Shadow Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Management Jen Butler expressed disappointment the Liberals joined forces with Independent Member for Clark Madeleine Ogilvie to vote down a motion calling for a timeline for implementing the recommendations of successive inquiries into bushfire in Tasmania.
“The current bushfire season is forecast to be potentially catastrophic due to drier than usual conditions in south-east Australia.
“At the same time, senior officers within the Tasmania Fire Service have drawn attention to the State’s poor preparedness for the bushfire season, warning that it is ‘just luck getting us by’.
“Will Hodgman and Mark Shelton must take responsibility for ensuring that all steps are taken to ensure the safety of firefighters, volunteers and communities.”
Ms Butler said progress had been slow on implementing the recommendations of the 2016 and 2019 Australian Fire and Emergency Service Authorities Council (AFAC) reviews, and the 2016 House of Assembly Standing Committee on Community Development Inquiry into the State Fire Commission.
“The recommendations of these inquiries have not been fully implemented. Mark Shelton says people are ready and plans are in place for this summer, but senior staff within the fire service have spoken out to say a lack of resources and staff could leave the state exposed.
“Wil Hodgman and Mark Shelton can’t say they’ve done everything they can to prepare for this bushfire season; that will not be true until they can tell Tasmanians they’ve implemented all recommendations of these inquiries.
“It’s a matter of when – not if – we face bushfires.
“There’s nothing to be gained by the tragedy of bushfire if we don’t as a community learn where we can improve our preparedness for, and response to bushfire, and then take action to ensure that we implement those learnings.”
Shadow Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Management