Keep real time fire tracking tool funded: pollies


Sir – We are writing to strongly urge that the Morrison Government provides funding security to Charles Darwin University for their North Australia Fire Information (NAFI) website.
It serves as a “real time” fire tracking tool for the land managers of Northern Australia, providing satellite maps of active fires and comprehensive information on fire history across the north.
The NAFI website is free and freely available to all in the community.
It is supported by a broad coalition of Northern Australians, including Indigenous Ranger groups, carbon farming and emissions reduction programs and the cattle industry.
It has become such a crucial part of fire management in Northern Australia that Mr Troy Setter, Chief Executive of CPC, one of Australia’s largest cattle companies, said the cattle industry would be “totally lost without it”.
At $750,000 a year to run, the benefits of the NAFI far outweigh the cost.
Despite this, the NAFI has received no assurance of ongoing funding past June 2020.
After the devastation of the 2019-20 bushfire season, now is not the time to be leaving funding for fire management programs in the lurch.
Murray Watt, Shadow Minister for Northern Australia
Warren Snowdon MP (above) Shadow Assistant Minister for Northern Australia, MHR for Lingiari
Senator Pat Dodson Shadow Assistant Minister for Reconciliation
Luke Gosling OAM MP Member for Solomon
Senator Malarndirri McCarthy (top right) Labor Senator for the Northern Territory
Senator Nita Green Labor Senator for Queensland


  1. Are you kidding? Seldom Seen Snowdon and the former newsreader locked down safe in Canberra? Waste of space in your newspaper.

  2. The NAFI website is of enormous benefit and a highly valued service across a huge area of Australia; and it’s surely an extraordinary return on the taxpayers’ dollar for what, in the overall scheme of things, is a small expense.
    It’s unsurprising that funding uncertainty for the continuation of NAFI is provoking widespread, considerable concern, as reported recently on the NT Country Hour.
    I wonder why $750,000 cannot be assured for the CDU to continue to operate the NAFI website but there’s no problem finding $225m to proceed with the construction of a new campus for the CDU in the “Education Precinct” in Darwin’s CBD; and which also dips into the $200m for the “Darwin City Deal” for the massively taxpayer-funded revitalisation of Darwin’s CBD?
    That’s upward of half a billion dollars just for Darwin’s CBD, never mind the rest of us in the Territory or north Australia as a whole.
    Seems to me our elected representatives and senior academic personnel need to take a long hard look at their priorities.


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