Black Saturday, ten years on: what’s changed?

The March edition of the VNPA’s Parkwatch magazine is now online, and can be found online here.

The magazine has numerous articles of interest, but we particularly recommend the section where the magazine looks over the Bushfire Royal Commission’s recommendations for action, and assesses how well these recommendations have been followed:

  • Improve community education, the effectiveness of warnings and strategies for safe evacuation.
  • Establish a comprehensive approach to shelter options.
  • Upgrade emergency management, including fire path prediction and the revision of lines of authority.
  • Upgrade the capacity to respond to fire ignitions, including aerial response.
  • Power lines should go underground.
  • There should be a commitment to research and effective action on arsonists.
  • Planning and building controls need strengthening.
  • Improved fuel reduction burning effectiveness.
  • Implementing the recommendations.

For each of these recommendations, the report is mixed: and the magazine concludes as a general comment: ‘The Implementation Monitor for the commission’s recommendations, Neil Comrie, pointed out that the 67 recommendations shouldn’t be considered in isolation. Rather, all identified strategies to protect life (as a priority), infrastructure and the environment should be considered together. Despite its limitations, fuel reduction planning continues, to a large degree, in isolation from other very useful strategic options.

‘And climate change is still the elephant rampaging through the room.’

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