Parks and Wildlife Service, backed by the Rural Fire Service, kept their efforts largely a secret to avoid revealing the location of the Wollemi pines.

    National Parks are the modern version of the old Royal Forests, but (unbelievably) worse:

    Forests were designed as hunting areas reserved for the monarch or the aristocracy. The concept was introduced by the Normans to England in the 11th century, and at the height of this practice in the late 12th and early 13th centuries, fully one-third of the land area of southern England was designated as royal forest; at one stage in the 12th century, all of Essex was afforested, and on his accession Henry II declared all of Huntingdonshire forest.[2]

    Trespasses against the vert were rather extensive: they included purpresture, assarting, clearing forest land for agriculture, and felling trees or clearing shrubs, among others. These laws applied to any land within the boundary of the forest, even if it were freely owned; although the Charter of the Forest in 1217 established that all freemen owning land within the forest enjoyed the rights of agistment and pannage (see below).

    Royal forests usually included large areas of heath, grassland and wetland – anywhere that supported deer and other game. In addition, when an area was initially designated forest, any villages, towns and fields that lay within it were also subject to forest law. This could foster resentment as the local inhabitants were then restricted in the use of land they had previously relied upon for their livelihoods

  4. twostix

    Farmers in England were still allowed to graze livestock in the Royal Forests.

    That’s banned in ours.

  5. Farmers in England were still allowed to graze livestock in the Royal Forests.

    That’s banned in ours.

    Doesn’t matter now, there’s nothing left to graze.

  6. Mark M

    Fossil fuels to the rescue.

  7. Lily

    There have been thousand of these trees sold Australia wide plus overseas including Great Britain for their parks and gardens.
    Our local Arboretum has a lovely stand of them some around 25 to 30 feet high.
    Our small nursery sold heaps of them. If they had all burnt down they could be replaced.

  8. C.L.

    Latham was campaigning for grazing rights in national parks about 18 months ago, as I recall.

  9. Lily

    The Wollemi Pine (Wollemia nobilis) is one of the world’s oldest and rarest plants dating back to the time of the dinosaurs. … Kernock Park Plants Ltd are the primary grower and distributor of the Wollemi Pine in the UK and Ireland. Wollemi Pines are now available for the retail and landscape market.

  10. There have been thousand of these trees sold Australia wide plus overseas including Great Britain for their parks and gardens.

    Houses and sheds burnt in the bushfires can be rebuilt, vehicles replaced, they are just material possessions. Trees in a nursery are somewhat different to trees that have lived for hundreds of years in their natural habitat.

  11. Dasher

    These are not uncommon…a “nursery” in UK Sussex has a quite a few doing well. Absolute BS.

  12. These are not uncommon…a “nursery” in UK Sussex has a quite a few doing well. Absolute BS.

    It has nothing to do with the fact that these trees are growing elsewhere, it’s the environment where they are growing that has some meaning. I live near a park that has trees planted around 130 years ago and many trees are heritage listed and rare. If these were destroyed in a bushfire, it’s the total environment that they provide that would be destroyed, even if the trees could eventually be regrown.

    This is the story behind the park: https://australianimage.com.au/mossvale-park-south-gippsland/

    This is an example of more of the park: https://australianimage.com.au/trees/

  13. C.L.

    I’d contentedly let them all burn to the ground to save a family’s home.

  14. Kae

    Bemused

    I agree. They have grown in this tiny areaand have survived. I am happy they were protected.

    I doubt the burnt houses and dead people could have been saved except by prevention of fuel build up.

  15. I see that there are many here who only see value in materialistic objects, things that can be easily replaced.

  16. Leo G

    The Wollemi Pine “gorge” is not really so remote- there is a nearby property, and the grove is accessible via an accessible grade along *** Creek. Moreover, there are isolated Wollemi Pines in other parts of the Wollemi.

  17. calli

    There may be some confusion here. The trees, of themselves, aren’t old in the sense of living antiques. It’s the propagules that are “old”. The same could be said of a cycad.

    These things have survived because of the nature of the gorge and the ability of the trees to re-establish after fire, storm and flood.

    If our native spp are so precious, why don’t we treat all natural areas in the same way as the Wollemi gorge. Why aren’t fuel loads reduced? Why can’t scrub and weedy rubbish be cleared around our homes, not just the home of a tree?

  18. C.L.

    The trees can be easily replaced.
    There isn’t even any evidence they were about to be engulfed.
    They’ve probably been burned out and naturally regenerated dozens of times before.
    ————-
    You’re at RFS dispach and you get two calls:

    1. the Wollemi Pines are in danger.
    2. Joe and Maria Smith’s family home is in danger.

    Yeah – that’s not even close to being a difficult choice. You wouldn’t get on the blower to Joe and tell him his home is a just a material possession and you have to send the entire air wing to save the dinosaur trees.

  19. Zulu Kilo Two Alpha

    I see that there are many here who only see value in materialistic objects, things that can be easily replaced.

    Get back to me when you’ve had your house burn down, will you?

  20. feelthebern

    The real question is why wasn’t ScoMo there personally fighting the Wollemi fires.

  21. Roger

    National Parks are the modern version of the old Royal Forests, but (unbelievably) worse

    I visited a national park last year.

    The number of activities that were verboten required not one, but two, large signboards at the entrance.

    It’s a wonder they let the plebs in at all.

  22. The biggest of the Wollemi Pines is estimated to be nearly 1000 years old. Perhaps over those 1000 years, fires haven’t been an issue in the gorge. Now if that house had been 1000 years old…

  23. liliana

    I’d contentedly let them all burn to the ground to save a family’s home.

    I would not. A house can be rebuilt.
    This remanent pocket of ancient vegetation cannot. I doubt their protection had any impact what so ever on the number of people killed in the bushfires.
    It seems that for some people anything to do with the environment (you know – the system that keeps us alive) is automatically bad, and anything to do with people is automatically good, with nothing in between. Sad that some people see the world that way.

    Well I agree with Kae and bemused. I’m also glad they were protected.

  24. feelthebern

    The biggest of the Wollemi Pines is estimated to be nearly 1000 years old

    So it’s had a good run.

  25. 59096

    Um! Not sure but it was most likely cause by climate change!

  26. calli

    Trees die. Fact of life. If it’s 1000 years old, it’s nearer to senescence. Unfortunate for the botanists who might like to map its downfall if it burns prematurely.

  27. feelthebern

    This remanent pocket of ancient vegetation cannot.

    So everyone believes this shit about this being some land before time situation?
    So gullible.

  28. shatterzzz

    An overlooked fact in favour of the Wollemi Pines and a very good reason for their preservation ..
    A single Wollemi Pine has a higher IQ than the entire, elected, human occupants of the NSW Parliament ..
    Well worth saving!

  29. Old School Conservative

    The pines can’t be important if people aren’t allowed to visit/enjoy/picnic/look-and-wonder.

  30. C.L.

    A house can be rebuilt.

    A tree can be planted a lot easier. Takes about two minutes.

  31. feelthebern

    Who needs re-education camps when the population swallows the sacred Wollemi pine story hook, line & sinker.

  32. Get back to me when you’ve had your house burn down, will you?

    I live in a bushfire prone area. We have insurance and an evacuation plan, we would be ready to go well before the actual need arose. If a fire were to destroy our house, we would simply build anew and probably have a better house than before.

