BAILLIEU’S BUSHFIRE MAP CAUSING WIDESPREAD CONFUSION

Posted on 03. Oct, 2011 in News

Victorians living in fire-prone communities have been put at risk due to confusing and inconsistent maps issued by the Baillieu Government, Leader of the Opposition Daniel Andrews said today.

Visiting Cockatoo, Mr Andrews said the Bushfire Prone Area Maps, which detail the Baillieu Government’s assessment of ‘at risk’ areas across the State, had curiously part-omitted at least 23 communities classified as ‘at risk’ on the CFA’s Victorian Fire Risk Register.

Cockatoo, which was razed by Ash Wednesday bushfires in 1983, is classified as in extreme danger of bushfire on the CFA’s register but is not classed as ‘at risk’ by Mr Baillieu’s maps.

“A large part of Cockatoo has not been identified as bushfire-prone by the new bushfire mapping system, which was released last month,” Mr Andrews said.

“However, the Gembrook Township Protection Plan, which contains mapping from the CFA’s Victorian Fire Risk Register, clearly classifies the Cockatoo Township as an ‘extreme’ risk rating.

“This has left people rightly confused about whether their homes are at risk in the event of bushfire or not.”

Mr Andrews said it was illogical for the Baillieu Government to require houses on one side of a street to have additional fire-safety building standards and not houses on the other side.

“Mr Baillieu’s bushfire map was meant to give communities greater planning certainty and protection from bushfires. Instead it has caused uncertainty in dozens of communities across Victoria,” he said.

“History, local knowledge and commonsense clearly demonstrates Cockatoo with its dense foliage needs to be well prepared for the risk of bushfire.”

Earlier today, Shadow Minister for Bushfire Response Jacinta Allan visited California Gully, nearBendigo.

California Gully is another Victorian community that is classified as ‘at risk’ on the CFA’s register but is not identified by Mr Baillieu’s maps as ‘at risk’ despite a history of bushfires.

Ms Allan urged Victorians not to be distracted by the confusion over Mr Baillieu’s maps and to start work on plans for days of high fire-risk and prepare their homes, properties and businesses to minimise their bushfire risk.

“As bushfire season approaches, the Baillieu Government should be helping Victorians prepare their homes, not confusing them about whether or not they need to,” Ms Allan said.

“Since Black Saturday, the former Labor Government held Fire Action Week in the first weeks of October to raise awareness about the upcoming fire season and encourage Victorians across the State to prepare, plan and be safe.

“Under Mr Baillieu, however, Fire Action Week won’t be held until much later in the year.

“The Opposition doesn’t think this is good enough and we are encouraging people to prepare for the fire season now.”

Townships classed as ‘at risk’ by CFA’s Victorian Fire Risk Register that have been partially exempted from the Baillieu Government’s Bushfire Prone Area Maps:

Andersons Inlet (including Inverloch, Venus Bay

Bendigo

Blairgowrie

Castlemaine

Cockatoo

DandenongRanges(Upwey, Tecoma)

Daylesford

Dunkeld

Eaglehawk

Gembrook

Greendale

Jan Juc

Junortoun

KangarooFlat

Macedon

Maiden Gully

Marengo

Mt Helen/Mt Clear

Rye

St Arnaud

Trentham

Warrandyte

Woodend

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