While our priority has been on keeping Tasmanians safe from COVID-19, the Government has remained equally focused on protecting Tasmanians from the threat of bushfires and we must do everything we can to ensure we are as prepared as possible.
I’m pleased to announce that the Draft Bushfire Mitigation Measures Bill is now out for consultation which will introduce a new legislative framework for bushfire mitigation in Tasmania, ensuring we are as well prepared as possible as a State to work with greater speed and responsiveness to address bushfire risk.
The legislation will make it easier to reduce fuel and mechanically clear vegetation for a fuel break, while balancing environment and community concerns.
Importantly, it will make it easier for landholders to reduce fuel loads by allowing approvals to be granted in a shorter time frame when a bushfire hazard management plan is in place.
There will also be clear accountability for landowners and occupiers, both public and private, in regards to bushfire mitigation.
Although we have a nation-leading and well-resourced fuel reduction program, we know the traditional window available for fuel reduction is narrowing and the intensity of our bushfires is increasing.
It is not possible to eliminate bushfires, however, measures can and should be put in place to reduce the impact of fires and we must do everything we can to protect life, property, infrastructure and our natural assets.
We need to get the balance right and the Government looks forward to receiving feedback from the community during the consultation.