    How do you think people in urban areas cope when their homes burn? Do you shed a tear when you hear or read about that in the news? I suspect that more houses burn in urban areas every year than in bushfires very year.

    On average, there are 3000 house fires each year in Victoria alone.

  33. struth

    1. the Wollemi Pines are in danger.
    2. Joe and Maria Smith’s family home is in danger.

    Yeah – that’s not even close to being a difficult choice. You wouldn’t get on the blower to Joe and tell him his home is a just a material possession and you have to send the entire air wing to save the dinosaur trees.

    Yet they put the trees first and I see much of the intensity and arson resulting from government actions [or inactions] in adherence to UN Agenda.

    So basically government is burning down homes, killing people and putting our tax money toward saving trees you can buy in the shop while it happens.
    Tell me where that is an exaggeration?

  34. calli

    Dutch Elm disease wiped out Europe’s ancient elms. Pretty much all of them. To the point where the oldest elms in the world were in Melbourne. Trees die.

    I’m not buying into the save house/save tree question. But if it was save person/save tree it would be different.

    Losing your home to bushfire is incredibly stressful. I know one old man who passed away shortly after his loss – the shock was too great for him to bear.

  35. A tree can be planted a lot easier. Takes about two minutes.

    And takes over 1000 years to grow to maturity.

    A house can be rebuilt in a few months and fall apart in 30 years.

  36. struth

    The pines can’t be important if people aren’t allowed to visit/enjoy/picnic/look-and-wonder.

    It’s Tourism Australia’s policy of outlawing humans in National parks, on big rocks, and then spend our money getting a bimbo to ask, where the bloody hell are you?

  37. The pines can’t be important if people aren’t allowed to visit/enjoy/picnic/look-and-wonder.

    They keep out the tourists so that fungus that would infect and kill the trees can’t be brought into the area.

  38. feelthebern

    So they’ve lived for 1000 years, but now we have to protect them from a fungus?
    What kind of pussy trees are they.

  39. calli

    Would that be phytophthora, bemused?

  40. struth

    Will government be held responsible?
    Will anyone demand to see the arseholes in our parliament and across all government levels turfed out of office for allegiance to a foreign power?

    Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahaahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!

    This ain’t the USA.

    Bend over and take it harder Aussies………………………that’s what you deserve.

  41. calli

    Just looked it up. Yep, it’s phytophthora cinnamomi. Soil borne. In every pocket of soil on the east coast of Australia except, it would appear, the Wollemi pine habitat.

    My reference to Dutch elm disease wasn’t too far off the mark.

  42. It seems that for some people anything to do with the environment (you know – the system that keeps us alive) is automatically bad, and anything to do with people is automatically good, with nothing in between. Sad that some people see the world that way.

    It does seem that way, doesn’t it.

    On the one hand you have inner-city, latte-sipping, Greens who have never been in and know nothing about the bush, thinking everything should be preserved. Their mantra is save the koalas.

    And, on the other hand, you have the inner-city, latte-sipping, free-marketers who have never been in and know nothing about the bush, thinking nothing should be preserved. Their mantra is save the tractors.

  43. My reference to Dutch elm disease wasn’t too far off the mark.

    Yes, that’s the fungus and my earlier link to Mossvale Park is one place where the Dutch Elm still lives (one very large one).

  44. Some specific details re this “rescue” of the Wollemi pines:

    The disastrous mega fire – the so-called Gospers Mt fire which decimated not only the Wollemi NP, but properties in adjacent towns & settlements, began from a lightning strike near Wirrama within the NP. It expanded initially in a relatively “slow burn” in various directions – but particularly towards the closest “settlement” – the small town of Glen Davis in the Capertee Valley.

    The local RFS brigades were particularly concerned & wanted proactive measures taken (e.g. back burning) before it reached houses & properties in the town & surrounding areas. My understanding is that “agreement” was not reached with the NPWS. Within days, with a mild easterly behind it, the fire burnt out the Coorongooba Campground on the outskirts of the NP & proceeded up onto the escarpments above the town.

    At this point the VLAT & a good number of water-bombing choppers were summoned & the town & some small holdings below the cliffs were saved. However, the fire was now well on its way both into the upper reaches of the Wolgan Valley & also west towards Glen Alice & the rest is history. Much farmland & bush properties were subsequently saved from being torched by the tireless efforts of local brigades for well over 6 weeks.

    And the Wollemi Pines? Well, apparently NPWS sent in a strike team to save them. When? Well only NPWS knows that – & the story may not sit well, I think, with locals in the Capertee Valley.

  45. calli

    Different fungus, bemused, and the vector is a beetle.

    The problem in Europe was field resistance. Same could be said of the pine.

  46. Different fungus, bemused, and the vector is a beetle.

    Yes, they are two different fungal infections. The beetle in fact was responsible for the loss of the elms in Melbourne (or most if they haven’t all gone).

  47. Boambee John

    I doubt the burnt houses and dead people could have been saved except by prevention of fuel build up.

    Kae

    If good forest management procedures had been applied to Wollemi National Park, an operation on this scale should not have been needed.

    Not to say that some extra effort would not have been needed, just not on the actual scale.

  48. The real question is why wasn’t ScoMo there personally fighting the Wollemi fires.

    Tony was!

  49. If good forest management procedures had been applied …

    If this were the case throughout Australia, we wouldn’t have the current bushfire issue.

  50. feelthebern

    No way.
    If TA was there, it will change the slant the media will put on it.

  51. feelthebern

    “Tony Abbott interferes with nature…again”

  52. jupes

    They keep out the tourists so that fungus that would infect and kill the trees can’t be brought into the area.

    Okay, so no one (except a few “elite” government types) is allowed to see them. Therefore, as far as the citizens are concerned, they exist only in books and photos.

    What was the point in saving them again?

  53. feelthebern

    If these are so spectacular, why not have a national lottery every year to allocate slots to people who want to see them?

  54. Okay, so no one (except a few “elite” government types) is allowed to see them. Therefore, as far as the citizens are concerned, they exist only in books and photos.

    Biologists go in to collect seeds and monitor the area etc. There is a specific process they go through to disinfect everything before entering the area.

    What was the point in saving them again?

    For you, no reason whatsoever, the existing trees could possibly be made into boomerangs and sold as trinkets to tourists, the free market at work. And then people could be taken in to view the place where the last Wollemi Pines once grew; perhaps they could have VR goggles to get the full experience.

    There’s a place like that near where I live, it has the largest tree in the world (a Mountain Ash). Or at least had until it was cut down in 1884 and now there’s a plaque marking the spot. That plaque is pretty close to the actual experience of standing next to such a tree.

  55. Docket62

    A house can be rebuilt in a few months and fall apart in 30 years.

    Only in Australia courtesy of shysters like Metricon. Elsewhere they still build them better than most trees – some are even MADE of those trees

    https://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/europe-s-oldest-wooden-house-still-going-strong/1288454

  56. Bruce

    @bemused:

    The “stand” of Wollemi Pines has been in that region for how many millennia?

    How many bushfires have they endured in that time?

    A couple of hours with core-samplers could go a long way to broadening the knowledge about these trees, but I would bet your left one that such a venture and the consequent knowledge would be forbidden.

    Wollemi Pines are NOT “Ents”.

