Local experts underutilised in bushfire mitigation
Councillor Peter Lane says the State Government has to seriously consider the under-use of local expertise when fighting serious bushfires.
He has signalled a possible council motion of writing to the State Government stressing local knowledge as a crucial factor in future firefighting efforts.
The discussion at last week’s Shire of Augusta-Margaret River council meeting arose from feedback about Labor’s bushfire mitigation summit earlier this year, which underwhelmed council chiefs.
Cr Lane recounted his experience of the 2011 Margaret River bushfires during which the former Department of Environment and Conservation burn-off escaped control and destroyed more than 40 properties.
Cr Lane said the firefighting response didn’t reflect an understanding of local factors such as wind and geography.
“None of that came up in that discussion in the bushfire mitigation process,” he said.
Deputy Shire president Kylie Kennaugh added that she was never asked to evacuate her home, despite being 300m from where one of the fires started.