State of Alert lifted across ACT

The State of Alert in place for rural and remote parts of the ACT has been lifted.

This decision was taken due to favourable weather across the past week, including the recent rainfall.

January has been a challenging month for our city. We have endured a number of extreme weather events including record breaking heat and destructive storms, as well as the risk of bushfire damage from both the Beard fire and the Orroral Valley fire.

This period has impacted how Canberrans work and socialise. With the State of Alert now lifted, the community can look forward to a greater sense of normality.

We are forming a clearer picture of the impact of this summer of disasters and have already started efforts to support households and businesses to recover. The impact of extended periods of poor air quality, as well as the travel ban from China, will be felt by many local businesses and organisations for some time.

Addressing the ecological impact of the Orroral Valley fire, which has burnt through around 80% of the Namadgi National Park, will also be a priority for the Government in the months ahead.

The work of the Emergency Services Agency, ACT Police, the Australian Defence Force and the ACT Government staff that have worked to respond to the needs of the Canberra community has been impressive. They deserve the highest gratitude of our community. The Emergency Services Agency will continue to monitor the bushfire threat to the ACT as the season continues, and the recovery from these fires begins.

As noted by Minister for Police and Emergency services Mick Gentleman

“We are confident the threat to Canberra has reduced enough to remove the State of Alert based on expert assessments of conditions and the advice of the Commissioner Whelan.

“I would like to join the Canberra community in thanking everyone on the front lines and working behind the scenes who have helped ensure no homes have been lost and major assets were protected. Firefighting efforts will continue to our West assisted by rain and cooler temperatures.

“There is a growing list of lessons learned and the lower risk means we can start to take stock of the damage, particularly in our precious Namadgi National Park. Rapid response teams are being deployed and will report back to Government a clearer picture of the damage to ecology, heritage and parks assets like paths and signs.

“We will not hesitate to return to a State of Alert or Emergency if needed and Canberrans should continue to stay informed and be storm and bushfire ready.”

The State of Alert was first declared by Minister Gentleman on 2 January to allow the ESA to further prepare in the case of an emergency. It was introduced to signal to the community the need to take action and be alert and helped ensure our emergency services and broader ACT Government services were responsive to the needs of the community during a period of heightened risk.

/Public Release. View in full here.