    And then, there is the spectacle of Turdball going all Rahm Emmanuel.

  57. billie

    some really odd priorities going on out there

    a military style operation to save some trees that a tiny few consider worthy of it that are not even rare or noteworthy, unbelievable, and if this happened anywhere esle we would call them idiots and rightly so

    like the constant moaning by the media and some politicians and all the eco-whackos about deniers in Australia, that happen to be the majority of the populaiton

    how did we get to the stage that a tiny few constantly scold the many as if the many have no right to vote for what they do or don’t want – and then when it is voted for are treated as if we were somehow tricked into voting for what we want or are misguided

  58. @Bruce

    Why must everything be given a dollar value of worth? Can’t some things simply be retained and appreciated for what they are?

    #SaveTheTractors

  59. twostix

    And then people could be taken in to view the place where the last Wollemi Pines once grew; perhaps they could have VR goggles to get the full experience.

    As opposed to not being allowed to view them now.

    LOL

  60. twostix

    Nobody is talking about cutting down the trees bemused.

    They’re talking national parks expending a mass effort to “protect” trees that people are banned from seeing from being burned down because national parks let their parks get to a state where those trees are in danger of burning down. Apparently for the first time in 1000 years (how did they survive all of the bushfires from then until now one immediately wonders).

    While peoples houses are burning down from a fire that started in that very park.

  61. feelthebern

    Nobody is talking about cutting down the trees bemused.

    I wasn’t, but now you’ve given me the idea…

  62. twostix

    How many people’s lives would you be willing to sacrifice to save those trees bemused, by the way?

    One?

  63. Professor Fred Lenin

    You dont start a fire without kindling what is Scrub and fallen limbs on the forest floor ? kindling ! The more kindling the hotter the fire , hot fires kill trees and destroy seeds in the earth ,grass fires only scorch trees and help germinate seed in the earth .
    Aboriginals burned the kindling to em encourage new grass to grow and attract animals which they killed to eat by throwing sticks at them.

  64. duncanm

    Leo G
    #3294143, posted on January 16, 2020 at 2:00 pm
    The Wollemi Pine “gorge” is not really so remote- there is a nearby property, and the grove is accessible via an accessible grade along *** Creek. Moreover, there are isolated Wollemi Pines in other parts of the Wollemi.

    not only that, post-burn sat pics show the Wollemi gorges remain well vegetated and essentially unburnt.

    Do people seriously think that these things have not survived previous bushfires during the last tens of millions of years? After their ‘discovery’ in 1994, they suddenly need saving by human hands?

    The arrogance is breathtaking.

  65. C.L.

    This is a comparative SMH link re the same NSW government that I was going to post …
    From August: NSW is one step closer to abortion on demand – for any reason.
    Remember the celebrations?
    Down syndrome children are now rarer than Wollemis.

  66. feelthebern

    I would sacrifice 3.14 humans lives per tree.

  67. twostix

    Ageing the current crop is difficult because they may be cloned from only a few trees or even a single individual. As such, the plants could be as old as 100,000 years, Professor Brack said.

    100,000 years old??

  68. twostix

    National Parks takes over a forest and within a few years 100,000 year old trees nearly burn down in a bushfire and have to be rescued from fire by park rangers?

    🤣

  69. calli

    As such, the plants could be as old as 100,000 years, Professor Brack said.

    Breathtakingly sloppy.

  70. duncanm

    http://www.environment.gov.au/cgi-bin/sprat/public/publicspecies.pl?taxon_id=64545

    Response to fire
    The response of Wollemi Pine to fire is unknown. It is likely that intense fires that kill all foliage will kill individuals of Wollemi Pine and, hence, catastrophic fire is a threat to the known stands. However, all stands show evidence of previous fires as indicated by fire scars on the trees or burnt out remains of Sydney Peppermint. Small scale spot fires may occasionally occur at or in the vicinity of known stands. The role of such small scale fires on the competitive interaction between Wollemi Pines and angiosperms and in creating gaps for recruitment of new plants is currently under investigation (Auld & Hughes unpubl. cited in NSW DEC 2007). An appropriate disturbance regime may be required to ensure the long-term viability of stands in the wild. Further monitoring is required to provide information on the role of fire in the survival of the Wollemi Pine.

  71. duncanm

    vicki
    #3294193, posted on January 16, 2020 at 2:41 pm

    vicki – thanks for the background info. .. If there’s going to be a royal commission, NPWS has a lot of questions to answer

  72. C.L.

    Well, apparently NPWS sent in a strike team to save them. When?

    It doesn’t say in the report.
    I presume they don’t want people to piece together what other more human catastrophes were occurring elsewhere while the NSW government was sending in air tankers, planes, helicopters and strike teams to “save” some trees that weren’t burning anyway.

  73. stackja

    Lives and houses.
    NSW premier GB is responsible for the fires.
    Matt Kean is a warmist.
    He didn’t want hazard reduction.
    He wanted more national parks.
    Saved one tree. Lost how many?
    How many animals?

  74. stackja

    C.L. – Yes, NSW premier GB could quickly pass abortion bill, but couldn’t have hazard reduction burns? GB priorities!

  75. stackja

    C.L. – Yes, NSW premier GB saved pine. Priorities again.

  76. Pyrmonter

    @ bemused

    Because when it comes to environmental value, most Cats exhibit the same prejudices as did the marxist materialists who, when in power in the soviet block did more harm to the built environment of places like Krakow and the natural environment of the Aral Sea than had centuries of warfare and famine.

  77. jupes

    Breathtakingly sloppy.

    But, but … he’s a scientist! We must believe him.

  78. How many people’s lives would you be willing to sacrifice to save those trees bemused, by the way?

    What effect would the limited effort put to reduce the risk to the pines have had on the wider bushfires? How many lives were lost or risked by what happened? How many people put their own lives and those of the fire services at risk by not leaving when they had the opportunity?

    If the effort could have saved even one life, then of course I believe the efforts should have been directed towards that aim. But your argument is pure sophistry, given what we know or don’t know.

  79. jupes

    That plaque is pretty close to the actual experience of standing next to such a tree.

    Well it is a lot closer to an actual experience than the non-experience I can have of standing next to the Wollemi Pines.

  80. Leo G

    And the Wollemi Pines? Well, apparently NPWS sent in a strike team to save them. When? Well only NPWS knows that – & the story may not sit well, I think, with locals in the Capertee Valley.

    The Wollemi Pine grove is more than 50 km from the Capertee. I was surprised to read that it was at risk from the Gospers Mtn fire.

  81. jupes

    What effect would the limited effort put to reduce the risk to the pines have had on the wider bushfires?

    You missed this bit:

    The rescue mission involved water-bombing aircraft and large air tankers dropping fire retardant. Helicopters also winched specialist firefighters into the remote gorge to set up an irrigation system to increase the moisture content of the ground fuels to slow the advance of any fire.

    A bit more than a couple of blokes standing round with a hose I reckon.

  82. JC

    A bit more than a couple of blokes standing round with a hose I reckon.

    Thank God. For the past couple of month’s the one thing I’ve been worried about are those privately owned pines. How could we live without those pines growing in the wild. The country would never be the same again with that loss.

  83. The feeling that I’m getting from a number of posts here is that many posters are akin to rabid greenies, but at the opposite end of the spectrum. They are using similar tactics that the Greens are, blaming fossil fuels for these fires and tantamount to killing people, by using an isolated case of protecting what is considered a rare copse of trees, as tantamount to killing people.

