Victoria Minister for Environment and Climate Change Ryan Smith
Planned Burning Is On Track Across Regional Victoria
Victor P Taffa
The Opposition has demonstrated blatant ignorance and hypocrisy when it comes to Victoria’s essential planned burning operations.
Labor left Victoria dangerously unprepared for bushfire, and with a significant planned burning backlog.
The Victorian Bushfire Royal Commission spelt out Labor’s failure when it stated:
“the amount of prescribed burning occurring in Victoria has been insufficient to significantly reduce the risk of bushfires.”
On 27 August 2010, a statement from former Labor Premier John Brumby admitted Labor had failed, saying:
“We accept that we need to substantially increase the level of fuel reduction burning to make our state safer. But you can’t get there overnight, it’s just physically impossible to do that.”
Victorians can be confident that safety is the highest priority for the Coalition Government with regards to planned burning.
Despite wet conditions and flooding, last year the planned burns program achieved the greatest amount of burning that has ever been conducted in Victoria and substantially more than the former Labor government ever achieved.
In 2010/11, approximately 189,000 hectares were treated. The Bushfires Royal Commission Implementation Monitor’s Interim Report noted that this was the highest level of burning in 20 years.
For this year, the preparation work has been done and when the conditions are right, planned burning will occur.
The Coalition Government is delivering on its targets and will continue to do so for the safety of Victorians.