Prescribed Burning Program Boosted With $22 Million Funding Over 4 years

Prescribed Burning Program Boosted With $22 Million Funding Over 4 years

Western Australia Minister for Environment Stephen Dawson

$22 Million Funding Boost For Prescribed Burning

Victor P Taffa

  • 2019-20 State Budget will invest $5.5 Million p.a. in the Enhanced Prescribed Burning Program implemented by the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA)
  • Autumn prescribed burning now underway across the south-west

McGowan Government is delivering a $22 Million funding boost to DBCA’s Enhanced Prescribed Burning Program over 4 years, via the 2019-20 State Budget.

“McGowan Government remains strongly committed to an appropriate funding model for the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions to ensure prescribed burning targets are met.” Minister for Environment Stephen Dawson said.

“We are investing $22 Million from Royalties for Regions over the next 4 years to protect the community from the damaging impacts of bushfire.”

 

This is in addition to the department’s annual prescribed burning budget allocation of $11 Million for the south-west of the State.

Research shows that prescribed burning is effective in reducing the frequency and size of bushfires in the forests of south-west Western Australia when at least 45 % of the landscape has a fuel age of less than 6 years since last burnt.

To realise this target in the 3 south-west forest regions it manages, DBCA’s Parks and Wildlife Service aims to prescribe burn at least 200,000 ha each financial year.

Enhanced Prescribed Burning Program has helped the department achieve this target for the past two consecutive financial years, as it allows for greater flexibility in the use of seasonal staff and contracted local suppliers such as heavy machinery operators.

Program which employs 13 people has also delivered tangible outcomes and benefits for communities through the creation of new local employment, and local business opportunities for suppliers to provide services that support prescribed burning operations.

This has included providing accommodation and catering associated with the mobilisation of conservation employees to undertake prescribed burns across regional boundaries, and a variety of contract services which all support local economies in the regions.

Department aims to minimise smoke impacts, and people with conditions exacerbated by smoke should take precautions in line with their medical advice.