This section investigates the links between northern and southern experiences and attitudes, and the institutions, policy and legal frameworks that have grown from them.

The experiences of fire in northern and southern Australia are different. These differences centre around:

  • differences in population density and infrastructure development, and the relative need for property protection
  • the degree of landscape fragmentation since the arrival of settler society
  • differences in climate, and ecological processes such as litter decomposition
  • the presence (or absence) of Aboriginal voices in the fire management discourse

Because much of the policy in northern Australia is based on experiences of landscapes in southern Australia, some argue that fire policy in northern Australian landscapes does not appear to adequately account for Indigenous perspectives on the use of fire.

Specifically this section considers how policy and legislation influence burning practices and outcomes on the ground, and discusses whether current fire and burning policies are appropriate for northern Australia.

To date there has been very little published analysis of fire policy in northern Australia. Readings will therefore focus on the little literature there is. You will be encouraged to form your own opinion on fire policy in northern Australia.

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