Severe lack of back burning leaves ACT vulnerable

The 2016-17 Bushfire Operations Plan identified 7379 hectares for back burning, while only 504 hectares were burnt in the prescribed time frame, Shadow Minister for Emergency Services Giulia Jones said today.

Mrs Jones will move a motion in the Legislative Assembly calling on the ACT government to commit to back burning the remaining 6875 hectares identified by the 2016-17 BOP.

“Back burning is an essential tool for our firefighters to mitigate the risk of bushfires and give them greater suppression capability,” Mrs Jones said.

“Back burning keeps our residents and property safe.

“However, of the 7,379 hectares identified for back burning in 2016-17, the ACT government only completed 504 hectares.

“This means that 93 per cent of the area remains incomplete, leaving Canberrans vulnerable.

“I am calling on the ACT government to ensure that the remaining 6,875 hectares undergo controlled burns in 2018.

“The government must not wait for a catastrophe to occur before it takes action. It must take these precautionary steps to mitigate the future bushfire risk,” Mrs Jones concluded.