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NSW Farmers calls for Coronial Inquiry into Sir Ivan Bushfire

NSW Farmers' Association will push for a Coronial Inquiry into the Sir Ivan Bushfire after a motion was passed at Annual Conference in Sydney this month.

The February bushfire burnt through 55 thousand hectares of farming land in the central west, destroying more than five thousand head of sheep and cattle and damaging vital agricultural infrastructure.

NSW Farmers' Rural Affairs Committee Chair, Sonia O'Keefe said a Coronial Inquiry into the Sir Ivan Bushfire would help identify any communication breakdowns that may have played a part in the blaze.

"A Coronial Inquiry would give the people who were affected by the bushfire an opportunity to put their story forward and to get their questions answered in a public forum. 

"The fire has caused a lot of angst and distress for our members who were impacted and they believe there was inadequate communication between the Rural Fire Service (RFS) senior leadership team and those on the fire front.

"Our calls for a coronial inquiry are not a reflection on the great work of the men and women who were on the ground fighting the fire. 

"We value our bushfire brigades and the Association believes an inquiry would be beneficial for the management of future fires. 

"Dialogue between stakeholders and the RFS could improve and we'd like to see the RFS doing more to reach out to farmers," Ms O'Keefe said. 

At the NSW Farmers' Annual Conference, delegates also passed another motion to vigorously pursue with the Rural Fire Service shortcomings in the management of bushfires. 

"This motion is designed to look at issues including the deployment and most efficient use of RFS units during the fire, the lack of official RFS support for local land managers fighting the fire and a lack of local command posts to have direct contact with Fire Control HQ," Ms O'Keefe said.

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