The Greens WA Party released its Bush Fire Readiness policy this week. Their policy agenda is published below.
The policy release has been welcomed by the Association of Volunteer Bush Fire Brigades, the State Emergency Service Volunteers’ Association, the Emergency Services Volunteers Association, WAFarmers and the Pastoralists and Graziers Association who have worked together to promote reform of emergency service sector as recommended by the Ferguson Inquiry.
The Greens WA Policy supports the Ferguson reform agenda and supports our efforts to restore independent authority to local volunteers and their communities.
It is good to see the Greens listening to the community and developing policy that will benefit community and volunteers who are the backbone of this state.
We have issued a public statement welcoming the Greens WA policy as set out below and appreciate the opportunity we had to speak with them about the policy.
Greens WA bush fire readiness policy
Better bush fire readiness as summers get hotter
The Greens would fight to create a fully independent rural/bushfire service for volunteer firefighters to deal with mitigation, bushfire response and to support local governments in building regional community resilience as the threat of bushfires intensify into the future.
The Greens will also lobby for an extra $20million over four years to manage fuel load mitigation to prepare for more catastrophic bushfire seasons using local knowledge from community experts in bushfire prone areas.
Greens candidate for Murray-Wellington, Callum Burwood, said of the $320million collected from the Emergency Services Levy (ESL), 90 per cent goes towards administration and just 10 per cent to actual emergencies.
“Firefighters want more bang for their buck with the ESL. We need more of the levy to be put back into the community and build resilience, not fear. We need to reduce fuel loads with prescribed burns, nationally accredited training, and better equipment for firefighters,” he said.
Greens candidate for East Metro, Tim Clifford said regulating housing developments in bushfire areas was one element of a range of preventative measures to keep people and their properties safe from bushfires in extreme weather.
“More attention needs to be paid to where developments are allowed to take place,” he said.
- The rural/bushfire service aims to support local government in mitigation and response efforts, and provide the resourcing and training that volunteers have been crying out for.
- Fight to see the recommendations of the Ferguson Inquiry into Yarloop implemented;
o The creation of an independent rural/bushfire service
o Quarantine more funding from the Emergency Services Levy towards on the ground services, support and mitigation to better reflect all components of the “Planning Preparation Response Recovery” model;
o Increase mitigation and support to the Department of Parks and Wildlife to enable evidence based preventative measures
- A mandatory additional $20 million over four years allocated to bushfire mitigation, including to DPAW and local governments to enable sound prevention measures to be achieved;
- Replace mandatory burn quotas with evidence based, hazard reduction to reduce fuel loads at appropriate times in bushfire prone areas in metro and regional WA;
- Establish a parliamentary committee to ensure consultation across all parties
- Boost resourcing to properly recruit, train and equip our Volunteer Bushfire Brigades, and provide the opportunity to train volunteers to national standard to provide better support to local governments;
- Fit for purpose off road vehicles for volunteer brigades;
- Campaign to increase the numbers of career firefighters and ground services in WA to meet the increasing risk of bushfires caused by Climate Change;
- Establish a public community – centred education campaign focused on community empowerment and early warning training;
- Improve early-warning systems, including Social Media, SMS and telephone alerts and re-establish local community fire sirens to residents in affected areas;
- Community centred emergency education and communications of bushfire risk;
- Regulate developments in high-bushfire-risk areas and put the onus of bushfire requirements back on developers;
- Create communal public safety areas and support retrofitting of existing public and community buildings to AS3959-2009 standards in high-risk areas;
- Provide funding to the Department of Parks and Wildlife to establish a Centre of Excellence devoted to research and development of an evidence base on the most effective method of fire management in different eco-regions such as Banksia woodlands and Jarrah forests, as well as undertaking research on the effect of bushfires on local flora and fauna species
- Develop a coordinated and comprehensive WA State Climate Change Risk Assessment and Adaptation Strategy which outlines key responsible agencies, deadlines for actions and associated budget in line with best practice and;
- Support the cost savings identified by Indigenous hunting burning through opposing the closure of remote communities.