Wednesday, October 26, 2011

community fire refuge - pilot for yarra ranges?

report from the roundtable - 25 oct

At this week's council meeting I raised a motion in response to the government's recent announcement of the Community Fire Refuges Policy.

As part of the policy announcement the government has committed $1.5million to progress an immediate pilot of a community fire refuge (CFR).

My motion sought to write to the Minister for Emergency Services and the Fire Services Commissioner to have the first pilot community fire refuge located in the Shire of Yarra Ranges.

In speaking to the motion I clarified to my councillor colleagues that I thought that CFRs were part of a suite of shelter in place options for those caught out in a fire but certainly weren't a replacement for a well thought out and considered personal fire plan.

Given Yarra Ranges' lead role in relation to managing fire risk and fire preparedness I thought our municipality was ideally placed to be the location for the pilot CFR. Given our population, landscape and fire risk, it makes sense to have the pilot CFR located in Yarra Ranges.

Due to the strategic work just announced for the Dandenong Ranges (the Dandenong Ranges Bushfire Landscape Strategy), I thought it was not likely that the Dandenongs would be the location for a pilot CFR, something very disappointing to me. I have concerns as to how many summers the Dandenong Ranges community must wait until we have the full suite of options available to us in the event of a fire. There is also the issue of building standards for refuges, which I believe won't be available to mid next year.

There are also other locations in the shire which may be suitable for the pilot CFR, in particular Warburton or Powelltown, both remote communities with few options in high risk locations. It seems that there are numerous hurdles in place, however I think a positive starting point would be to see Yarra Ranges nominated as the site for the first CFR.

I'm pleased to report that councillors supported the motion unanimously.

Labels: , , , , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home

eXTReMe Tracker