  84. C.L.

    We’re all happy the trees survived, bemused, as they survived about a thousand other bushfires in history without the help of air tankers, fixed wing aircraft and helicopters.

    The question is whether a minister should dispatch millions of dollars, dozens of personnel and a fleet of aircraft to “save” some trees when 17 people had died, would die or could die elsewhere in the state.

    There is no evidence they were even endangered.

    It was a grossly corrupt misuse of money and resources to impress urban greens in Sydney.

  85. JC

    Bemused

    Here’s my hunch about those trees. They weren’t rare at all. They were jut a bunch of trees similar to other trees that happened to grow in an isolated area. In other words it was a marketing ploy… total bullshit.

    Furthermore, we wouldn’t have lost those trees as there are plenty of the fuckers being sold in nurseries.

    They expended scarce resources on a bunch of fucking trees and acting like they had saved an entire town filled with people.

  86. RobK

    A bit more than a couple of blokes standing round with a hose I reckon.
    I hope the water was sterile and not dirty run off from eucs, spreading disease. These trees are no longer wild now. We have interfered. Apparently they exist now because we protect them. Is there nothing we cant do.

  87. twostix

    What effect would the limited effort put to reduce the risk to the pines have had on the wider bushfires? How many lives were lost or risked by what happened? How many people put their own lives and those of the fire services at risk by not leaving when they had the opportunity?

    If the effort could have saved even one life, then of course I believe the efforts should have been directed towards that aim. But your argument is pure sophistry, given what we know or don’t know.

    Like all nature worshiping pagans the answer is “a few to many, depends”.

    We see you.

  88. JC

    We’re all happy the trees survived,

    CL, speak for yourself and others. 🙂 For me, I don’t give a rats if those fucking things survived or not. My concern were ensuring people’s homes were protected from the fires as against a bunch of pines. Fuck the pines.

  89. JC

    Like all nature worshiping pagan

    Eggsactly right, Stix. It’s primitive paganism. On that score I wish the fucking things were turned into charcoal.

  90. twostix

    So while the NSW government was helping attack the Prime Minister for Not Doing Enough, it was diverting water tankers, helicopters and equipment to save pine trees that nobody is allowed to go and see.

    Ok.

  91. twostix

    One of the centrepiece bits of footage from the Cobargo abusers was a woman screeching at the PM “why did we only have four trucks!”.

    While this was in the news cycle the NSW government, which joined into attack the PM – which has the actual trucks, was sending helicopters, water bombers and firefighters into shore up pine tree’s that nobody is allowed to visit.

    This whole thing really is something else.

  92. JC

    That’s a parody of this. Frankly I don’t know which is funnier.

  93. A Lurker

    I’m happy that the pines were saved. They are pretty unique after all. However, if they were lost the cost to Australia would be pretty massive – because every feral Greenie, hippy, eco-warrior and authoritarian ecologist and environmentalist would be on the warpath, and God knows what kind of demands they’d be screaming for, and you know that our spineless pollies would cave in on their every demented demand.

  94. calli

    Furthermore, we wouldn’t have lost those trees as there are plenty of the fuckers being sold in nurseries.

    Which are also 100,000 year old clones.

    Oh, my sides!

  95. JC

    They are pretty unique after all.

    Are they that unique? Nursiers flog the things.

    Also, here’s a selection of Australian pines. Point out the difference.

    https://www.google.com/search?q=australian+pine+trees&client=firefox-b-d&sxsrf=ACYBGNStDzEBQBdqcqeT4bxuQcU-IS7njA:1579157038915&tbm=isch&source=iu&ictx=1&fir=Lf189M-bcTDuoM%253A%252Cp-QPcjkK3HtM5M%252C_&vet=1&usg=AI4_-kQfYMJ_RK6EPVkI19r3A5xtYUBcug&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiCkeWywofnAhUH63MBHSKCCecQ_h0wGHoECAsQBg&biw=1660&bih=1239#imgrc=Lf189M-bcTDuoM:

    The marketing gimmick is they found these things growing in a lonely area and they sold the idea they were unique. If we go with that method, then every single tree in the world is unique. It was a marketing ploy.

  96. C.L.

    What the viable growing region for the Wollemi, Calli?
    Can they hack the north and the west?

  97. Roger

    One of the centrepiece bits of footage from the Cobargo abusers was a woman screeching at the PM “why did we only have four trucks!”.

    In passing, anyone who doesn’t understand the nature of our federal-state-local polity should not be permitted to vote.

    The franchise should only be given to those who pass a civics test which could be re-sat periodically.

    Better informed voters just might lead to better politicians.

  98. calli

    It’s all Appeasement PR. Nothing less.

    Should the trees meet a horrible fate, either through fire or disease or the Grim Reaper, there is enough material collected to replace them. With actual clones of themselves. Which is the same tree in every possible way.

    The marvels of tissue culture.

  99. C.L.

    I’m a bit suspicious of the story that this stand of trees was “discovered” in 1994.
    I bet you a thousand dollars old coots in the area always knew they were there.
    Neat trick for getting extra cash, rangers, equipment etc, though.
    No different to how environmentalists invariably “discover” a rare frog or something whenever a project is in the offing. These people tell lies as a matter of administrative course.

  100. Like all nature worshiping pagans the answer is “a few to many, depends”.

    We see you.

    If I’m a nature worshiping pagan, then why do I write such things as this: https://australianimage.com.au/australias-climate-emergency/

    And this: https://australianimage.com.au/laboring-under-false-pretences/

    And this: https://australianimage.com.au/the-winds-of-climate-change/

    And this: https://australianimage.com.au/bushfires-and-climate-change/

    And what the fuck do you do, play with two stix?

  101. A Lurker

    Also, here’s a selection of Australian pines. Point out the difference.

    Apparently they are quite different. This page goes into specifics.

  102. feelthebern

    In passing, anyone who doesn’t understand the nature of our federal-state-local polity should not be permitted to vote.

    So only 100k people get to vote at the next federal election?

  103. calli

    C.L. Acid soil, early shade (they get sunburnt), plenty of water.

    They are part of the Araucariacae family, which is spread from Australia through the Pacific Islands and PNG to South America. The first specimens of the family were discovered and documented in SA, and called the Monkey Puzzle. Here, they include the Norfolk Island pine, the Hoop Pine and Bunya Bunyas.

    They are beautiful trees. David Noble, who discovered the Wollemi, was serendipitous. Wollemia nobilis – perfect.

  104. calli

    Oh. And they are ancient as a family.

    Survivors of genuine climate change. And plate tectonics.

  105. calli

    Hah, Caveman!

    I think it was Cook who thought the Norfolk Island pines would be great for shipbuilding (masts). No dice. They are not fit for purpose.

  106. Old School Conservative

    For you, no reason whatsoever, the existing trees could possibly be made into boomerangs and sold as trinkets to tourists, the free market at work. And then people could be taken in to view the place where the last Wollemi Pines once grew; perhaps they could have VR goggles to get the full experience.

    I’m appreciating your arguments bemused; I disagree but appreciate the debate.
    You comment above made me think of this song
    .

  107. C.L.

    Thanks, Calli. Sounds like you have to pick your spot well before planting one.
    ——
    Norfolks are in my top three favourite trees.

