Experienced voices must be heard about airstrip

EDITORIAL: It is to be hoped that firefighters' concerns about a planned airstrip at Sunshine Acres will be well heard by all officials.

That is not to say the airstrip should not go ahead, but rather that the needs of the firefighters must be met.

A fire appliance that relies on its own water supply is vulnerable on many levels.

A tank of water disappears incredibly quickly when you are trying to knock down a fire to stop it getting away.

When that happens, not only can the fire get away quickly, but fire-fighters themselves can be left at risk.

Wise heads in the fire service understand the need to conserve their precious water resource while addressing the need to attack hard and fast.

And it's those wise heads that should be listened to.

Bureaucrats in offices should never be allowed to make final decisions at the expense of those who are on the ground.

They are the local people who know the harsh realities of unexpected wind changes, difficult access and how far they will have to travel to water when their tank runs low.

If they are concerned about this airstrip, we all should be.

If their concerns are met and adequate resources are supplied, the potential outcomes in the event of a catastrophe will significantly change for the better.

Topics:  airport development editorial john parker rural firefighters

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