Mark Shelton,Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Management
The Hodgman majority Liberal Government is the strongest supporter of our firefighters and emergency services and we are proud that a further 23 Tasmanian firefighters are heading interstate today to help fight fires in Queensland.
We have already had Tasmanian fire crews in New South Wales and now we are assisting Queensland with catastrophic bushfires in that state.
Many Tasmanians will remember the outstanding help we received last summer from interstate firefighters in our hour of need and it is now time for us to contribute to the emergency situation in NSW and Queensland.
It is also a timely warning for Tasmanians, especially in rural and remote areas, to prepare for the bushfire season ahead.
We know that there will be bushfires this summer and we know there are proven strategies to help mitigate this risk.
- Clear 30m of vegetation and flammable material from around houses and buildings.
- Clear out dead leaves from gutters.
- Know your evacuation route.
- Write a bushfire plan so your family knows what to do when a fire occurs.
As part of our nation-leading fuel reduction strategy, 20 strategically located burns have been completed this spring involving over 3350 hectares to date.
Since our program commenced in 2014, 608 individual fuel reduction burns have been undertaken across the state, reducing the risk across a total of 86,294 hectares.
We know that last summer the communities of Zeehan, Rossarden, Scamander, Beaumaris and St Marys benefited from previous fuel reduction burns which reduced the intensity of the bushfires.
Tasmania has more than 5600 firefighters on standby, from December 1 we will have 7 firefighting aircraft in the state on standby and we have invested more than $13.1 million in new fire trucks and advanced technology.
The Hodgman majority Liberal Government has invested heavily in the state’s bushfire fighting capability and preparedness and we implore Tasmanians who live in proximity to paddocks or bushland to invest their time in reducing the risk to their homes and property.