Thursday, December 2, 2010

What of safety requirements NOT in Commission's recommendations?

Victoria's new Premier, Ted Baillieu, has pledged to implement all the recommendations of the 2009 Bushfires Royal Commission.
But will he implement vital bushfire safety reforms NOT in the Commission's recommendations?
Will his government implement grants or low interest loans to low income residents of bushfire prone areas to help them prepare their homes for bushfire safety? And funding for municipal councils so they can arrange physical help less able householders to put their properties in a safe state before summer.
Will he implement bushfire safety training programs for workplaces, unions, migrant centres … And even more important, have bushfire safety taught in schools. Through this, the children who later live as adults in bushfire vulnerable areas, will grow up knowing how to react safely.
Will this government be the one to give bushfire authorities permission to alert the public to accurate, helpful publications other than their own, so that personal fire plans are made with the most knowledge possible. Brochures and radio bites are not enough.
And above all, will this brand new government see that bushfire building regulations are not enough? Will it regulate residency to those with a knowledge of personal bushfire safety?
Will Mr Baillieu's bureaucrats require country and urban fringe householders to pass a bushfire safety ‘licence-to-live-there’ test? A test of whether they know how to make a house safe from embers, to enhance safety through management of garden fuel and how to defend and shelter safely. A test of whether they know how to react safety if bushfire threatens.