Upper Hunter MP Michael Johnsen takes aim at NSW Energy and Environment Minister Matt Kean

Upper Hunter MP Michael Johnsen says more needs to be done on the ground to reduce future bushfire threats through the reduction of fuel loads.
Upper Hunter MP Michael Johnsen says more needs to be done on the ground to reduce future bushfire threats through the reduction of fuel loads.

UPPER Hunter MP Michael Johnsen has criticized NSW Energy and Environment Minister Matt Kean over his assertion that climate change is exacerbating Australia's bushfire season.

The Nationals MP has made his voice loud and clear on the matter this week, denying the link and saying more needs to be done on the ground through the reduction of fuel loads.

"It's clear the government needs to expand the tools in the tool box of land management," he said.

"These tools include grazing, timber thinning and cool burning, in areas suited to certain types of hazard reduction techniques."

Last Thursday Mr Johnsen put forward a notice of motion to parliament urging the NSW government to amend any legislation and/or regulation in order to allow selective grazing and logging in all state owned parks for the purposes of hazard reduction.

He says he believes some of the advice provided to the minister on the issue is "not backed up by either evidence or practical experience" and has extended an invitation for him to come and visit the Upper Hunter electorate.

"I have an open invitation to the minister to come camping with me for a couple of days and let's ground truth the advice he is receiving from senior bureaucrats, when it comes to park management," Mr Johnsen said.

"I'll supply the swag.

"We have an opportunity to protect our people, property and environment, let's not waste it."

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