With a large number of homes identified as being in a Bushfire Prone Area, Minister for Police and Emergency Services, Simon Corbell, has urged the Canberra community to continue to have their say on the Strategic Bushfire Management Plan during consultation over the next month.
Prepared by the ACT Emergency Services Agency, the draft of the Strategic Bushfire Management Plan Version Three, launched for public comment last week, identified Bushfire Prone Areas across the ACT.
“As part of a review of the SBMP, the theme – ‘Living on the edge’, has been promoted to highlight high risk areas where the bushland meets the built-up area of Canberra,” he said.
“Bushfire Prone Area (BPA) maps have been prepared to identify areas at risk from bushfire across the ACT.
“Close to a quarter of all dwellings in the ACT are located in the area identified as BPA in the draft maps. As the city grows, new suburbs are being developed on the western edge of Canberra, which includes new areas in Molonglo. Due to the concentration of people and houses, this western edge presents the greatest bushfire risk to life and property.
“I ask every Canberran to visit the ESA website, www.esa.act.gov.au and view these draft maps to determine if they live in a bushfire prone area. The maps are part of an integrated program to address bushfire risk by both the ACT Government and the community.
“In addition to identifying at risk areas of Canberra, these maps may also provide triggers for building houses that are better able to withstand bushfires. As the SBMP is finalised for release later in the year, these maps and the actions that Government and the community will undertake in bushfire prone areas will also be finalised. Subject to the outcomes of the consultation process on SBMP the government will look to strengthen its planning arrangements for future construction standards in Bushfire Prone Areas.
“Having a community that is prepared is a shared responsibility. All residents should ensure that vegetation on their property is managed to reduce bushfire risk.”
Comments on the draft SBMP are welcome and can be addressed to the ESA Commissioner up until 30 July, 2014 at firstname.lastname@example.org.