The following is an excerpt from a speech given in Parliament last night by the Member for Wanneroo, Ms Sabine Winton MLA:
Ms S WINTON:
I want to briefly touch on something that affects my community and my electorate a lot, and I know it does many others.
The bushfire season is well and truly on us. I note that this weekend will be a hot one. Fifty per cent of the 5 000 fires started last year were on the urban fringe. Of course, my electorate is a 90 per cent fire-prone area.
Last year, there were 268 fires in the City of Wanneroo. There is no question that Wanneroo is a highly vulnerable area. I want to thank and acknowledge the services of groups like the Wanneroo Central Volunteer Bushfire Brigade, the Wanneroo Volunteer Fire Support Brigade and the Wanneroo–Joondalup SES. They are in for a busy season but I know they will do a fantastic job protecting and looking after our community and its assets.
I was recently briefed by the minister about the brilliant work being done by the Department of Fire and Emergency Services, particularly around the five-minute fire chat packages that are being rolled out to educate people more about not only the dangers of bushfires but also making sure that people are prepared this bushfire season. This wonderful initiative makes the previously complex task of creating a bushfire plan easy. Residents need to decide to be safe and leave early or decide to be prepared to stay and defend. The resources available now are plain, simple to use, user friendly and take a few minutes. I commend the department for its work.