    Actually, that makes it sound like I’m a knowledgeable tree-ologist.
    Of the limited number of trees whose names I know, Norfolks are right up there on a short list; put it that way.

  108. Beachcomber

    ……….. they are ancient as a family.

    Survivors of genuine climate change. And plate tectonics.

    They evolved and proliferated when when atmospheric CO2 levels were much, much higher than they are now. Very fast growing pine trees fed the populations of huge dinosaurs at those times.

    Atmospheric CO2 levels currently hover at just above starvation levels for plants. Reduced atmospheric CO2 is why these types of pines have been replaced by flowering plants, including grasses, which are better able to survive under conditions of near CO2 starvation.

    We need to burn more coal, gas and oil to release CO2 into the atmosphere.

  109. Bill from the Bush

    The NSW gummint had already developed an “insurance policy’ so they should have let the fuckin things burn. Nature may then have created a new mutation that was even better fire proofed than the originals.

  110. feelthebern

    The next time these God-trees are threatened, it would be an ideal time to withdraw all our troops from Iraq & Afghanistan so we can redeploy them to protect the trees.

  111. Mother Lode

    There have been thousand of these trees sold Australia wide plus overseas including Great Britain for their parks and gardens.

    For our political overlords those trees possess a sublime otherworldliness and mystique of something that exists in Australia that is not taxed. The other Wollemi pine you speak of in nurseries and sold to parks are minor details of those obscure dealings of little people that generates tax revenue.

    Those secret pines in their secret place are like shimmering visitors from some remote realm of light ,with ways and understanding beyond us, and before whom we know ourselves to be just clay.

  112. Abortion on demand and secret black ops missions to save trees on sale at nurseries.

    Current year is just awful.

  113. Amazing that if we clear felled the fraudulently endangered eucalyptus family, none of them would be endangered; and it would have protected the sacred Wollemi Pines.

  114. Given that these trees are considered a state asset, it’s not unreasonable that the state considers their protection, as they do with any other state assets (how well this is done is questionable). But since there are numerous private assets that have been at risk because of these fires, is it the state’s responsibility to protect these assets?

    And gven the strong objection by many on this forum to all state interference in private property, I assume that those making a big noise about this thread also feel that the state should keep out when it involves private property. Why isn’t there more noise about the state’s use of ‘fleets’ of aircraft for water/fire suppressant bombing etc of private property?

  115. feelthebern

    Secret footage of the Wollemi defence.

  116. feelthebern

    bemused, it was the state that caused the private property to be threatened in the first place.

  117. Talleyrand

    Furthermore, we wouldn’t have lost those trees as there are plenty of the fuckers being sold in nurseries.

    Which are also 100,000 year old clones.

    Oh, my sides!

    Not 100,000 years surely.
    Everyone knows that the Australian Aborigines onky invented cloning during the 60,000 BCE period

  118. Why isn’t there more noise about the state’s use of ‘fleets’ of aircraft for water/fire suppressant bombing etc of private property?

    Because the state has no money of it’s own, we pay for it and we’d rather keep our home and stay alive than “protect” a mass produced tree.

    It is a preference. No one actually advocates chopping down all the Wollemis and injecting the stumps with triclopyr; and then salting their current natural range.

    What we should really do is…destroy most living eucalyptus trees. It would give the Wollemis more habitat and available water, as well as less alleopathic chemical warfare the damned gum trees.

  119. Roger

    …since there are numerous private assets that have been at risk because of these fires, is it the state’s responsibility to protect these assets?

    I’d settle for the state looking after its backyard (i.e. managing national parks to mitigate fire risk) and allowing private property holders to use all reasonable means to protect their property (hint: current vegetation clearing laws are not reasonable).

  120. bemused, it was the state that caused the private property to be threatened in the first place.

    Nature caused the fires (bushfires are normal), though the state may have been culpable in causing the fires to be far more intense (through inadequate management), but it’s actually the people that voted in these idiots who are primarily to blame.

    Democracy in action. The state is simply doing what the people want them to do with the bush ie, nothing. This will keep on until the people wake up and force the state to change it’s ways or change the state. In the meantime, should the state be responsible for looking after private property?

  121. Geriatric Mayfly

    Pinus radiata is the one I’d be after. Mass plantings of the ugly damn things creating botanical and biological deserts. As is the parlance here: ‘Burn the fuckers.’ Wollemi is not a pine.

  122. Frank

    In passing, anyone who doesn’t understand the nature of our federal-state-local polity should not be permitted to vote.

    So only 100k people get to vote at the next federal election?

    There would be several electorates with no representation if that was the case.

  123. Robber Baron

    As I see it, the State just used resources of the State to protect the State assets.

    The private sector can go an buy insurance and watch their houses burn.

  124. Professor Fred Lenin (Iskra)

    Next monthe headline ,”Wollemi pines dying , the famous trees are wilting ,”scientists “blame the fire retardant sprayed on them during the recent fires ,no government official was available for comment “. Thes trees are have been there since the aboriginal forestry department planted them 350,000 years ago ,accoring to aboriginal historian professer Pommy Pascoe a well known expert.

  125. The Wollemi Pine grove is more than 50 km from the Capertee. I was surprised to read that it was at risk from the Gospers Mtn fire.

    LeoG – not sure what you mean. Capertee village (not Capertee Valley) is at least some 25-30km from the edge of the Wollemi NP, the Capertee Valley is adjacent to the NP, & I have no knowledge of the exact location of the stand of Wollemi pines.

    But Leo, the Gospers Mt fire was in excess of 500,000 hectares – so I don’t understand why you would be perplexed about it’s proximity to the pines!!!

  126. Roger

    In passing, anyone who doesn’t understand the nature of our federal-state-local polity should not be permitted to vote.

    So only 100k people get to vote at the next federal election?

    More like 1000 000 I expect, but that would not necessarily be a bad thing.

    There would be several electorates with no representation if that was the case.

    And how many politicians actually represent their constituents’ interests under the present party political system? In the Anglosphere, at least, Australian politicians of the major parties are the least free to do so due to party conventions.

  127. Squirrel

    Fascinated by the idea that (other people’s) homes are only houses, which can be replaced (assuming they can afford full and adequate insurance and can find an honourable insurer) and that nothing of real value is irretrievably lost, and no other lasting trauma is suffered, when a home which could have been saved is not.

    This attitude – obviously inherent, but never plainly stated in official policy – is a large part of the reason why we will keep stumbling along, summer after summer, with the insanity of millions in rural, regional and suburban fringe locations, spending months in a state of semi-permanent stress and anxiety, with lives (and, too often, livelihoods) on hold, waiting to be told to “get out now” or “it’s too late to get out” by authorities who seem to think that lots of talk about household fire plans is the automatic get out of jail card.

    Anyway, we saved some special trees, so mustn’t grumble…..

  128. jupes

    Given that these trees are considered a state asset

    How are they an “asset”? What benefit are they to the state? Bragging rights at the secret tree convention maybe?

    No one is allowed to even look at the stupid things!

  129. Muddy

    People can be replaced. Trees can’t.
    People are vermin. Trees are natural.
    If trees could read, they’d vote for us.
    Vote on behalf of a tree. Vote for nature.

    (Imagine the above on an election poster, with selected words and symbols a particular shade of green).

