Sparking Conversations about summer bushfire safety

10 November 2022|Community News| Off Comments off on Sparking Conversations about summer bushfire safety|

A NEW project partnership between the four Greater Hobart councils and the Federal Government aims to build resilient communities by equipping them with the tools they need to prepare for bushfires this summer.

A joint initiative of the Glenorchy, Hobart, Kingborough and Clarence councils, the ‘Sparking Conversations, Igniting Action’ project will target 12 different neighbourhoods based on demographic and bushfire risk profiles in a real-life experiment to find out what stops people from preparing their homes for bushfire, and how councils can help people and communities overcome these obstacles.

Project officers will work directly with each of the 12 targeted neighbourhoods creating bushfire risk demonstration sites, holding local listening posts and giving free household bushfire risk assessments.

The project received grant funding from the Australian Government. Assistant Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Tasmanian Senator Carol Brown, said Hobart is incredibly vulnerable to bushfires, with many locals still having memories of the tragic 1967 fires.

“Natural disasters cost the Australian economy $18.2 billion per year, and the cost is forecast to rise to $39 billion per year by 2050,” she said.

“This increase is without consideration given to the rise in frequency and intensity of weather events we will see in coming years due to climate change.

“Through this investment, communities will be better prepared for future bushfires; with individual households having strategies in place to mitigate the risks of bushfires to their homes and families.”

Research shows that in many cases simple steps can improve the chances of a house surviving a bushfire, including removing flammable material in direct contact with a house, removing flammable material that will generate radiant heat, and plugging gaps to stop fire embers entering roof spaces or confined areas and igniting a house from within.

Glenorchy Mayor Bec Thomas said with current challenges and summer just around the corner, there was no time to delay when addressing these issues.

“The threat of bushfire continues to increase as our climate changes and our cities grow,” she said.

“There is just too much at risk not to have these conversations with your loved ones, your neighbours and your community.”

Hobart Lord Mayor Anna Reynolds said project officers would also engage with the wider community through community events.

“We want to build a greater sense of responsibility around bushfire protection at the community and neighbourhood level, because it takes a community to protect a community from bushfire,” she said.

“For many people the thought of getting their property bushfire-ready can be overwhelming. Others fear the expense or that they might have to radically alter their cherished garden.”

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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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