Fire safety short­fall

Fremantle Gazette - - NEWS -

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.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.