Fire agencies ready for the upcoming bushfire season

5 November 2019|Bushfire awareness, Lifestyle| Off Comments off on Fire agencies ready for the upcoming bushfire season|

By Mark Shelton MP

Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Management, Minister for Local Government.


SINCE before human habitation, our landscape has been shaped by fire.

This means we must always be alert to the risk of fire in the landscape and how this might impact on homes, towns, infrastructure, business and heritage values.

Community safety is paramount.

The Tasmania Fire Service (TFS), as it does every year, is preparing for the upcoming fire season along with partner agencies the Parks and Wildlife Service and Sustainable Timber Tasmania.

We have a core capability of paid fire experts in each agency and our full fire response capability would not exist without our magnificent volunteer firefighters or the national arrangements where the Australian states and New Zealand help each other out when needed.

This framework is the most cost-effective way of responding to fires, which in one year may be minor, but in others, such as last summer, may be more challenging in size and duration.

The Hodgman majority Liberal Government’s $55 million nation leading fuel reduction program has reduced the fire risk across Tasmania.

Preparation doesn’t stop there, as every one of us has a role to play in preparing for each fire season.

I urge everyone to heed the expert advice of the TFS to prepare and practice bushfire survival plans and to prepare properties by removing flammable material from yards and gutters and know how you will access bushfire information.

It has taken a Liberal Government to implement a statewide fuel reduction program that is helping councils and landowners to keep Tasmanians safe.

Since coming to government, there have been more than 600 fuel reduction burns in targeted areas around Tasmania, backed up by research and modelling.

In the Hobart area, strategic burns have resulted in large relative risk reductions of between 50 per cent and 75 per cent in suburbs to the north, west and south.

Other significant risk reductions include a between 50 per cent and 75 per cent risk reduction in the Orford and Spring Bay area; 47 per cent on Flinders Island and 65 per cent at Conara.

We have seen real world examples of the effectiveness of the fuel reduction program.

The communities of Rossardern, St Marys, Scamander, Beaumaris and Zeehan have been spared disaster due to fuel reduction burns that allowed our firefighters to successfully tackle fires started by lightning.

The strong action to date has led to statewide relative risk falling to 83.3 per cent, which has us on track to achieve the state’s target of 80 per cent.

This is the lowest it has been in more than 15 years.

However, we must avoid complacency and we must approach every fire season with vigilance and resolve.

The Liberal Government will continue to back our fire agencies who do an outstanding job keeping Tasmanians safe.

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About the Author: Glenorchy Gazette

The Glenorchy Gazette is your monthly community newspaper, reaching over 24,000 homes and businesses in the Glenorchy municipality. It is the product of Nicolas Turner, Justine Brazil, Ben Hope, Simon Andrews, Tobias Hinds and guest contributors, with support from advertisers.

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