Tasmanian Premier David Bartlett has called on those living in bushfire-prone areas to start work now on preparing for the fire season.
“We are effectively just months away from the bushfire season, and now is the time for homeowners to start preparing their properties,” he said. when speaking at the release of the State Government’s draft Review of Construction and Development Control in Bushfire Prone Areas.
“We remember vividly the overwhelming sense of tragedy and loss that accompanied the Victorian bushfires earlier this year.
“That must double Tasmania’s resolve to be prepared.
“As a State Government, one important way that we can contribute to longer-term bushfire safety is by making sure that new houses built in Tasmania are fire-safe.
“The release of the draft Review of Construction and Development Control in Bushfire Prone Areas reflects the ongoing commitment of this Government to making Tasmania as bushfire safe as we possibly can be.
“This is about getting the balance right – making sure we are doing everything we can to protect the lives and homes of Tasmanians, without adding unjustifiable costs for those building their homes.
“These changes will provide greater certainty for builders and councils by putting in place standard provisions to apply right across the State.
“The review will be out for comment over the next three weeks, and will then form the basis of a final document that will go to Cabinet.”
Comments will be sought from peak industry bodies and councils in the first round of consultation.
Broader public comment, including the definition of bushfire prone areas, will be undertaken by the RPDC once Cabinet has considered the recommendations.
The Premier and the Chief Officer of the Tasmanian Fire Service, John Gledhill, emphasised that while the review would put in place important changes for the future, Tasmanians also needed to be ready to meet the challenge of the coming bushfire season.
Gledhill emphasised that solid winter rainfalls would lead to stronger spring growth that could easily become fuel for a bushfire.
“The fact that we have had a relatively wet winter should not lull anybody into a false sense of security about the potential for a devastating bushfire season ahead of us,” he said.
“People should be thinking now about how they will prepare their properties over the next three months for the summer bushfire season.
“Plan ahead to make your home, garden and landscaping bushfire safe,” he said.
The Tasmanian Government’s Summer Bushfire Safety Campaign will start as the weather warms this spring.
Facts sheets and advice is available directly from the Tasmanian Fire Service website at www.fire.tas.gov.au, or by calling 1800 000 699.