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Keeping Tasmanians safe from bushfires

26 August 2021

Jacquie Petrusma MP

Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Management

The Tasmanian Liberal Government has a plan to keep Tasmanians safe which is why we are investing $111.5m over the 2021-22 Tasmanian Budget and Forward Estimates for bushfire safety and reduction.

We are delivering a clear plan for bushfire prevention, because we know that when landowners, industry, farmers and the wider community are supported in this way we get the best outcomes.

The 2021-22 Tasmanian Budget locks in the Tasmanian Liberal Government’s election commitments targeted at keeping Tasmanians safe including:

  • $2.5 million boost to our nation-leading Fuel Reduction Program to support mechanical clearing;
  • $2.5 million additional funding for our successful “Red Hot Tips” Program to support farmers and large landholders to conduct private burn-offs;
  • $1.5 million per annum in additional funding for the Health and Wellbeing of emergency service personnel and volunteers, taking the total annual investment to $3 million;
  • $2 million to roll-out enhanced standard equipment for volunteer brigades and units including for personal protective equipment and communications;
  • $500,000 per annum from 2023-24 to continue our successful grants program for Tasmania’s volunteer fire brigades and State Emergency Service units;
  • $250,000 in 2021-22 for new generation defibrillators for volunteer fire trucks;
  • $2.4 million to establish emergency service liaison roles in the Department of Police, Fire and Emergency Management to work with local communities on recruitment and retention of firefighter and SES volunteers; and
  • $900,000 to stand up a permanent multi-hazard intelligence team in the new State Operations Centre to provide minute-by-minute monitoring of hazards and provide rapid advice to commanders planning incident response

Since 2014, over 1,023 strategic bushfire risk reduction activities have been completed state-wide, encompassing over 140 420 hectares, of which 25,868 hectares was conducted on private land.

We are taking the following actions to prepare for the upcoming bushfire season:

  • The Tasmania Fire Service remote area team will be bolstered with 160 remote area firefighters trained and ready to respond in addition to Parks and Wildlife remote area fire fighters;
  • The lightning strategy has been reviewed and refined, allowing fire agencies to take a proactive approach to the detection of and response to fires that result from lightning strikes with the assistance of spotter flights and pre-positioned aircraft;
  • The Red Hot Tips Program continues to assist registered landholders to reduce fire risk on their properties, with over 189 burns completed, covering over 4,000 hectares of land;
  • The Fuel Reduction Program has undertaken 175 fuel reductions burns this year, treating nearly 10 150 hectares.  The Spring Burning program will commence soon, which will reduce the risk even further with another 200 burns scheduled;
  • Community engagement is being undertaken through the Bushfire Ready Neighbourhoods Program which is aimed at facilitating bushfire preparedness strategies and capacity building with local communities;
  • 133 Bushfire Protection Plans are in place for high-risk communities; and
  • Contracting the aerial support to the Bushfire Season to ensure that bushfires are targeted early and extinguished.

The Tasmanian Liberal Government has invested strongly for bushfire prevention, and will continue to do so to ensure that our communities are kept safe from the threat of bushfire.