Australia had some of the worse bushfires ever in the summer of 2019/2020. Brisbane’s Wildheart have used their latest single ‘Backburner’ to call on the government to start listening and adopting the indigenous techniques used to care for the land. I spoke to Yugambeh man and vocalist Axel Best about the message the song carries.

This song was written after Australia bore witness to the worst bushfires we have ever seen. Backburner is about “the government’s continuous refusal to listen, learn and adopt indigenous techniques that were used for thousands of years to preserve and care for the land.”

Backburner sends out an important message that the government really doesn’t seem to be taking heed of. This technique is proven to work as it preserves and cares for the land. How as a country can we lend support to make the government listen to the indigenous people?

Attend our rallies, support our indigenous artists, continue to express to our government the change we all want and remember who was in charge last year when you next go to vote.

Can you explain the process and technique of back burning. I read that the controlled fires burn cooler than the ones used at present by the National Parks and Country Fire services.

They burn at a lower flame; they look for invasive weeds that aren’t from the area and they burn them out too. It’s safer for our wildlife because it burns slower. The information is out there and there are indigenous companies working with some rural fire brigades. We just need our government to step up and put the right resources into the right areas.

Moving forward if the government continues to ignore the advice from Indigenous Australian’s what do you see happening? The fires that we have had over the past few years seem to be getting bigger and more deadly.

Unfortunately I think the fires are only going to get worst, and the extinction of animals is going to grow.

The beginning of your music video has Bruce Shillingworth’s highly powerful and passionate attack on the government regarding their actions and the consequences around the mismanagement of our river systems. Do you think that the rivers will ever recover?

Only by letting the original land owners take care of their land and by stopping people selling our waterways could we ever start to see a change.

Do you have any hope that maybe one day the government will listen?

I think one day the right government will listen. But not necessarily this one.



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