Extension of time for fire submissions

Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria Region Melina Bath has encouraged Gippslanders to contribute to the Victorian Parliament’s Environment and Planning Committee’s inquiry into fire season preparedness.

Responding to strong community interest, the committee has extended the submission deadline until 29 July 2016.

Ms Bath, who sits on the committee, said interested parties had an opportunity to make their communities safer by submitting feedback to the inquiry.

“It is important that we have a range of people share their views and experiences on fire preparedness whether that be CFA volunteers, farmers, local councils and residents in high risk areas,” Ms Bath said.

Ms Bath said the inquiry would examine the level of preparation and planning that is undertaken for fire seasons, focusing on the work of the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP), and agencies including Parks Victoria.

“Preventative burning is one of the key issues being considered and we will examine how it is done, how effective it is in keeping the community safe, and what impacts it has on vegetation and threatened species,” Ms Bath said.

“Gippsland is an extremely fire prone area and unfortunately many residents in my electorate experienced the horror of the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires which resulted in the death of 173 Victorians, impacting heavily on the Gippsland area.

“The issues discussed in this inquiry will be significant to regional communities such as those in Gippsland who face the threat of bushfire every year and I encourage those who may be affected to make a submission.”

For information on how to make submissions visit: www.parliament.vic.gov.au/epc/inquiry/437