Page 1912 - Week 07 - Tuesday, 27 June 2023

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Climate change is likely to impact on the number and distribution of days available for prescribed burning and see an increase in the variety of available days across the years. PCS will continue to work collaboratively with the other areas to ensure that planning, approval and response times are flexible and that burning windows are able to be used as they become available. As fire inevitably becomes more frequent in a drying climate, PCS will need to prioritise fatigue management and minimise the health impacts of exposure to fire and smoke.

PCS will continue to prioritise cultural fire management as an expression of Ngunnawal cultural practice and utilise available traditional knowledge in managing ecological and fuel management outcomes. Ensuring regulations and policy frameworks that enable cultural burning is critical to its success for Ngunnawal people and the broader community.

In summary, the ACT Parks and Conservation Service plays a critical role in managing fire fuel across the ACT 365 days a year and works closely with the Rural Fire Service in fire policy, planning and response. The successful completion of the 2023 autumn burn program highlights the responsiveness and significant expertise held within PCS in fire behaviour, planning, logistics and operations, which are so necessary for operations of this size.

PCS continues to prioritise staff development and exposure to best practice nationally and internationally, maintaining a focus on leveraging science and research and bringing it into practice in ACT burn programs. PCS is working closely with the Office of Nature Conservation to ensure we are moving together on climate adaptation policy and practice and are bringing environmental objectives to the fore in all that we do.

PCS is reshaping its cultural burning program to focus on enabling cultural practice by the Ngunnawal community as its highest priority, and PCS is also working closely with the RFS in the preparation of the Strategic Bushfire Management Plan version 5, due in 2024.

I commend the work of PCS in delivering this broad, complex and critical set of fire and land management activities to keep our community and staff safe and conserve key ecological values.

I present the following paper:

Outcome of 2023 Autumn Prescribed Burning Program—Ministerial statement, 27 June 2023.

I move:

That the Assembly take note of the paper.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

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