Cassy O'Connor MP to move—
That the House:—
(1) Recognises that fires caused by dry lightning strikes are increasing exponentially as a result of climate change.
(2) Notes the devastation caused by bushfires over the past summer.
(3) Acknowledges with great sadness that the January 2016 fires burned more than 20,000 hectares of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area and destroyed irreplaceable Gondwanan plant species.
(4) Understands that under the Liberal Government, Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife staff with remote firefighting capacity have been cut from 19 FTEs to 10 over the past two years, and that a single Parks and Wildlife employee is responsible for fire prevention for the entire North West region including the Tarkine, Narawntapu, the West Coast and Cradle Mountain area.
(5) Further recognises that experienced seasonal Parks and Wildlife firefighters who played a key role on the ground over summer were all laid off on 18 May 2016.
(6) Further notes that these firefighters did receive a commemorative pin from the Hodgman Government for their efforts in battling the bushfires.
(7) Agrees that:—
(a) strategic fuel reduction operations will only be effective if an experienced and dedicated workforce is in place to undertake the work; and
(b) the Parks and Wildlife Service is a critical element of effective fuel reduction in Tasmania.
(8) Calls on the Hodgman Government to properly fund the Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife Service, enabling it to retain its experienced remote firefighters and to undertake effective fire management planning and operations throughout the year in the lead up to the fire season.