News State NSW News Surveillance camera to monitor Warrumbungle fires

Surveillance camera to monitor Warrumbungle fires

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There are plans to install a camera at Siding Spring Observatory near Coonabarabran to monitor potential bushfires.

Plans for the surveillance camera are a result of a ‘Lessons Learned’ workshop involving a number of authorities, after January’s bushfire in the Warrumbungle National Park.

The 30 thousand dollar camera will be installed on a 15 metre pole at the site, under a partnership between Australian National University, the Australian Astronomical Observatory and the Rural Fire Service.

ANU spokesman Matt Smith says it is a small outlay to offer some protection for the infrastructure at the Observatory.

“It’s not an insignificant investment when you look at the assets on top of the Siding Spring mountain,” he said.

“It pales into insignificance when you look at all those costs, the value of equipment and research being done on the mountain.”

However, he says it is difficult to tell whether a surveillance camera would have prevented buildings being damaged in January’s bushfire.

While the observatory’s main building was saved, several others were damaged in January’s blaze.

Mr Smith says the camera will add an extra layer of security though in preparing for fires.

“It’s one part of the tools and the armoury to prepare oneself for that but we could see from the highest point on the mountain there.

“We were monitoring for some 24 plus hours the fire front coming through so this will certainly go a way to assisting in the future.

“Whether it would have prevented what would have happened I can’t really comment but it will certainly assist us in preparedness and so forth.”