SA’s inaugural bushfire management plan out for community consultation

The promise of a more bushfire-resilient South Australia is being delivered by the Marshall Liberal Government, with the development of the first state-wide management plan to safeguard the community against future bushfire emergencies.

The draft State Bushfire Management Plan 2021-2025 has been released for community consultation and feedback.

The development of the Plan was one of 15 recommendations made by former Australian Federal Police Commissioner Mick Keelty AO as part of the Independent Review into the state’s devastating 2019/20 bushfire season.

The Marshall Government has acted swiftly on the recommendations, and 68 findings, with almost $100 million in funding dedicated to protecting lives and property.

Emergency Services Minister Vincent Tarzia said the draft Plan has input from the State Bushfire Coordination Committee and will enhance the coordinated management of bushfire risk across Government, non-government organisations and the community.

“Our unprecedented $97.5m response to the Keelty Review is an investment in South Australia to keep our community safe and strong during bushfires,” Minister Tarzia said.

“The Marshall Government is providing additional support and resources for volunteers, including extra staff and equipment, better protection for critical assets, enhanced communications, state-of-the-art technology and improved mental health assistance for the Emergency Services Sector.

“As promised we delivered 25 new CFS trucks to our hardworking volunteers in time for this bushfire season following the rollout of 55 thermal imaging cameras to every CFS group in the state.

“Automatic Vehicle Location (AVL) will be implemented later this year and provides real-time vehicle tracking during bushfires to boost the safety and capability of volunteers.”

State Bushfire Coordination Committee (SBCC) Chairman, and CFS Chief Officer, Mark Jones said all landholders and community members had a part to play in managing bushfire risk.

“As a community, we have grown accustomed to living with bushfires, and as a state we need to work together to better prepare and prevent these disasters from happening,” Mr Jones said.

“The actions we take now can dramatically affect the impact of bushfires on individuals, businesses and communities when they occur. The climate is changing. Large bushfires may be inevitable, but the severity of their impacts will be greatly reduced if we all work together.

“While the CFS does a great job as hazard leader protecting South Australians, we all have a part to play in managing the risk.

“It’s vitally important that we receive community input and feedback into this plan to ensure it is effective and relevant to the South Australian community.”

The Plan will:

*Identify major bushfire risks in South Australia with a focus on understanding those risks from at strategic level.

*Establish principles to support appropriate levels of hazard reduction.

*Support strategic coordination of bushfire management activities among fire and land managers and allied agencies.

*Establish requirements for preparation and implementation of Bushfire Management Area Plans to detect landscape risk on a regional scale.

The State Bushfire Management Plan 2021-2025 will be completed in time for the 2021/2022 fire danger season and will establish a four-year programme of actions to be undertaken.

The community can have their say on the draft Plan before 5pm on Monday, 3 May 2021, by visiting:

https://yoursay.sa.gov.au/decisions/draft-state-bushfire-management-plan-2021-2025/about

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