Mayor says region needs more water to fight fires
TENTERFIELD Shire mayor Peter Petty said he appreciated the support Barnaby Joyce has given his shire, following the politician's calls for more fire fighting infrastructure.
Federal member for New England Barnaby Joyce visited Tenterfield on Saturday, after the shire was affected by severe bush fires in Tenterfield and Drake, which destroyed more than 46,224ha since Friday.
In a video posted to social media, Mr Joyce said he believes Tenterfield needs to have better access to water storage to face future bush fires.
"We have been using town water to put out bush fires. You have to do that, but if we have more water storage it means it's not such a scarce resource," he said.
"I've been on the fire ground in Tenterfield where I listened to emergency services, evacuees, residents and Tenterfield mayor Peter Petty, and then conveyed their concerns to Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack and Minister David Littleproud."
Cr Petty said he appreciates Mr Joyce's support, especially on an issue Tenterfield Shire Council has been fighting for since fires devastated the shire earlier this year in February.
"We really appreciate Barnaby's support on this issue," he said.
"Council has been really proactive in trying to find a solution for this problem and these ongoing fires have just shown how necessary it really is."
Following the February fires, Tenterfield Shire Council resolved to write to the shire's federal and state members surrounding a motion to try and reduce the risk of bush fire.
Cr Petty said the aim of the council motion was to request NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service, NSW Forestry Corporation, and Local Land Services to undertake an increased level of park and forest fire management activities, including increased hazard reduction burns and increased numbers of dams and water infrastructure points for fire fighting purposes.
He said the council also presented the motion at the recent National General Assembly of Councils in Canberra.
Cr Petty said although he was "underwhelmed" by the response the state minister for Energy and Environment offered the council, he said the council would continue the fight to help reduce the threat of bush fire risk both for its own residents, as well as right across the state.
He said the council would be re-submitting the motion to the NSW Local Government Conference in Sydney next month.