Posted on 29. Jul, 2011 in News

The Baillieu-Ryan Government should immediately implement all the Bushfire Royal Commission recommendations it has failed to act upon, Shadow Minister for Bushfire Response Jacinta Allan said.

Ms Allan said today’s release of the Bushfire Royal Commission Implementation Monitor Progress Report showed the Baillieu-Ryan Government was backing away from its promises to implement all 67 recommendations from the Bushfire Royal Commission.

“Mr Baillieu and Mr Ryan were very vocal and highly critical in Opposition about the implementation of recommendations relating to the upgrade of Divisional Command Centres and community warning sirens, but now in Government the Implementation Monitor has found that they have failed to act,” Ms Allan said.

“It is not good enough for Mr Baillieu and Mr Ryan in Opposition to go on the attack but then in Government stick their head in the sand on critical recommendations they vowed they would implement.”

Ms Allan said more than eight months of dithering by the Baillieu-Ryan Government meant many recommendations had not been advanced.

“Mr Ryan and Mr Baillieu have all but ignored the recommendations on shelter options, township protection plans and evacuation arrangements for vulnerable people,” she said.

Ms Allan said the fact that Community Services Minister Mary Wooldridge was as recently as May this year not even aware that the responsibility for maintaining the Vulnerable Persons Register fell under her portfolio was outrageous.

“The Baillieu-Ryan Government has dropped the ball on maintaining the Vulnerable Persons Register as highlighted in this report by Neil Comrie,” she said.

“The register is about ensuring vulnerable Victorians are supported during an emergency situation, so it’s shameful this Government has not acted.”

Ms Allan said the report noted with concern that anecdotal evidence was emerging of a worrying level of public apathy in relation to bushfires, and that the government played a critical role in engaging with the community.

“At a time when communities at risk of bushfire need leadership from their Government, they have got nothing but dithering,” she said.

“The Baillieu-Ryan Government promised to implement each and every recommendation and it is time it delivered.”

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