The government should increase its capacity to conduct controlled burns when the weather conditions are suitable, Shadow Minister for Emergency Services Giulia Jones said.
The 2017-18 Bushfire Operations Plan identified 8,259ha for back burning but only 2,004ha, or 24.3 per cent, of the area was completed. This follows only 7 per cent of the back burning schedule being completed in 2016-17 BOP.
Today in the Legislative Assembly, Mrs Jones will call on the ACT government to investigate methods for increasing its back burning capacity during periods of suitable weather.
“Completing only 24.3 per cent of the designated burns is far from ideal,” Mrs Jones said.
“The bushfire season starting one month earlier than usual, followed by the recent fire at Pierce’s Creek, has reminded Canberrans about the importance of bushfire preparedness.
“Back burning is a key tool to being bushfire ready but it can only occur when the weather conditions are safe to do so.
“We need to increase our burning capacity so that we can make the most of the limited time we have.
“The safety of Canberrans and their animals is paramount. I implore the government to work with us in trying to find a solution, so that we are even more prepared for the next bushfire season,” Mrs Jones concluded.