Jacquie Petrusma, Tasmanian Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Management, Media Release, 9 November 2021
This Tasmanian Liberal Government understands the importance of keeping our communities safe from the threat of bushfires, which is why we are investing $111.5 million in bushfire prevention over the Budget and forward estimates.
While the current overall assessment for the 21/22 Bushfire Season is for a normal fire potential, we know we cannot be complacent about the dangers of bushfire.
I’m pleased to advise that preparations for the upcoming bushfire season are well advanced, with more than 150 people taking part in a multi-agency pre-season briefing in Launceston today.
A total of 139 community bushfire protection plans and response plans have been developed, and 18 mitigation plans for at-risk communities and specific assets have also been prepared.
This year, a total of 217 fuel reduction burns treating over 32,000 hectares have to date been completed, and our successful “Red Hot Tips” Program has also supported farmers and large landholders to conduct 229 burns covering over 5,300 hectares.
The Tasmania Fire Service now has a total remote area capability of 144 career and volunteer firefighters, who undertook further training in September and October.
There are also 155 Parks and Wildlife firefighting personnel, with the Service also receiving $2.1 million to implement remote area firefighting helicopter winch capability, enabling the deployment of specialist firefighters quickly.
The Tasmania Fire Service has a Lightning Strike Strategy in place, and works closely with Parks and Wildlife Services and Sustainable Timber Tasmania, to detect and respond to fires caused by lightning strikes with the assistance of spotter flights and pre-positioned aircraft.
I am also pleased to advise that the Tasmania Fire Service has secured exclusive access to 11 aircraft for this Bushfire Season, including 7 helicopters and 4 fixed wing bombers prepositioned strategically throughout the state.
In addition to this, we also have access to 5 local helicopter providers, as well as Large Area Tankers if required.
The Tasmanian Liberal Government is taking action to keep Tasmanians safe, and we will continue to invest to ensure bushfire safety and prevention.
I would like to thank all of our hardworking firefighters and volunteers who have been working tirelessly to ensure the safety of Tasmanians and to ensure we are well equipped to respond to situations that may arise this upcoming bushfire season.