You are here

Bushfire Management - Review and Recommendations

9 April 2019
Rosalie Woodruff MP

Dr WOODRUFF question to MINISTER FOR THE ENVIRONMENT, Ms ARCHER 

Tasmanians have just endured a frightening and exhausting summer fighting 
massive bushfires. We have lost 6 per cent of our globally significant 
world heritage areas. We nearly lost several whole towns and communities. 
An El Niño is predicted for next summer and it is likely to make the 
summer of 2020 even hotter and drier than the last one we have endured. 

The planet is staggering dangerously close to an uncontrollable climate 
tipping point. Despite this the minister's federal Liberal colleague, 
Josh Frydenberg, delivered a budget that denies the reality of climate 
change and the science that describes it. He talks about droughts and 
fires like they are an act of God. He has put no extra money at all into 
bushfire preparation or response to help protect the Tasmanian Wilderness 
World Heritage Area or Tasmanian communities.

Will you call out your federal colleagues for their failure to recognise 
the severe threat of climate change and to coordinate a national response 
to the increasing number of disasters that our volatile climate will bring?

ANSWER

Madam Speaker, I thank the member for her question. I was ensuring that I 
had all the information available because this Government has done a lot 
in relation to bushfire preparation in a number of different ways. In the 
last session of parliament, I believe it was the Premier who addressed the 
House in question time about all the initiatives we have put into not only 
bushfire preparation but in relation to the last set of bushfires and the 
review that occurred and all the recommendations that have been 
implemented.

Dr Woodruff - You have no action on climate change.

Ms ARCHER - The member correctly addressed me as the Minister for the 
Environment - but the member took her time to realise I am the minister 
responsible for the Office of Climate Change within the Tasmanian 
Government, which sits in the Department of Premier and Cabinet, so it is 
my portfolio responsibility. We are doing a lot in relation to climate 
change -

Ms O'Connor - What are you doing? You want to log the high 
conservationvalue forests.

Ms ARCHER - If the members would like to hear my response I am quite 
prepared to say that since late 2018 we know that lightning strikes have 
ignited a number of bushfires causing damage to the TWWHA. This follows 
the significant bushfire events that we saw in 2013 and 2016, which also 
caused extensive damage to the TWWHA. We acknowledge that. That is why 
the Tasmanian Government is committed to protecting our wilderness world 
heritage area and we have made substantial investments in developing 
strategies, systems and tools for managing bushfire risk in that region. 
Following the fires that threatened the TWWHA in 2016 our Government 
committed $250 000 to the TWWHA bushfire and climate change research 
program.