Bushfire plans

No-one is in any doubt that having a bushfire action plan is a critical step to ensure survival in the event of a major fire disaster.
It’s not an iron clad guarantee, but if people choose to live in this environment, being prepared is essential.
Action plans provide structure, direction and consistency for that preparation.
So it’s not surprising that the members of State Parliament’s Natural Resources Committee became alarmed when they heard evidence that the “vast majority” of homes in the Hills would be vulnerable if an Ash Wednesday-sized fire engulfed the district and that the “majority” of residents did not have a plan.
However, the document in which it recommends making it mandatory for householders in risk areas to make a plan and lodge it with their local councils is poorly argued and unlikely to succeed.
For starters its suggestion of a simple checklist overrides its own “note” that more than one plan might be needed for each household allowing for “different conditions and different circumstances on different days of the week”.
A simple checklist might make people tick a box to avoid a fine but the report offers no evidence that it will make complacent residents change their ways.
Nowhere does it examine other ways to ‘skin the cat’ to improve the safety of residents and simply offloads the resulting administrative nightmare onto councils.
It also removes, to a large degree, the onus of responsibility for dealing with risk from the individual to a government body.
Councils will be alarmed about taking responsibility for a household’s bushfire plan.
What if the checklist omitted something critical? What if the plan failed and someone in the household died?
A simple checklist doesn’t adequately address the problem and creates a great deal of bureaucracy for no real benefit.
The Adelaide Hills Council is rightly critical of the finding. It has even more grounds to be unhappy that the recommendation was made without its input.
Admittedly the committee was looking at a range of bushfire preparation issues and the action plan was only part of a wider investigation.
However, it is disappointing that the committee couldn’t find time to talk to a council that has 533sq km zoned high bushfire risk.
Adelaide Hills Council was scheduled to give evidence, but this (and evidence from other relevant parties) was cancelled because the committee ran out of time to publish its report before the end of the Parliamentary year.

1 Comment on "Bushfire plans"

  1. SACFS Volunteer Fire Fighters injured while assisting SAMFS, Why are our Volunteers treated differently when we do the same job.

    The SA Government and The Fire Brigade Unions need to Stand up for our professional Volunteer Fire Fighters and be counted.

    There are many occasions that SAMFS and SACFS Fire Fighters work together and go interstate as strike teams so please explain the difference.

    Neal Smith
    Former SACFS Fire Fighter and Cancer Survivor
    Administrator Volunteer Fire Fighters and Cancer Risks on FBhttps://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Volunteer-Fire-Fighters-and-Cancer-Risks/574908925867929

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