A new Draft Strategic Bushfire Management Plan

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SIMON Corbell has announced the release of version three of the Draft Strategic Bushfire Management Plan, the last draft was released in 2009.

“The draft SBMP Version Three is designed to get the Canberra community’s attention about living in at risk areas where the city meets the bush and reinforces the government’s key message of ‘Living on the edge – help shape bushfire management in the ACT’,” Simon said.

“The plan considers all bushfire risks across the ACT and sets out a clear direction for the government and the community to work together to reduce the risk of bushfires.

“I encourage all interested people to review the plan and to provide their comments to the ESA Commissioner by 30 July. The release of this exposure draft provides Canberrans with further opportunity to provide feedback on the development of the plan. This follows the community consultations undertaken to date.”

Updates to the plan have resulted from community consultations and lessons learned from other jurisdictions over the past five years.

“A significant change includes the introduction of ‘bushfire prone areas’. The findings of the 2009 Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission highlighted that in relation to those who died in the bushfires ‘24 per cent seemed unaware that they were in a bushfire risk area’.”

“This plan identifies the vital role the community members play in understanding and addressing the risk they and their families face in bushfire prone areas. This will allow the ESA to assess the risk as well as provide for specifically targeted bushfire education and awareness programs to the community.”

The Emergencies Act 2004 requires strategic bushfire management plans be reviewed at intervals of no more than five years.

Comments can be sent to the ESA Commissioner at sbmphaveyoursay@act.gov.au .

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