NO COMPLACENCY IN FIRE SEASON
Last Thursday’s headline says it all. Emergency Minister Reece Whitby MLA warns of a ‘horror bushfire season’, revealing WA is spending ‘record amounts to mitigate bushfire risk.’ Everyone must have a Bushfire Plan, he says. We agree 100%. But what about the Govt’s Bushfire Plan? Is it consistent - or complacent, with the reality we face?
Last Tuesday the Govt’s own Planning Committee (SPC), considered approving 56 houses in Parkerville, on land adjoining $atterley and the Anglican Church’s (currently rejected), dangerous and destructive North $toneville. Save Perth Hills has revealed to this Committee, the plan’s: - DODGY Map (see earlier post) - DODGY BAL Ratings, based on... - DODGY Slope Estimates - OUT OF DATE 30-METRE Clutterbuck Creek Setback and; - INADEQUATE ESCAPE for 240 EXTRA people
More than 100 locals, Mundaring Shire Council, Stoneville and Parkerville Ratepayers’ Association (SPPA) and Save Perth Hills, OPPOSE this plan that will INCREASE, not MITIGATE, bushfire risks.
Minutes before last Tuesday’s meeting, Save Perth Hills urgently informed the Committee of SEVERE BUSHFIRE CONDITIONS developing. Then, as the Committee deliberated, Chittering came under serious bushfire threat (a housing development is on the table over there, BTW) The next day, Margaret River region erupted in bushfire that’s still burning. We’ve URGED the Committee to DEFER their decision at least until Wooroloo’s Bushfire Inquiry is released (any day now). Our point is: ...the Govt spends TAXPAYERS’ millions to ‘MITIGATE RISK’ then tasks its own Planning Chiefs to consider INCREASING RISK by approving more houses, for more people in regions more at risk than ever, of bushfire catastrophes. Had Chittering’s fire escalated to a Wooroloo scale - while Margaret River burned, our limited firefighting resources - stretched over 360kms, could NOT have saved both regions.
There’s no room for complacency - on ANY level. We ALL need a bushfire plan - including our Govt. The Govt’s plan MUST be to PLAN DIFFERENTLY in Perth’s Hills. The Govt must approve ONLY what we can defend... including what to do in CONCURRENT bushfire emergencies.
We find out next week if the Committee has the courage to DEFER this flawed Parkerville plan - and demonstrate a Govt commitment to put lives ahead of irresponsible planning. Because THAT would be a Govt Bushfire Plan worth having...