Baillieu/Ryan Government To Provide Support And Direction For Bushfire Communities

Baillieu/Ryan Government To Provide Support And Direction For Bushfire Communities

Victoria Shadow Minister for Bushfire Response Peter Ryan

Liberal Candidate for Monbulk Matt Mills

Coalition Government To Fund Local Bushfire Safety Solutions

Victor P Taffa

The Victorian Liberal Nationals Coalition will establish a $5 Million Program to fund Local Solutions to make Bushfire-Prone Communities safer if it is elected to Government this month.

Shadow Minister for Bushfire Response and Leader of The Nationals Peter Ryan announced the Coalition’s Fire Safe Communities program in the Dandenong Ranges today with Liberal Candidate for Monbulk Matt Mills.

“A Victorian Liberal Nationals Coalition Government will improve the Bushfire Preparedness of Victoria’s 52 high-risk communities by funding local initiatives to improve Preparation, Fire Awareness and Education.” Mr. Ryan said.

“Our $5 Million Fire Safe Communities Program will provide flexible grants to fund local, Commonsense solutions.”

“The Program will be open to applications from community groups and councils, with $2 Million to be provided during our first year of Government.”

Mr. Ryan said the Fire Safe Communities Program recognised that bushfire-prone Communities faced unique challenges and a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach was not always appropriate.

“Local residents have the detailed knowledge required on the ground to make communities safer, better informed and more prepared.” Mr. Ryan said.

“Some Councils, such as the Shire of Yarra Ranges, provide a subsidy for the cost of disposing of green waste during bushfire preparation week to encourage more people to remove dead branches, fallen leaves and undergrowth around their houses.”

“This fund could match council funding to extend the length of such Programs.”

“Other Councils may require additional funds to keep their communities abreast of developments in Local Bushfire Policy.”

Mr. Ryan said the program could also fund local solutions to overcome the constraints of Mobile Phone Blackspots.

“Many Mobile and Fixed Telephone Systems failed on Black Saturday leaving people unable to communicate with loved ones and neighbours.” Mr. Ryan said.

“Other communities used alternative means of communication during Black Saturday to great effect.”

“In Taggerty, a group of locals known as Dad’s Army banded together and invested in a UHF radio network two years before Black Saturday. They told the Bushfires Royal Commission that the network saved their homes and their lives when the phone network and the power went out.”

“The fund will be open to communities who are seeking to establish such alternative communications systems to ensure they can communicate during bushfires.” Mr. Ryan said.

Mr. Mills said the fund would help Monbulk residents become better prepared for the bushfire season.

“After the 1997 bushfires, the community at Ferny Creek established its own alert system after three people died and 40 homes were destroyed in the fires.” Mr. Mills said.

“They have now extended it to include SMS and email alerts to provide residents with CFA pager messages to explain why local sirens are sounding.”

“Under a Coalition Government groups like the Ferny Creek Bushfire Alert Committee will be able to apply to the Fire Safe Communities program for funding to keep local residents informed.” Mr. Mills said.

Had the Brumby Government been half-decent and not so arrogant the Government would have implemented Lock, Stock and Barrel ALL of the Bushfire Royal Commission Recommendations immediately. Shadow Minister Peter Ryan should NOT have to be even campaigning to implement these crucial recommendations.

The Brumby Government simply is so arrogant and out of touch that it simply should be turfed out of office by all decently minded Victorians on 27 November 2010.

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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.