Con­trolled burns start

Avon Valley Gazette - - NEWS -

SPRING burn­ing has be­gun, with the State Govern­ment cap­i­tal­is­ing on favourable weather con­di­tions to get bush­fire- ready ahead of the com­ing sum­mer months.

In the 2016- 17 fi­nan­cial year, the Parks and Wildlife Ser­vice at the De­part­ment of Bio­di­ver­sity, Con­ser­va­tion and At­trac­tions burnt 247,360 hectares, its best re­sult in 29 years.

The de­part­ment aims to have 45 per cent of the land­scape it man­ages in the south­west for­est re­gions – about 2.5 mil­lion hectares – at less than six years since last burnt.

At the end of the pre­vi­ous fi­nan­cial year, it was at 41 per cent.

An ad­di­tional $ 5.5 mil­lion in State Govern­ment fund­ing has en­abled the de­part­ment to hold ad­di­tional burn­ing when con­di­tions are suit­able, as well as ex­tend em­ploy­ment con­tracts of sea­sonal land man­age­ment em­ploy­ees as re­quired.

En­vi­ron­ment Min­is­ter Stephen Daw­son said it was es­sen­tial to en­sure com­mu­ni­ties were given the great­est pro­tec­tion dur­ing bush­fires.

“Com­mu­nity safety is para­mount and the ad­di­tional fund­ing in this year’s Bud­get will help get the State’s forests and con­ser­va­tion lands bush­fire- ready be­fore the sum­mer months,” he said.

“The ex­tra fund­ing has pro­vided the de­part­ment with greater re­sources and flex­i­bil­ity to safely un­der­take as much burn­ing as it can.

“This fund­ing will be used to ex­tend sea­sonal em­ploy­ment con­tracts and use small busi­nesses such as heavy ma­chin­ery con­trac­tors in re­gional ar­eas, pro­vid­ing in­creased em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties with di­rect safety, so­cial, eco­nomic and con­ser­va­tion ben­e­fits.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.