I was born in Tasmania. After working for some years on mainland Australia I returned to Tassie.....
One of the jobs I had was working for the Tasmanian Health Department for almost 15 years in charge of buildings, engineering and biomedical engineering at a district hospital. I enjoyed the challenge of being pro actively involved in or with almost every department in the hospital and my contact with hospital staff, doctors, patients and the community. I was on sole call 24/7 for all those years with no out of hours technical relief. The police even came looking for me at times when the pager didn't work.
During this time I additionally provided oxygen therapy equipment support to respiratory patients in their homes for CIG/BOC Gases.
Through my work, and successfully understanding and managing my own asthma, I
enjoyed offering equipment support to people with breathing difficulties. It troubles me
the Asthma Foundation of Tasmania on the other hand will not come out and demand planned
burns be stopped completely for all asthmatics. What are they playing at with people's
lives? Please refer to the Asthma Page.
Our Government knows the health dangers of forestry wood smoke exposure on the community (we all do) and yet they allow forestry to do what they like with no restrictions and assumed immunity.
Our environmental laws (which were passed to protect us from this very type of pollution) mean nothing when the Government deliberately won't uphold them, gives exemptions, or more often does nothing.
Today, people are forced to give up their healthy outdoor lifestyle during the
beautiful Autumn months while forestry smoke covers Tasmania. Our children are being
taught in schools to go outside and get more sun on them in the cooler months.
As a result of the forestry smoke this year (2008), I was admitted to the local
hospital's Accident and Emergency department on April 13 with chronic airflow limitation
about two weeks after the burns started (March 28) and after trying
unsuccessfully to manage my condition at home. I was being deliberately suffocated.
You know, before all this I was quite well, but this is exactly what "cost shifting" is. Forestry finds a cheap way of getting rid of their residue (rubbish) by burning it. Then Tasmanian's get known diseases like asthma, cardiovascular, diabetes and cancer from the smoke and so forestry's costs are shifted on to the State Health system, and it's people. My deliberately initiated ill health problems come at a cost to everyone. I have commenced a cost analysis for my health treatment as a result of planned burn smoke and I am led to believe the costs will rise greatly as a result of it, as time goes on.....and I am only one!
Every parent should be aware that their children are at risk from breathing this forestry smoke. The elderly, the sick, pollution levels are high enough to even affect healthy adults. We are all at risk. It is not just a matter of reducing the amount of forestry smoke, that just makes it more difficult to avoid by not being able to smell or see it, and the damage still persists silently and unseen in people until it is too late. There needs to be a complete ban on forestry planned burns, because there are other smokeless ways for them to get rid of their residue and other ways to reduce the build up of land fuel before a fire season. In actual fact planned burns are unnecessary.
Our government has had years to fix this. They don't need more time to look at the problem, they could pass a law tomorrow that completely stops smoky planned burns. The question has to be asked....why don't they when there are other cleaner methods available??
Hopefully, this educational resource may be of use to school children in their studies and to people who suffer lung or heart disease and are feeling sick, isolated and helpless with all this going on around them. To those of you lucky enough not to suffer a respiratory or heart condition at this point, please be aware that unfortunately in time you more than likely will as a result of todays 'best practices'. There is so much information to substantiate this fact on this website and it's in abundance on the internet.
I believe it is a basic human right to be able to breathe clean air and to go outside when you want to. I don't think anybody would disagree with that except the forest industries and our government. About 200Km to the West of where I live it is reported to have the cleanest air in the world. Forestry practices soon degrade this for all Tasmanians with their planned burns , but the sad point is they don't have to burn their rubbish, there are cleaner ways.
'Pyromania' is a desire to burn things.
When I met with Bob Knox from Forestry Tasmania I asked
him, "Do you think my death would have changed anything?" He said,
"No it wouldn't."
Then this followed on September 1, 2008....
E-mail any comments to
A big THANK YOU to all the people who have contacted me.
Clive M. Stott PN.