Learning from the past: fire control starts now

Recent disasters such as the 2010/11 floods and the 2009 bushfires have acted as the catalyst for a review of the state’s emergency management plans.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Emergency Services Peter Ryan said the Government was committed to delivering a modern, all-hazards, all-agencies emergency management framework to help better protect Victorians.

Mr Ryan said the Coalition Government had launched a Green Paper, ‘Towards a more disaster resilient and safer Victoria’.

“Victoria’s resilience has been tested in recent years, with extreme natural disaster events like the 2009 bushfires and the historic and prolonged floods of 2010/11 proving too big for any one emergency services agency to manage alone.”

Mr Ryan’s announcement comes at the same time fire drills and Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE) controlled burn-offs are being undertaken across the region. Torquay Country Fire Authority Captain Phil Campbell urged residents to implement their own fire-prevention strategy, so they are not reliant upon DSE burn-offs.

“We advise people to start cleaning their property in the lead-up to peak bushfire season, removing any fire hazards and flammable materials. In past years we have found that a lot of people have left their clean up too late.”

Drysdale Fire Brigade Third Lieutenant Steve Atkinson echoed a similar sentiment.

“We’re preparing for a grass fire season, so most of our training has been focused on that. We’ve also been helping local landowners with some small burn-offs and offering resources to the DSE.

“It’s never too early to trim back excess vegetation and make their land as fire-resistant as possible – we recommend they start now.”

Lavers Hill will soon take part in an evacuation-style drill as part of the government’s pilot program to better prepare Victoria for bushfires.