Australian Fires Survivor Was Fined For Culling Trees
When the state drags you to court and fines you for fire hazard reduction measures that later save your life.
There are many in this world who worship the cult of ‘experts’ or government, stubbornly insisting that they always know best, better than the people on the ground floor, and better than the people directly affected by the issue at hand. By itself such firm belief is not a problem (we all know people who really, really, really think they know) if we can choose to ignore them we can simply say – so what? But marry such people to the coercive machinery of the state and the choice is suddenly gone. Liam Sheahan, resident of Victoria, Australia, decided to clear trees and shrub around his home to create a break in case of a fire. For this act of common sense he was fined $50,000 for “illegally clearing trees” by his local council. But when the Black Saturday bush fire came and he, his family and home survived. Clearly, he was vindicated in his decision.
As the saying goes, it’s dangerous to be right when the government is wrong. We might add, it’s more dangerous to follow along with government when it is wrong.
What, then, about the countless others who, either believing in the rightness of the state and its experts, or afraid of the legal penalty associated with disobedience, took no such self-defensive action? Who in government will pay for such devastation and such loss of life? If clearing ground near your home to prevent spread of fire incurs a fine of $50,000, what fine will be levied against ‘experts’ and legislators who applied the coercive threat of law that restrained individuals from taking action that could have saved them, while doing nothing to prepare in their place?
We know the answer. No one material to these decisions will pay. There may be compensation perhaps, there may be ‘government assistance’, but these are all taxpayer funded. No ‘expert’ will pay, no legislator will pay, no councillor will pay, no executive will pay, and because there are no real consequences for being so wrong such people in ivory towers will continue to cause harm.
Liam Sheahan cleared trees and shrub within 100 metres of his home in the hills of central Victoria in 2002 to create a firebreak in case of a blaze. His was the only house to survive Black Saturday.
Source: Black Saturday survivor fined for culling trees backs hazard reduction
Image credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bush_fire_at_Captain_Creek_central_Queensland_Australia..JPG