  130. Nob

    “Latte-sipping”
    Inner city trendies seldom drink lattes in my experience.
    (Although they do adopt the irritating “sophisticated Aussie” faux-Italian “LAAAh-tay” pronunciation. FFS, if you want to show off, use crisp Italian LAT-teh or even caffe latte. Or just get a flat white. And don’t get me started on people saying “choritzo” which has only one Z and is not Italian)

    And most “chardonnay socialists” are ABC wankers. Meaning “Anything But Chardonnay” in this case although if you called it Chablis they’d wet themselves over it.

    OK, as you were.

  131. Tim Neilson

    Thes trees are have been there since the aboriginal forestry department planted them 350,000 years ago ,accoring to aboriginal historian professer Pommy Pascoe a well known expert.

    Professor Lenin rises an important issue.

    How do we know this stand of trees is “natural” as claimed?

    Has anyone asked the local indigenous community whether they want to claim to have planted them and to get compensation for the government having taken over a sacred site?

  132. Knuckle Dragger

    Let me get this straight.

    There are big trees in a bit of NSW. Really, big, mungo-big trees. Trees that would perhaps attract the odd touro, but no-one’s allowed near them except botanists to take samples. But not core samples, because the trees are really big.

    So we don’t really know how old the big trees are. But they’re not the only big trees of this type, as there are hundreds of thousands of the same trees but smaller for sale to the public.

    The dirt the trees are on belongs to the NSW gummint, which went out of its way to reduce fuel loads around the big trees while condoning, if not encouraging all the rest of the bush dirt it controls to become an open topped half full 44 gallon drum topped off with oily rags and crisp newspaper covered in magnifying glasses.

  133. Kneel

    I hate to say it, but I think you all missed the point.
    The RFS could have back burnt and stopped fire early.
    They weren’t allowed to.
    When it endangered some rare trees and peoples homes, we spent how many extra $M “saving” them?
    WTF didn’t they allow the back-burn and just add the valley to the list of places RFS would back-burn to protect?
    Simpler, cheaper and more popular. More sensible to boot (like that matters, but anyway…)
    So – obviously – Govt did the opposite. Hardly surprising I suppose, but hope springs eternal…

  134. Knuckle Dragger

    THEN, when the other dirt predictably explodes near the punters’ houses whose taxes paid for this fiasco the NSW gummint, instead of attempting to fix their own fuckups and save a few lives along the way spent considerable time, money, resources and attention saving the big trees – freakin’ obviously at the expense of something or someone else.

    And people are actually applauding this?

    I note that these punters swooning over the scared trees they can’t see, let alone visit are all along the lines of ‘houses can be rebuilt’. They’re not saying THEIR houses can be rebuilt, or that they’d sacrifice THEIR house and put THEIR families at risk.

    For a fucking tree. It’s big and old, but it’s not rare, they’ll either grow back or die out because that’s the way the world works and all of them combined aren’t worth a home or even a shed bought and paid for by hard work.

    Fuck off.

  135. Knuckle Dragger

    *sacred trees*

    Let’s hope they’re sacred birthing trees, or that there are giants living in the clouds atop one of them.

  136. Leo G

    WTF didn’t they allow the back-burn and just add the valley to the list of places RFS would back-burn to protect?

    I think it reasonable to suspect that the fire around the grove was part of hazard reduction to protect the Wollemi “pines” from the Nullo Mountain fires.

  137. Whalehunt fun

    It only takes one angry person whose life has been destroyed to go there and burn the lot of them to the ground. So I guess it makes sense to not reveal the location.

  138. Jo Smyth

    I’m angry, really angry, and my life hasn’t been destroyed. When is the tipping point going to be reached.

  139. JohnJJJ

    What if the Wollemi pines are actually a form of triffid? They were exterminated by the aborigines, but a few were left in an inaccessible gorge. Once the numbers increase the triffid phase kicks in. Just a thought.

  140. feelthebern

    The RFS could have back burnt and stopped fire early.
    They weren’t allowed to.

    Yep & now all the big wigs who caused the problem now want a pat on the head.

  141. feelthebern

    And people are actually applauding this?

    I know.
    It’s like someone has taken a big turd on your rug & then makes a big song & dance about it.

  142. I find part of this quite so sad. If only the state had committed the resources spent on protecting the Wollemi Pines to other areas, the NSW fires could have been halted. This is the same type of carrying on that climate worriers undertake who believe that if Australia went fully ruinables, then there would be no more bushfires.

    People are even emulating Green groups and the likes of Antifa (or even the Taliban) with their calls for the wanton destruction of anything that they disagree with, by calling for the burning of the Wollemi Pines. I don’t think collective insanity, the lack of perceptive or balance is the sole purview of the Left.

  143. Mater

    Why isn’t there more noise about the state’s use of ‘fleets’ of aircraft for water/fire suppressant bombing etc of private property?

    Probably because it’s specifically paid for by the insured and insurer to protect insured private property.

    The NSW Government has deferred the introduction of the Fire and Emergency Services Levy (FESL). Funding for our fire and emergency services agencies will now continue to be sourced from a levy on insurers – the Emergency Services Levy (ESL).

    If I was an insurance company that had to pay out for a destroyed home, that might potentially have been saved, after forking out for the resources to protect it…that had been allocated to protect an uninsured state asset, I might get a little shitty.
    Do the insurance companies have a case?

  144. Probably because it’s specifically paid for by the insured and insurer to protect insured private property.

    I don’t believe that protection of private property has anything to do with the state, other than in secondary terms. Insurance is for the reimbursement of loss or damage, not for the the prevention of loss or damage, that’s the responsibility of the insured (I went through this recently when a massive tree fell down on our property and crushed a neighbours garage).

    I sometimes wonder whether the belief that the state and charities will help people after a disaster drives many not to have any property insurance. To own a home and have no insurance is inexcusable. If you have a mortgage, there is home insurance as part of that by default.

  145. Cassie of Sydney

    It’s Gaia worship….paganism….period. Humans can be sacrificed….humans must be sacrificed. However trees must be saved….all paid for by the taxpayer…..you and me.

    The Wicker Man has nothing on Australia in 2020.

  146. duncanm

    Somewhat odd they didn’t think to expend these resources on the Gosper’s fire when it first kicked off.

    Almost as if they wanted the burn (it’s natural), then it got a little or of control.

  147. Mater

    Bemused,

    Believe it or not, actually appreciate your point, and I’m not sold one way or another.
    However, the fact remains that the state puts a compulsory levy on insurance companies to fund fire fighting assets on the understanding that they are used to defend ‘the insurers interests’. That wasn’t the case here. Protecting an isolated island in the middle of a NP could not remotely be sold as contributing to the protection of insured assets.

    What’s more, the states actively discourage local private fire fighting collectives (not under the direct control of the CFA equivalent). They deny locals the ability to get back to their properties to defend them, they deny private access to water from mains, they can forcibly evacuate people, etc.

    Like removing guns from people, if you are going to force people to pay for protection and deny them the ability to do it themselves, you better damned well do it…and not be seen to be putting efforts into tangential endeavours.

    In this case, they have exposed themselves to criticism from people who have experienced a catastrophe.

  148. It’s Gaia worship

    It’s not Gaia worship. Not everything in life is about material possessions, though for some it is. If you have no care whatsoever for anything in nature, you have no soul. The worship of material possessions is as bad as Gaia worship.

