What Needs to be Done

The Bush Fire Front believes it is essential that the following objectives are achieved:

 

* The agency responsible for management of the State’s forests and associated vegetation types (currently DEC) restores and maintains its fuel reduction burning program to a level that will provide effective protection to the community and forest assets from excessive damage from wild fire. Taking into account the backlog that has accumulated over the last 15 years, we estimate that the annual area burnt needs to average about 300,000 ha.

* Improved commitment of all levels of government to better forest fire management.

* Improved fuel management practices on private land.

* Better appreciation of the importance of fire management issues in planning processes at both State and local government levels.

* The adoption of a Best Practice approach to forest fire management in Western Australia.

 

What do we mean by a Best Practice Forest Fire Management System? It is a package of policies and activities that:

* Delivers community protection from destructive bushfires.

* Minimises undesirable impacts on the environment and needless costs to the Government and the community.

* Maximises safety to firefighters.

* Is based on credible science.

* Has widespread political, community and media support.

 

Key points of a Best Practice System

1. Overarching legislation

2. A State Bushfire Policy

3. An intergovernmental agreement between the State and Commonwealth Governments

4. A State-level agreement between the forest management agency and other key agencies

5. A single land management organisation responsible for forest planning, forest management and forest fire management on forested crown lands.

6. Preparation of a Fire Management Plan by the responsible agency

7. Adequate funding for the responsible agency fire management operations

8. Independent monitoring and public reporting on outcomes on an annual basis.