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Mark Shelton has no grip on fire readiness

  • Bushfire readiness far from certain
  • Mark Shelton has his head in the sand
  • Lack of resources and staff could leave the state exposed

Mark Shelton has failed to acknowledge deeply concerning revelations about Tasmania’s poor state of readiness for the summer bushfire season.

Shadow Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Management Jen Butler said senior staff within the fire service have listed a catalogue of issues.

“People are speaking up because they’re worried about the risk to firefighters, volunteers and communities this summer.

“Mark Shelton says people are ready and plans are in place for this summer, but those who’ve bravely spoken up say a lack of resources and staff could leave the state exposed.

“Many firefighters have not had real relief since the last fire season, and they are fatigued before summer even begins.”

Ms Butler said concerns raised included:

  • A recommendation from the previous fire season to develop a purpose-built State Control Centre has not been acted on; instead a demountable building in a car park on Hobart’s outskirts will be used.
  • During last week’s total fire ban, volunteer brigades were pulled from the north west of the state because the Tasmania Fire Service could not fill their strike team requirements in the south.
  • Fuel reduction burns have been concentrated in the north and north west, instead of the south and east, where the fire risk is greatest.

“Senior staff are expressing concern about the ability of fire service leadership to effectively manage day to day business, let alone a crisis situation.”

Jen Butler
Shadow Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Management