Tasmania’s preparedness to face a bushfire emergency this fire season is in question following revelations today of inadequate resourcing within the Tasmania Fire Service.
Shadow Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Management Jen Butler said while Tasmania’s firefighters perform to the best of their ability under extreme conditions, they’re not being supported to safely tackle major fires.
“Just this week we heard Mark Shelton talk about measures that need to be taken to ensure the state is prepared for the fire season. What he didn’t talk about was the strain on the TFS, particularly in some regional areas at highest risk heading into the fire season.
“During recent bushfire emergencies at Lachlan and Scamander, the TFS did not have enough staff to assemble an incident management team and had to draw on resources from other agencies.
“Incident management teams are essential to ensure a rapid and effective response to major fires, including allocation of resources and coordination of multiple agencies.
“These are not roles people can take on without adequate training and support. Members of incident teams are under immense pressure and carry enormous responsibility for community safety.
“It beggars belief that we are heading into the fire season without incident management teams that are appropriately resourced.”
Ms Butler said the revelations highlight the Hodgman Government’s inaction on the recommendations of serial inquiries into Tasmanian fire seasons.
Shadow Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Management