The Hodgman Liberal Government will maintain the momentum of its nation-leading Fuel Reduction Program with an ongoing investment of $9 million per year.
In the first 4 years of the program, the Government has completed 553 fuel reduction burns across the state encompassing more than 63,752 hectares, of which 10,848 was private land.
We know from recent bush fire events how quickly wild fires can spread and that fuel reduction burns can significantly slow down advancing fires and give our professional and volunteer brigades the best chance of controlling them.
Initial spatial analysis of the 2019 summer bush fires has shown that fuel reduction burns assisted in protecting communities, such as Zeehan, in reducing fire behaviour and spread.
So far the autumn 2019 burn season has seen 43 fuel reduction burns across 8250 hectares and the state-wide risk analysis was at 86.2 per cent, the lowest it has been in 15 years and on track to meet the 2022-23 target of 80 per cent.
While the final cost of this summer’s bush fire event is still being determined about half is expected to be recovered through the Federal Government’s Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA).
The Tasmanian Government has allocated a further $10 million in the 2019-20 Budget to cover future costs associated with this event.
Additionally, as of May 2019, all Department of Education schools and 24 private schools have been visited by the TFS and assessed for their bush fire vulnerability.
This project included developing a detailed emergency plan and providing tailored advice to mitigate bush fire risk at each school.
Of the 163 DoE schools assessed, 12 of the highest risk schools have been assisted by the TFS in preparedness and hazard management which has resulted in an improved rating, safer schools and improved community resilience.
The Hodgman Liberal Government once again thanks our professional and volunteer fire brigades, and also other emergency services personnel and community groups, for their dedication in keeping Tasmanian communities safer.