Peter Gutwein

Premier of Tasmania

26 November 2019

Mark Shelton, Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Management

Labor-Greens smoke screen designed to scare Tasmanians

The Hodgman majority Liberal Government is committed to ensuring the safety of Tasmanians and their property this bushfire season and we know the state is better prepared than ever before.

Unfortunately, Labor and the Greens spent Question Time today ignoring the facts and have nothing better to do in the last week of Parliament than trying to scare Tasmanians. They appeared to again be undermining the operational decision making of the Chief Fire Officer.

The fact is that between Parks and Wildlife (usually the first responder for remote fires), Sustainable Timber Tasmania and the Tasmanian Fire Service there are currently 240 Remote and Arduous Trained firefighters on standby ready to go today.

In total Tasmania has more than 5670 firefighters currently on standby, we will have 7 firefighting aircraft in the state on standby from 1 December and the contracts are already in place to call on 36 aircraft from across Tasmania.

We have also invested more than $13.1 million on new fire trucks and advanced technology.

In addition to our nation-leading $55 million fuel reduction burns program, there has been a public education campaign, regional risk modelling, exercising emergency management plans, and a new air desk and ensuring adequate resources are in place to respond to the fires.

The spring 2019 fuel reduction season saw 20 strategically located burns conducted over 3,350 hectares and since 2014, 608 fuel reduction burns have been undertaken across the state covering 86,294 hectares.

Scientific analysis conducted after the last summer bushfires shows that the state-wide relative risk has been reduced to 83.8 per cent, which is the lowest it has been in 15 years.

Under the Hodgman majority Liberal Government we have more career TFS firefighters now than we have had at any time over the last 10 years, and while we acknowledge that there is potential for Tasmania to have a challenging bushfire season, we are investing in the TFS and our volunteers and emergency services.

More Media Releases from Mark Shelton

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