Time for a Coronial Inquest

Time for a Coronial Inquest


Opinion
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It is time for a Coronial Inquest into the Sir Ivan fire, writes NSW Farmers’ president Derek Schoen.

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At the NSW Farmers' annual conference in July, members passed a motion to push for a Coronial Inquest into the Sir Ivan Bushfire, which tore through 55,000 hectares of farming land in the central west in February. 

The communities of Dunedoo, Leadville, Coolah and Cassilis were greatly impacted, with more than 5000 head of sheep and cattle destroyed and vital agricultural infrastructure incinerated.

In light of this, the NSW Farmers is relieved and grateful that no lives were lost in this devastating fire, however, the blaze continues to cause a lot of angst and distress for our members, and for the wider communities that were impacted.

For that reason, the NSW Farmers is progressing its call for a Coronial Inquest into the Sir Ivan bush fire.

A Coronial Inquest will enable an extensive investigation into the causes of, the preparation for, the response to, and the impact of the fire.

Furthermore, NSW Farmers believes a Coronial Inquest into the Sir Ivan Bushfire would help identify any communication breakdowns that may have played a part in the blaze. It would also give the people who were affected by the bushfire an opportunity to put their story forward and to have their questions answered in a public forum. 

Farmers form the backbone of the volunteer base of the Rural Fire Service. Many of our members have proud and long records of protecting their community from bushfires, and the management of bushfires across NSW remains a priority for NSW Farmers. While we greatly value our bushfire brigades, we are concerned by what appears to have been a lack of communication in the fire zone between the upper levels of the RFS and those who were on the ground, fighting the blaze. NSW Farmers believes an inquiry would be beneficial for all those involved to gain answers and more importantly, closure.

- NSW Farmers’ president Derek Schoen

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