Les MucKan
Les MucKan

Les wants to burn off on foreshore

HERVEY Bay’s Esplanade foreshore should be burned in the traditional aboriginal fire management practice of thousands of years ago.

Councillor Les MucKan said yesterday he favoured “going back to the old aboriginal law of burning off to get rid of the underlying rubbish” along the foreshore.

“It may be that I’m way out there but then if you’re representing the Fraser Coast community – and that means everyone – then why not speak from your heart?”

Mr MucKan (pictured) said the ancient burn-off practice had been working for thousands of years before European settlers arrived.

“It works well so why just wipe it aside?”

There is at least one precedent for aboriginal burn-offs in 2010. Cape York elders are concerned conventional burn-offs are not controlling weeds and are speeding up extinction rates.

Locals are looking to develop a training program in the benefits of traditional burns. The elders want to prove that methods developed over thousands of years are far more effective than current burn-off practices.

In council’s meeting on Wednesday Mr MucKan moved that the Chronicle’s note to individual councillors asking them to give their views on cleaning up or not cleaning up the foreshore be ignored in favour of councillors discussing the Hervey Bay Foreshore Management Plan and then forming a single view. Yesterday Mr MucKan chose to speak out on the foreshore in spite of his motion being passed in the chamber.

“This earth is my mother and she gave birth to me. That’s the dreamtime story. She gave birth and one day she will take me back. I don’t want my mother running ’round like an old hag, looking dishevelled and her hair all over the place.

“I’d rather spend money on her and get in there and help her.

“But having said that we still need to get together and talk about the foreshore as a team and the acting mayor, Julie Arthur, will now schedule that discussion.”

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