Vic bushfire commission: community plan needed
The 2009 Victorian Bushfire Royal Commission’s final report has recommended the state incorporate fire risks into town planning, standardise fire refuges and improve information sharing between responding agencies.
The fires which took the lives of 173 people have resulted in 67 recommendations on how the state should reorganise itself to prevent a repeat of the 2008 catastrophe.
The Royal Commission released its final report on Saturday.
Communication and information quality were high on the agenda for the commission, which recommended the state tailor its preparation plans to specific regions, as well as bolster community education.
It has recommended “appropriate criteria” are used for bushfire shelters to avoid discouraging communities to use them in the event of a fire.
The state has been given 10 years to replace “single-wire earth return” power lines with safer alternatives, such as aerial bundled or underground cable.
The recommendations also canvass urban planning, urging a “regional settlement policy” that factors in bushfire risks and incorporates it into the development approval process.
Agencies should also break down information silos, with the Department of Sustainability and Environment to provide the Country Fire Authority mapping data free of charge.