  149. However, the fact remains that the state puts a compulsory levy on insurance companies to fund fire fighting assets on the understanding that they are used to defend ‘the insurers interests’. That wasn’t the case here. Protecting an isolated island in the middle of a NP could not remotely be sold as contributing to the protection of insured assets.

    Who knows which bucket of money was used for the protection of the trees, annual allocations are made for various activities. Levies and taxes all go into consolidated revenue in any case. For example, fuel levies/taxes/rates are supposed to fund roads, but only a small percentage actually goes into roads maintenance. Councils are the worst when it comes to this.

    Many are making a mountain out of a mole hill over this issue, when it’s most likely that it was nothing more than a blip on the radar of the overall situation. As I said, all this finger pointing is no different to what the warming worriers are doing with this fires. Level heads have disappeared, especially on a forum supposedly dedicated to level heads.

    As for what hasn’t been done. In the links I posted I’ve gone into a lot of detail stating that there’s been almost criminal negligence by the states and councils when it comes to these fires. For years I’ve been pointing out the impending disasters that Greens policies are creating. But what’s going on in this thread is a fire storm of itself over a minuscule incident that may have no inherent monetary value, but may have significant other value. People can’t see the forest for the trees.

  150. calli

    Sometimes, it just gets too personal.

    My son in law was up fighting the Gospers fire. I would hate to think his crew was robbed of resources because of the scramble to save the trees.

    I understand bemused’s position perfectly, and agree up to a point. It all boils down to stable doors and horses bolting.

  151. dd

    Putting the should/should not argument aside for a while I am greatly encouraged that the NPWS recognized they had a responsibility to the parks they “manage” and did something proactive. If the effort did not cause them too much distress they might take action to significantly reduce the likelihood of the next round of bush fire and ensure NO wildfire escapes their parks again. Sorry, that should read “our parks that they are entrusted to manage.”

  152. Somewhat odd they didn’t think to expend these resources on the Gosper’s fire when it first kicked off.

    Almost as if they wanted the burn (it’s natural), then it got a little or of control.

    Doubt if NPWS “wanted it to burn”. Seems to me to just be part of their reluctance to allow a back burn in the super dry conditions. There is a clear division amongst the players – RFS hierarchy, RFS local brigades & NPWS. The locals are infuriated with the lack of trust by officialdom (both RFS hierarchy & NPWS) in their local knowledge & expertise.

    In the case of the Wollemi & the Capertee Valley the delay caused by official indecision was costly.

  153. By the way – just to show how complex these issues are:

    NPWS does actually do hazard reduction on occasions in the Wollemi & in neighbouring Garden of Stones NP. In fact, I understand that a hazard reduction was done in the Wollemi near GlenDavis about a year ago. In fact, this area burned away quite happily a few weeks ago, despite it this effort.

    The problem is that the conditions were extraordinary. Anyone who travels through these areas will have remarked upon the collapse of all undergrowth, dieback of nearly all saplings & some mature trees, and dropping of leaves onto the forest floor. You can now virtually see for considerable distances into the bush & up mountain slopes.

  154. Tim Neilson

    The worship of material possessions is as bad as Gaia worship.

    bemused, people who don’t want their homes to burn down aren’t worshipping material possessions.

    This may sound flippant but, if you can’t have any empathy for real life people in this situation, watch “The Castle”.

  155. John of Mel

    The rescue mission involved water-bombing aircraft and large air tankers dropping fire retardant.

    You know what would be really funny (or tragic, depending on your point of view)? If those pines reacted badly to the fire retardant and died as a result of the effort to save them.

  156. Alex Davidson

    Many are making a mountain out of a mole hill over this issue, when it’s most likely that it was nothing more than a blip on the radar of the overall situation.

    I don’t agree that reaction on this thread is making a mountain out of a molehill. In Australia, as far as anything related to ‘the found state of nature’ is concerned, molehills have a bad habit of spreading and very quickly turning into yet more alleged ‘justification’ for restricting individual freedom and property rights. They need to be nipped in the bud.

    Those who value Wollemi pines should be free to use their own resources to show they care, but not at the expense of others who wish to put their own limited resources towards things they value more highly. While in isolation this particular loss of choice may seem like a blip, multiply it thousands of times and you end up with where we are now, well down the road to serfdom.

    We need to remind ourselves that value is subjective, and if we want to live in a free society, we should not encourage the government to impose the valuations of some upon others.

  157. This may sound flippant but, if you can’t have any empathy for real life people in this situation,

    I have empathy towards those who have suffered, but people are making out as if this incident has caused untold misery and death. It’s the same hyperbole used by the Greens.

    We need to remind ourselves that value is subjective, and if we want to live in a free society, we should not encourage the government to impose the valuations of some upon others.

    And how many of those affected by bushfires could claim that they weren’t looked after over others? Also, if we live in a free society, we should not expect government to come to someone’s aid every time the individual fails. That leads to more government intervention.

  158. Leo G

    In the case of the Wollemi & the Capertee Valley the delay caused by official indecision was costly.

    The Wollemi Pines grove was not at risk from the Gospers fire. The Grove is in the Widden Brook catchment of the Hunter Valley and was possibly at risk from the Nullo Mountain fire- although the RFS even had that fire some distance from the grove.
    Earlier in the thread, I suggested that the burnt area immediately surrounding the grove and shown in published aerial photos may have been entirely the outcome of a hazard reduction operation specifically aimed at protecting the stand of Wollemi Pines.

  159. AlanR

    Hi Bemused, welcome to the world where extreme right wing zealots view everything through the prism of the dollar. I would have thought you had worked that out by now. Cheers

  160. Hi Bemused, welcome to the world where extreme right wing zealots view everything through the prism of the dollar. I would have thought you had worked that out by now. Cheers

    I’ve known for some time that there are posters here that are as radical in their own ideals as are those of the radical Left. I am as quick to judge governments for their foolish actions, especially when it comes to climate change idiocy, as the next person and do so frequently.

    That said, it’s ironic how some of the criticisms here border on the hypocritical, given the ‘small’ government philosophy so often espoused by some of the very same vocal posters. Does small government only apply when it suits the argument? Does individual responsibility only apply when it suits the argument?

    I most certainly believe in giving aid to those now dispossessed of their homes and potentially livelihoods, up to a point. Will the millions now being collected to aid those people going to disappear like did the millions collected after the 2009 fires?

  161. old bloke

    C.L.
    #3294440, posted on January 16, 2020 at 6:16 pm

    Norfolks are in my top three favourite trees.

    Tingle Trees, found around Walpole, W.A., are my favourite as they also serve as carports.

  162. Mater

    Hi Bemused, welcome to the world where extreme right wing zealots view everything through the prism of the dollar. I would have thought you had worked that out by now. Cheers

    Hi Alan! Welcome back. Same old shtick I see.

    AlanR
    #2413082, posted on June 15, 2017 at 9:29 am
    Upon reading the comments here it becomes bleedingly obvious that you right wing zealots are just as crazy as the left wing loonies you abhor.

    AlanR
    #2512316, posted on October 2, 2017 at 11:19 am
    Thank you [email protected] – the only sensible and tasteful response to an unfortunate incident in a sea of distasteful and goulish reactions from a bunch of right wing zealots just as ugly and repugnant as the loonie lefties they despise.

