Fire management plan puts certainty into bushfire response
A more strategic and integrated approach to fire management planning which aims to reduce the impact of fire across the Murrindindi Shire has been outlined in the release of a draft Murrindindi Shire and Lake Mountain Fire Management Plan.
The plan establishes a tiered system of state, regional and municipal plans that provide strategic direction to fire management. The purpose of the new plan is to address the overall risk of bushfire in the long term and fa- cilitate improved community safety outcomes.
Deputy Mayor Cr Chris Healy said the draft plan was an important re- sponse to the recommendations of the 2009 Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission.
“The Royal Commission in its recommendations placed a high priority on the integration of emergency services. We have achieved this with the draft plan being prepared by the Municipal Fire Management Planning Committee which includes members from DSE, CFA, Council and Lake Mountain,” Cr Healy said.
“The management committee has put considerable work into this docu- ment. It is comprehensive in its approach to bushfire management and importantly it will continue to be developed over its three-year life span.
“It addresses specific recommendations from the Royal Commission such as the need to develop procedures for the identification of hazard trees that may fall onto power lines and the procedure for notifying the organisa- tion that is responsible for dealing with it. There are many other recom- mendations from the Royal Commission that are dealt with in other ways, including through the town planning system.
“The draft plan recognises, but doesn’t duplicate, the extensive work al- ready being undertaken in fire management and planning activities across our shire. It is a plan for improving integration of our existing networks and developing new ways of working together with our community.”
Cr Healy said everyone had a responsibility to maintain their properties and conduct their activities in a responsible manner with respect to fire management.
“The effectiveness of this plan relies upon the community and the respec- tive agencies accepting responsibility to ensure fire risk is managed and understood.
“The draft plan identifies a number of risks which have been assessed, with those risks to human life taking precedence. Treatments or proce- dures that address these risks have been prioritised and contained within the plan.
“It includes important reference to Township Protection Plans (TPPs) and Neighbourhood Safer Places (NSPs), which are important safety and pre planning elements for the community, especially for the settlement areas that are subject to bushfire risk.”
A draft copy of the proposed Murrindindi Shire and Lake Mountain Fire Management Plan will be on display at all council offices and on council’s website www.murrindindi.vic.gov.au from 1 September to 31 October 2012.
“It is important that we receive community feedback and comments on such an important document,” Cr Healy said.
“We have a significant timeframe for submissions, and I would encourage community comment.”