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Parks – Fire Management

Cassy O'Connor MP

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Thursday, 9 June 2022

Tags: Parks, Fire Management

Ms O'CONNOR - Minister, is there a fire management officer in place for the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area? I understand that there is no fire ecologist position yet in place for the whole of the Parks' fire program - or broader fuel reduction program for that matter. While your advisers are looking for information, you would agree, I hope, that it is very desirable to have a fire management officer for the TWWHA in place as well as a fire ecologist.

Mrs PETRUSMA - I know the Government invests a lot of money into fire management in the TWWHA but in regards to -

Ms O'CONNOR - It is about the specialist expertise.

Mr JACOBI - Through the minister -

Ms O'CONNOR - With respect, Mr Jacobi, you were not yet given the call.

Mrs PETRUSMA - I did give him the call.

Ms O'CONNOR - Did you? I apologise then, I didn't hear that.

Mr JACOBI - Through the minister, we have a number of fire management officers across the state and those fire management officers are specialised at their particular role. Some of them have different areas of speciality and experience. We don't have a dedicated person who is appointed as a qualified ecologist to deliver on fire management. I think it would be reasonable and fair to say that we draw on the expertise of the Natural and Cultural Values Division in the department. We have people with substantial experience, like Steve Lennon, who routinely advise the fire management officers on planned burns, on protection plans and so on.

To answer your question, whilst the Parks and Wildlife Service, doesn't have a dedicated ecologist position, we have plenty of people across the department who support the work that we do.

Mrs PETRUSMA - We do have a dedicated TWWHA fire management officer who has been recruited to the project. The federal government, through the Australian Heritage Grants Program, is funding contributions towards it and this includes reserves, values, protection planning and planned burn scheduling. This work undertaken on the project to date is focused on the development of the reserved value protection plans for high value catastrophic consequence fire in the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area.

This included reviewing the PWS fire management planning processes to ensure that the development of any new plans can be incorporated into the PWS planning framework, developing a template for the reserve value protection plans and conducting a spatial analysis review of the values in the TWWHA and identifying specific priority values and clusters of values to prioritise areas for planned development.

Under the $500 000 grant from the fuel reduction program, we employ two dedicated TWWHA fire operations officers in the PWS and also support planned burning operations in the TWWHA.