    AlanR
    #2888709, posted on December 19, 2018 at 9:47 am
    Boambee John, a tad precious me thinks taking offence at the use of the term ‘denier’ when insults are bandied about with gay abandon on this site by right wing zealots. The thing that many contributors here don’t seem capable of understanding is that they are exactly the same as those they claim to despise.

  163. old bloke

    calli
    #3294333, posted on January 16, 2020 at 4:33 pm

    As such, the plants could be as old as 100,000 years, Professor Brack said.

    Breathtakingly sloppy.

    Sloppy indeed Calli. The oldest surviving individual* trees found anywhere in the world, including Australia, are around 4,500 to 5,000 years old (which, coincidentally, ties in with the time of the Biblical great deluge.)

    *some trees which clone themselves by growing new shoots from a common root system may be older, but it’s the root system which is old, not the trees.

  164. AlanR

    Hi Mater, well looking back over the years it’s obvious that my observations then still hold true today.

    I agree with you Bemused, I too wonder where all the donated money will end up. Let’s be optimistic and trust it goes to those in most need.

  165. Tim Neilson

    Does small government only apply when it suits the argument? Does individual responsibility only apply when it suits the argument?

    I don’t think the logic holds, bemused.

    The government had already spent a shedload on the hardware and on the firefighting force.

    So it isn’t arguing for “big government” to argue that, once the resources were there, they should be used for the benefit of people who have (involuntarily) paid for them.

    As for “individual responsibility”, if the government had said all along “we’re not going to tax you to pay for firefighting – it’s up to you to use your money to protect yourselves and your homes as you see fit” that would be one thing.
    But they didn’t – they said “give us your money, because we politicians are the rugged manly butch heroes who’ll deploy helicopters and aircraft to fight fires”. In the circumstances there’s nothing unreasonable in taxpayers expressing a view on whether those resources were used competently or not.

  166. Tim Neilson

    AlanR
    #3295095, posted on January 17, 2020 at 12:40 pm

    This is exactly correct! Wanting people not to die is so right wing!
    You KNOW it makes sense!!!!

  167. Mater

    welcome to the world where extreme right wing zealots view everything through the prism of the dollar. I would have thought you had worked that out by now

    Tell me, Alan, do you know if anyone’s home was burning to the ground whilst this ‘rescue’ operation was underway? Did anyone loose all they own, including irreplaceable family photos, heirlooms and memorabilia? Were any firefighters at risk of being overwhelmed and killed?

    I don’t know, and I dare say that you don’t either. However, whichever side of the discussion people take, neither opinion puts the dollar foremost, and one leans towards the potential preservation of human life. It really is a value judgement, the potential loss of irreplaceable trees (which have survived such fires for eons) or the loss of equally irreplaceable personal items. The difference is, the trees didn’t pay for protection, the people did.

    If the rescues didn’t take away from efforts elsewhere, then I have no particular problem with it. If it did, I wouldn’t have chosen that route. Regardless, It’s likely we’ll never know, now that both the location AND TIMINGS are apparently now secret…for some reason. I wonder why?

  168. The Wollemi Pines grove was not at risk from the Gospers fire.

    I am not suggesting any risk in relation to the pines – indeed, the apparent indecisiveness of the NPWS re the prospect of a back burning operation had nothing to do with the pines. You would have to ask the NPWS why they were reluctant to agree to back burning adjacent to Glen Davis.

    What I am saying is that the delay in a proactive response to the nascent Gospers Fire almost certainly contributed to the its eventual threat to Glen Davis & its spread southeast (into the Wolgan Valley) and west towards Glen Alice.west towards Glen Alice

  169. Tim Neilson
    #3295126, posted on January 17, 2020 at 1:07 pm

    Are you’re suggesting that none of the money collected via fire services levies etc have gone into fighting these fires and protecting life and property? It’s very disingenuous to argue that because people pay a fire levy that government must therefore focus all efforts on just people’s personal property.

    Governments collect fire services levies and other taxes to be used to provide for, maintain and protect all the things that are within their remit. My comment about small government is that many people here are regularly calling for personal responsibility and disdain government interference. Should government be responsible for people’s personal property? Be careful for what you wish.

  170. DD

    When government denies you the right and responsibility to take prudent steps to protect your property through clearing highly combustible material that surrounds your property they have adopted that responsibility to themselves. I do not know if that is a legal liability but it is certainly morally and ethically theirs.

  171. When government denies you the right and responsibility to take prudent steps to protect your property…

    I absolutely agree that people should be allowed to clear their own land in order to protect their property. But it’s councils that are the ones who don’t permit clearing of land, certainly in Victoristan. And who runs every council in Victoristan (as far as I’m aware)? Labor and Greens.

  172. Mater

    But it’s councils that are the ones who don’t permit clearing of land, certainly in Victoristan.

    Comes down from the State, is honed by the councils.

    https://www.environment.vic.gov.au/__data/assets/word_doc/0020/51815/1030-Rule,-1050-Rule-and-fence-line-clearing-factsheet-Frequently-Asked-Questions-.docx

  173. Comes down from the State, is honed by the councils.

    Yes indeed, the state creates the broad rules, but councils then go above and beyond their duty in order to go above and beyond the rules. The Greener the council, the more draconian the rules.

  174. Knuckle Dragger

    Much like last night, it seems.

    It’s only a house. It’s only a shed or car. It’s all about the dollar.

    At the risk of speaking for others, I will assert that not a single person who had his home burned, his 30 years or more of savings vaporised, his livelihood ruined or irreplaceable heirlooms destroyed say, ‘Well, thank God the Wollemi pines were saved.’

    I also note that no-one has yet volunteered the sentiment that they would sacrifice their own possessions and/or life for Big Trees, of which there are hundreds of thousands potentially set to join them in the fullness of time.

  175. Knuckle Dragger

    I’ll tell you now, if I’d lost any property because of this rank idiocy, I’d demand the NSW Government rebuild it.

    With Wollemi pine.

  176. Fleeced

    We could probably find the location using Google Maps… Some people (not me) are good at investigating this sort of thing.

  177. Leo G

    We could probably find the location using Google Maps… Some people (not me) are good at investigating this sort of thing.

    The Minister apparently ordered the release of aerial photos. The general location has been discussed on the thread. Match the published image to the Google Earth image zoomed to 2km across the screen. It’s not hard to locate.

  178. The Minister apparently ordered the release of aerial photos. The general location has been discussed on the thread. Match the published image to the Google Earth image zoomed to 2km across the screen. It’s not hard to locate.

    LOL

    Is it a crime to mention the location?

    If so, bloody ridiculous. The damned things are for sale in bloody England.

  179. Leo G

    Is it a crime to mention the location?

    It was a criminal offence until the Minister disclosed the location.
    The 2007 Critical Habitat Declaration, pursuant to s.44 and 47 of the Threatened Species Conservation Act of 1995, still applied at the time of the aerial photo publication.
    I expect now that the Minister has disclosed the identified area, the Wollemi Pine Recovery Team will decide that the threats of unauthorised visitation has reached a significant level and that release of information about the location is necessary for the continued protection of wild pines.

  180. classical_hero

    Remember when Chris Judd got fined for clearing land. That’s the idiocy we’re up against.

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