Page 321 - Week 01 - Thursday, 27 February 2014
remaining recommendations. The government is committed to ensuring that the territory remains well prepared for bushfire, and that bushfire plans and resources are maintained in place.
The Auditor-General has previously stated that the government’s prevention and preparedness activities position the community to meet the challenges of living in the bush capital. The audit report also found that the legislation the government has in place, as well as the SBMP and bushfire operational plans, effectively provide the framework needed to manage the risk of bushfire.
The ESA’s capability has been tested and proven once again during the current fire season. ACT ESA personnel have been well prepared, and have effectively suppressed a significant number of grass and bushfires that have occurred in the territory since the beginning of this year’s fire season. The ESA has also assisted in recent major fires in New South Wales and Victoria.
The Auditor-General’s audit report has certainly contributed to further strengthening the ACT’s bushfire preparedness and management. The approach of shared responsibility has always been a constant theme since the 2003 firestorm. The Auditor-General’s report and recommendations support the ESA’s commitment to continuing to build shared responsibility by improving the resilience and capacity of both the community and the government for bushfires.
I can also advise the Assembly, in conclusion, that a review of the SBMP started in late September 2013. I launched the SBMP community consultation process last Wednesday, calling for comments through local media, online and social media, as well as a series of public meetings.
The government’s key message for this review, “Living on the edge: help shape bushfire management in the ACT”, is designed to draw the attention of Canberrans living in at-risk areas where the city meets the bush and people who travel through these areas to get to work or use them for recreation.
The core principles that underline the current SBMP remain sound, and will carry over into the revised plan, such as the ACT’s comprehensive hazard reduction, burning and fuel removal program. Some key areas that have also been identified for the review include vulnerable people at risk during bushfires, ensuring the community better understands the risk of living in bushfire-prone areas, and urban vegetation management to identify better gardening techniques to ensure household gardens do not become fire hazards. I commend the submission to the Assembly.
Mr Corbell presented the following papers:
Australian Crime Commission (ACT) Act, pursuant to subsection 51(5)—Board of the Australian Crime Commission—Chair annual report 2012-13, dated 2 December 2013.