GREG'S LEGACY

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Nats leader welcomes prescribed burns

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Friday, 18 May 2007

Leader of The Nationals Peter Ryan has urged the State Government to continue providing additional resources for a statewide fuel reduction burning program.

Mr Ryan said the mild autumn weather had provided an ideal opportunity for fuel reduction burns in many parts of the state.

“From the reports I have received, the fuel reduction burns have been very successful in many areas,” Mr Ryan said.

“While it is inevitable that some people will be inconvenienced by the smoke, the comparatively short-term annoyance is outweighed by the benefits to the wider community.

“The Nationals have consistently called for more resources to conduct fuel reduction burns to protect communities. It makes more sense to employ additional resources for the fuel reduction burns than spend hundreds of millions fighting wildfires in the summer.

“When it comes to bushfires, there’s no question that prevention is better than cure. We are always going to face a bushfire risk in Victoria but the public land management strategies can help to reduce the risk to life and property.

“I am pleased to see that the government finally appears to be listening to the concerns of locals and placing a greater emphasis on fuel reduction activities.”

The State Government has claimed that 118,000 hectares, out of a targeted total of 130,000 hectares, has been burned in 2006-07.

Mr Ryan said it was a vast improvement on previous years and proof that fuel reduction burns could be achieved with greater commitment from the government.

“The experience of the past few months suggests that if the government is committed to a policy of fuel reduction burns and provides the necessary resources, the men and women on the ground can get the job done,” Mr Ryan said.

“It must remain a high priority in the future in the interests of protecting country families from the ravages of bushfires.

“For the present though this is a case of credit where due and both the Government and DSE are to be commended for the work to date”.

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Written by Greg Naylor

20 May 2007 at 2:08 pm

Posted in media release

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