The following extract is from a speech made by Jessica Shaw, the Member for Swan Hills in the Lower House of Parliament yesterday in response to the State Budget:
MS J. SHAW (Swan Hills): Fire significantly impacts people in Swan Hills. We will deliver $5.5 million for prescribed burning to reduce bushfire risk ensuring that lands under the state government’s care are managed to protect communities, visitors and built and natural assets.
This is really important. I was actually twice evacuated during the Parkerville bushfires; firstly, from my own house, where I packed my fur babies into my car and went to my mum’s, and when the wind changed direction we were then evacuated from Chidlow. Every summer, if we look up into the hills and see a plume of smoke rising, the first thought that enters our minds is: Is it near someone I love? Is it near my house? Effectively addressing bushfire management risk is so important to people in Swan Hills. I acknowledge that this will significantly allay a lot of people’s concerns about fire management in the hills. Locally, I was particularly proud to obtain funding of $10 000 for the equipment needed by each local bush fire brigade in my electorate. Probably nobody is better positioned to understand the needs of the teams on the ground than the teams themselves. I have really enjoyed the collaborative nature in which the Swan Hills volunteer bush fire brigade associations have worked with me. They are fantastic guys, and I am very proud to support them.
I note that the budget includes funding for ongoing work on the drafting of the emergency services bill. I look forward to clarification of how agency and stakeholder responsibilities for the prevention, mitigation and response to emergencies will be implemented.