Reckless, irresponsible behaviour by TasNetworks demands urgent investigation by Minister

Tasmanian Labor
  • Guy Barnett must ensure bushfire bungle not repeated
  • Residents need immediate explanation and assurances
  • TasNetworks practice during fire ban beggars belief
  • The Gutwein Government must fast-track an investigation into the reckless behaviour by TasNetworks this week that sparked a bushfire when explosives were used during a total fire ban.

    Shadow Energy Minister David O’Byrne said it defied belief that the state-owned company or its contractors would undertake such an irresponsible practice and the Minister responsible Guy Barnett needs to act immediately.

    A fire that burned through about six hectares of bush at Broadmarsh on Monday was started when explosives were used to excavate rocks.

    “This behaviour on a total fire ban day when temperatures reached 37 degrees in an area of high fire risk is beyond negligent,” Mr O’Byrne said.

    “Tasmanians and residents of this area are rightfully demanding answers and Mr Barnett should provide them today.

    “Fire crews who were already on high alert need similar answers.

    “This is the sort of careless behaviour – by a state-owned business that should know better – that places property and lives at risk.

    “If safety is TasNetworks highest priority how could this possibly have happened?

    “TasNetworks may be contracting out work but they cannot contract out responsibility.

    “And Mr Barnett must make sure the riot act is read to those responsible so this is never allowed to happen again.

    “As we enter the most dangerous period for bushfires, the government needs to be leading by example not recklessly breaking the rules and it’s not good enough to merely say an investigation is underway.

    “Any investigation needs to be immediate, it needs to be taken with the utmost seriousness and this incident cannot be swept under the carpet by this government and this Minister who needs to be giving assurances that such practices will be outlawed and no community will again be put at risk.”

    David O’Byrne MP

    Shadow Minister for Energy

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