No reassurance on our fire readiness

Tasmanian Labor
  • Mark Shelton claims ‘we’re ready’ but won’t discuss TFS resourcing
  • Scripted message treats Tasmanians with contempt
  • Minister should be hands on, not handball his responsibility to the TFS
  • Will Hodgman’s Government has done nothing today to reassure Tasmanians that the state is prepared for the coming bushfire season.

    Shadow Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Management Jen Butler said it’s not good enough to make a sweeping statement about readiness without addressing resourcing concerns within the Tasmania Fire Service.

    “Mark Shelton says the state is ‘ready today’ but would not answer direct questions about the level of resourcing within the TFS, and refused to confirm whether an incident management team could be established immediately if needed, without having to call on resources from other agencies.

    “After his shambolic performance in parliament earlier this week, Mark Shelton has clearly been given his marching orders and told to stay on script. It’s contemptuous of Tasmanians to trot out a prepared script – without deviation – in response to any question related to bushfire preparedness.

    Ms Butler said Tasmanians deserve to know that Will Hodgman’s Government is doing everything it can to ensure the safety of communities as we face another fire season.

    “As a former firefighter himself, Mark Shelton knows that too many people in the Tasmanian community have been scarred by fires for Government to be complacent. It’s a matter of when – not if – we face bushfires.

    “He should be completely across his portfolio rather than needing to take on notice questions about resourcing.

    “He’s handballed responsibility for what he calls ‘operational issues’ to his Chief Fire Officer rather than taking a hands on responsibility at a time when the community is rightly nervous about fire risk in Tasmania.”

    Jen Butler

    Shadow Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Management

    /Public Release. View in full here.