Posted on 23. Jan, 2012 in Victoria

The Baillieu Government has let down Victorians living in fire-prone areas after a report revealed that fire authorities were struggling to meet prescribed burning targets, Shadow Minister for Emergency Services Danielle Green said today.

“It is clear the Baillieu Government has failed to achieve its own prescribed burn targets and its responsibility to prepare Victoria against bushfire,” Ms Green said.

“The Baillieu Government is more focused on meeting politically-motivated targets, than protecting communities most at risk.

“Mr Baillieu should be listening to the experts and burning in areas that will save lives properties and businesses rather than burning in remote areas.

“As a result, communities throughout the Yarra Ranges and the Dandenongs have been left exposed where only 16 per cent of the target has been achieved in the Central Region.

“These include communities in Healesville, Mount Dandenong, Upper Ferntree Gully, Warrandyte, Cockatoo and Emerald.

“Politics should have no part in the Government’s plan to prepare Victoria against bushfire – but under Ted Baillieu it is front and centre.”

Ms Green said the bungled handling of back-burning was the latest failing by the Baillieu Government on bushfire safety.

“The Baillieu Government is mismanaging its responsibility to prepare Victorian families and businesses against fire,” Ms Green said.

“Firstly Mr Baillieu postponed Fire Action Week until after a quarter of the state was already under threat from fire. Mr Baillieu knocked back a request by fire authorities for a third ‘Elvis’ aircrane, and he also failed to provide funding for much needed CFA fire station upgrades.

“When it comes to preparing Victoria for bushfire, governments can either be popular or they can be effective.

“Back-burning huge amounts of grassland is no substitute for targeted burns in areas that will protect properties and save lives.

Townships within the Victoria’s Central Region where the government had achieved only 16 per cent of their prescribed burn target.

• Avonsleigh • Badger Creek, • Belgrave • Belgrave Heights • Belgrave South, • Big Pats Creek, • Chum Creek, • Cockatoo, • East Warburton • Emerald • Ferny Creek, • Gembrook, • Healesville, • Kallista, • Kalorama, • Lysterfield • McMahons Creek • Millgroye, • Monbulk, • Montrose, • Mount Dandenong • Mount Evelyn, • Olinda, • Pakenham Upper, • Powelltown, • Reefton • Sassafras, • Sherbrooke, • Silvan, • Tecoma • The Basin, • The Patch, • Tremont, • Upper Ferntree Gully, • Upwey, • Warrandyte, • Wesburn,

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