Total Fire Ban GAPP Fire prevention Gippsland | June 23, 2017

Gippsland taking lead on fire prevention

The Environment and Planning Committee’s report, Inquiry into fire season preparedness, tabled in parliament yesterday, has acknowledged the success of the Gippsland Arson Prevention Program (GAPP) and recommended that it be replicated in regions across the state.

Member for Morwell Russell Northe has welcomed the release of the report and congratulated GAPP for the part it played in sharing its experience with the committee.

“GAPP is a fantastic collaboration of government agencies and key industries from across Gippsland, formed after the devastating 2009 Gippsland bushfires,” Mr Northe said.

“The program implements fire prevention patrols across both public and private land, as well as education programs through a range of media.”

“It’s a wonderful example of a cross-agency / private sector initiative to improve our communities and make them safer.”

Member for Eastern Victoria Melina Bath is a member of the Environment and Planning Committee, and had welcomed the submission from GAPP.

In its submission, GAPP noted that there was no on-the-spot fine for lighting a fire on a day of total fire ban.

“Currently, if you light a fire on a day of Total Fire Ban, it’s either a warning or the matter has to be taken to court,” Ms Bath said.

“Lighting a fire on a Total Fire Ban day is too serious an issue for a simple warning letter, but the alternative of having to take every instance detected to court is a drawn-out process.”

“Our report recommends that the Andrews Labor Government introduce new penalties for offences against Total Fire Bans, and I thoroughly endorse this recommendation.”

Maarty Krygsman of GAPP has welcomed the release of the committee’s report.

“GAPP members were very happy with the recommendations relating to our submissions in the final report of the inquiry,” Mr Krygsman said.

“We believe if implemented these recommendations will deter people lighting fires on Total Fire Ban days when they can have devastating consequences.”

"GAPP has been running for eight years now and we are grateful for the acknowledgement in the report of our work to help protect our communities from wildfire,” he concluded.


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