Minister for Police and Emergency Services, Simon Corbell, today put forward proposed new laws designed to minimise the risk of bushfires and improve public safety.
“I introduced the Emergencies Amendment Bill into the ACT Legislative Assembly to assist our community, particularly rural land owners and managers to plan and prepare for the risks associated with bushfire,” Mr Corbell said.
“The proposed new laws also complement the government’s new five year ACT Strategic Bushfire Management Plan which I tabled earlier this week.”
The Emergencies Amendment Bill includes the introduction of a new $300 on the spot fine for discarding a lit cigarette.
“Those that discard lit cigarettes, particularly out of their car windows, need to think about the risk this poses to our environment and public safety. This new penalty of $300 sends a very clear message to ‘think before you toss’.
“The proposed new laws provide new powers for our emergency services personnel. This includes expanding the powers of an Emergency Controller so they can control and coordinate the distribution of essential services during an emergency such as electricity, gas, fuel, food and water.”
The Emergencies Amendment Bill will also provide emergency service personnel in the ACT with the ability to close any property, which includes land, structures or vehicles, for the purposes of protecting or preserving life.
“These new powers are necessary to ensure that those emergency personnel we task in protecting our community have the necessary tools to deliver an effective and coordinated response on our behalf,” Mr Corbell said.
“The proposed new laws demonstrate the government’s commitment towards minimising the risk of bushfires and ensuring our emergency services can deal with emergencies when they arise.”
(Simon Corbell Media Release)