Planned burns must be allowed

The Liberal Nationals are calling on Premier Daniel Andrews to immediately lift his ban on vital fuel reduction burns.

CFA management have had to stop planned burns because of the current COVID-19 restrictions.

In January this year devastating bushfires gravely impacted regional Victoria. Andrews’ ban on vital fuel reduction burns in the lead up to this year’s fire season could imperil regional communities.

This ban should never have been implemented. Instead, measures to mitigate the impact of coronavirus should have been put in place to ensure vital fuel reduction burns could have continued.

Comments attributable to Nick Wakeling MP, Shadow Minister for Emergency Services:

“Given the devastating impact of the January bushfires across regional Victoria, the Andrews Labor Government should be able to provide appropriate PPE and social distancing measures to ensure that vital fuel reduction burns are undertaken.

“Other emergency service workers such a police and ambulance officers can continue to operate during COVID – why can’t similar measures be put in place for staff undertaking fuel reduction burns in our state forests?

“Victorians are uniquely placed to understand that preparing for bushfires and the safety of so many of our communities can’t be put on hold.

“While the Andrews Labor Government cleans up the mess it created through the botched hotel quarantine program, putting hazard reduction on hold should not an option.”

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