Dodging Daniel Andrews refuses to release bushfire fuel load maps

Daniel Andrews has failed to release bushfire fuel load maps for Victoria, despite an order from State Parliament to make the documents public.

The Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria Region, Melina Bath, said the Legislative Council passed a motion earlier this year ordering the maps be released by December 11.

“Here we are – one week past deadline – and Daniel Andrews is playing games, delaying and dodging a direct order of State Parliament,” said Ms Bath.

The Andrews Government’s Attorney-General Jill Hennessy has stated the “date for the production of the maps does not allow sufficient time for the purpose of responding to the order”.

Ms Bath said the lack of transparency from Daniel Andrews and his Ministers was simply not good enough.

“With a dangerous fire season underway, it appears Daniel Andrews doesn’t want Victorians to know exactly what fire preparedness activities have – or haven’t – been undertaken,’ said Ms Bath.

“The Andrews Government should now have completed a comprehensive bushfire risk assessment, undertaken all planning and developed an accurate understanding of fuel loads maps in state forests and National Parks.

“Anything to the contrary would be negligent.”

The Bushfire Royal Commission recommended the Victorian State Government fund and commit to implementing a long-term program of prescribed burning based on an annual rolling target of 5 per cent minimum of public land.

Ms Bath said the Andrews Labor Government has arrogantly ignored the Royal Commission findings, placing lives and property at risk.

“Frustratingly, Daniel Andrews has ignored bushfire prevention advice and is now in the business of keeping fire prone communities in the dark,” Ms Bath said.

“With bushfires still burning in East Gippsland and hot and dry conditions forecast in the coming days and weeks, Daniel Andrews must immediately release the fuel load maps so communities can be informed and prepare.”