Tasmania’s bushfire season may be delayed due to heavy rainfall, Premier Peter Gutwein has told State Parliament.
He made the comment as he announced that a Draft Bushfire Mitigation Measures Bill had been released for consultation.
If passed the bill would introduce a new legislative framework for bushfire mitigation in Tasmania.
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Mr Gutwein said the bill would ensure Tasmania was as well prepared as possible to respond to bushfires.
“I’m advised that the Tasmania Fire Service anticipates that the start of this fire season may be delayed due to the significant rainfall we’ve had,” he said.
“During the spring, pasture growth is likely to be significant in these areas and will be monitored as we move forward.
“This year, an additional four helicopters and two fixed wing aircraft will be deployed into Tasmania to support our existing aerial firefighting and intelligence capability.”
Mr Gutwein said the draft bill would make it easier to reduce fuel and mechanically clean vegetation for fuel breaks “while balancing environmental and community concerns”.
“Importantly, it will make it easier for landholders to reduce fuel loads by allowing approvals to be granted in a shorter time frame when a bushfire hazard management plan is in place,” he said.
“There will also be clear accountability for landowners and occupiers, both public and private, in regards to bushfire mitigation.
“Although we have a nation-leading and well-resourced fuel reduction program, we know the traditional window available for fuel reduction is narrowing and the intensity of our bushfires is increasing.
“It is not possible to eliminate bushfires, however, measures can and should be put in place to reduce the impact of fires and we must do everything we can to protect life, property, infrastructure and our natural assets.”
Tasmanians have until October 23 to provide feedback on the draft bill.