Holes in bushfire governance

johnboy 27 July 2013 1

The Auditor-General has announced the release of a bushfire preparedness report which shows some chaos in the Governance of fire-related land management in the ACT, which in turn makes it hard to tell how well prepared we may actually be:

Regional Fire Management Plans need to be reviewed more frequently and revised ‘to reflect changes in land use in the ACT, operational considerations and any advances in the knowledge and understanding of bushfire risk’.

Clarity is needed on which land managers should be preparing ushfire operational plans. A National Land bushfire management framework is needed to guide bushfire management activities on National Land.

There has been a lack of governance and procedural documentation for the ACT Bushfire Council. In response to this a terms of reference was developed by the Council with the support of the Emergency Services Agency and endorsed at a Council meeting on 3 July 2013.

fire tornado screenshot

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One Response to Holes in bushfire governance
HiddenDragon HiddenDragon 11:29 am 27 Jul 13

Every summer, there are warnings to householders about the need to clear gutters and cut back foliage near the house to reduce bushfire risk. Reducing these sorts of risks can be rather difficult when the foliage in question is attached to trees which are given a high degree of protection under the tree protection legislation.

I could not find anything in the Audit Report (it presumably would have been in chapter 4, dealing with TAMS) on this issue – very happy to be corrected if I have missed it.

Noting that the Audit scope included “…the ACT Government’s approach to managing bushfire hazards in the ACT, its work to support the community in relation to preparedness…” this seems to me to be an important omission – if it is important enough to have regular, publicly funded warnings on this issue, it is surely important enough for the Auditor-General to consider impediments to householders’ ability to heed such warnings.

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