Baillieu/Ryan Government To Meet 5% Of Public Land Bushfire Target

Baillieu/Ryan Government To Meet 5% Of Public Land Bushfire Target

Victoria Shadow Minister for Bushfire Response Peter Ryan

Coalition To Make Bushfire Prevention A Priority And Reduce Fuel Loads

Victor P Taffa

The Victorian Liberal Nationals Coalition will make bushfire prevention a year-round role of government, tripling prescribed burns within four years and restoring common sense to native vegetation requirements.

Shadow Minister for Bushfire Response and Leader of The Nationals Peter Ryan said the Bushfires Royal Commission’s recommendations would be met under a Coalition Government as he announced a land management and bushfire prevention package worth $410.6 Million.

“Fuel reduction burning is not a panacea, but it is the main tool we have to prevent extreme bushfires that wipe out everything in their path.” Mr. Ryan said.

 

 

“The Coalition has long been committed to a tripling of preventative burning in Victoria and putting an end to Labor’s neglect of the Public Estate.”

“That’s why we’re providing $403.8 Million to initially double, then triple fuel reduction burning on public land and improve the management of fuel loads on Victorian roadsides.”

“We will reach the 5% of Public Land Target that was recommended by the Bushfires Royal Commission by 2014, whereas Labor is putting off this important task for another six years.” Mr. Ryan said.

“In line with the Royal Commission’s recommendations, we will identify 390,000 hectares as a rolling target, ensuring any annual shortfalls are made up in subsequent years.”

“We will also create a five year rolling fund to ensure unused allocations of funds for fuel reduction are used in future years, continue to report performance against prescribed burning targets in terms of area treated, and monitor the impacts of burns on biodiversity.”

“Only the Coalition is committed to making prescribed burning a priority and protecting Victorian communities and flora and fauna from the wholesale destruction wrought when fire takes hold on public land where fuel loads have been left to accumulate.” Mr. Ryan said.

Mr. Ryan said the Coalition would also provide certainty to those who own property adjoining public land, by implementing a clear and consistent bushfire fencing policy.

“Bushfire survivors have enough to worry about without having to wrangle with the prospect of paying the full cost of replacing a fence bordering public land after a fire.” Mr. Ryan said.

“That’s why we will move in government to establish a clear framework for meeting half the cost of materials to replace or repair fencing between private land and all national parks, state parks and state forests, when that fencing is destroyed by bushfire.”

Mr. Ryan said the Coalition would also restore common sense to native vegetation requirements, allowing $6.8 Million to overhaul the current requirements to ensure a practical but responsible approach to applications to mitigate bushfire risk.

“The Bushfires Royal Commission recommended that planning provisions be amended to provide greater clarity for councils assessing applications from people seeking to create and maintain a defendable space around homes in bushfire-prone areas.” Mr. Ryan said.

“In response the Coalition will overhaul native vegetation requirements to ensure they better balance the need to mitigate bushfire risk with the conservation of native vegetation.”

“The Coalition will ensure that DSE, as referral authority for permit applications to remove native vegetation around an existing development, will be required to consider the risk of bushfire and the need to reduce that risk.” Mr. Ryan said.

“In line with Royal Commission recommendations, the Coalition will also design and implement a collective offset solution and ensure road managers are not unduly hindered by native vegetation requirements when it comes to reducing fuel on roadsides.”

“Finally the Coalition will match the government’s commitment to extend the 10/30 rule until the overhaul of native vegetation requirements is complete.” Mr. Ryan said.

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Under the provisions of the relevant Electoral Act responsibility for all election comment is assumed by Editor Victor P Taffa. The Registered office of The Southern Thunderer is at 4/69a Darvall Road, West Ryde NSW 2114.