Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens Fire and Emergency Management spokesperson
Yesterday’s Australian Seasonal Bushfire Outlook has confirmed the worst fears for the East Coast of Tasmania, with ground conditions already above normal fire potential.
The AFAC Review of last summer’s bushfires identified fuel reduction burning by private landowners as a valuable contribution to risk reduction, in addition to that conducted by government agencies.
Despite this warning and the AFAC Review, there is no extra resourcing in the Liberals' Budget for the advance protection residents need. Tasmania Fire Service need an additional investment in expert support for fuel reduction and education to protect East Coast communities.
Global heating and low rainfall this winter have meant the East Coast is tinderbox dry, with a bushfire at Dolphin Sands only months ago. Landowners should have support and expertise from TFS, including additional personnel to undertake planned fuel reduction burning safely.
The Hodgman Government did not declare a fire permit period on the East Coast, nor have they provided extra resources to properly support residents as they prepare for the fire season ahead. This inaction is putting those people and landscapes at risk.
The Liberals can’t bury their head in the sand about Tasmania’s bushfire risk any longer. They must provide the resources to protect communities, to do otherwise is putting people in danger this fire season.