The following question without notice was asked by the Hon Ken Baston MLC on 2 November 2017 and answered by the Hon Stephen Dawson MLC on behalf of the Minister for Emergency Services in Parliament yesterday
LOCAL GOVERNMENT — HAZARD MANAGEMENT PLANS
Hon KEN BASTON to the minister representing the Minister for Emergency Services:
I refer to today’s The West online article “Bushfire-prone local governments fail to submit life-saving hazard management plans”.
(1) When did the minister become aware that up to 60 bushfire-prone local governments in south west WA had not submitted potentially lifesaving hazard management plans?
(2) What steps has the minister taken to fix this problem?
(3) Why was funding not made available in the 2017–18 budget to fund all local governments to complete these plans? Will the minister commit to this funding in the 2018–19 budget; and, if not, why not?
(4) Has the minister received advice on the increased fire risk posed to communities where these plans have not been completed; and, if so, what is that advice?
Question without Notice 778 — Answer Advice (7 November 2017)
HON STEPHEN DAWSON:
I would like to provide an answer to Hon Ken Baston’s question without notice 778 asked on 2 November 2017 and I seek leave to have it incorporated into Hansard.
The following material was incorporated —
The Minister for Emergency Services advises:
1. The Minister is not aware of “up to 60 bushfire-prone local governments in south-west WA that have not submitted potentially life-saving hazard management plans.” The government is aware of 59 local governments that had been identified as priority local governments for the development of a Bushfire Risk Management Plan (BRMP). Of the 59 priority local governments, DFES received funding to work with 16 local governments. Of these 16 local governments, 15 have had their plans endorsed by the Office of Bushfire Risk Management (OBRM).
2. Government has allocated an additional $3.7 million of funding for 2017/18 through DFES to support 27 of these local governments to develop a BRMP. DFES has and continues to support other local governments outside of this arrangement to develop their BRMP’s through access to supporting systems, training and advice from regional and specialist staff.
3. Funding was made available in the 2017/18 Budget process (as per 2); Further funding allocations will be considered in accordance with budget processes.
4. The Minister is provided with regular briefings on the Emergency Services portfolio, DFES provides advice to communities in Western Australia on seasonal fire risks posed irrespective of whether a BRMP has been completed or not.