Fire safety shortfall
NEARLY 90 per cent of schools designated as bushfire prone have not had extra preventative measures installed to reduce the risk of a fire spreading inside a school during a bushfire emergency.
In May, WA Education Minister Sue Ellery announced $6.75 million would be invested by the State Government to equip 222 schools with ember screens on evaporative airconditioners to guard against ember attacks during a bushfire.
The screens were a recommendation of the Keelty report into the RoleystoneKelmscott fire in 2011 that destroyed 71 homes.
In State Parliament last month, Ms Ellery admitted of the 223 school sites identified for the installation of ember screens as part of the 2018-19 program, only 29 sites had had the ember screens installed and 33 sites were in progress. Seven schools in Cockburn and one in Fremantle are among those still waiting.
East Metropolitan MLC Donna Faragher said the work should have been completed or be close to completion.
“These are important preventative measures and the Minister needs to ensure they are completed as soon as possible,” she said.
Ms Ellery said it was anticipated that the 2018-19 ember screen program would be completed by the end of January.
“The list is subject to change as detailed on-site inspection may reveal that no or fewer ember screens are required,” she said.