I won’t defend home says, Victorian bushfire commissioner Justice Bernard Teague

I won’t defend home says, Victorian bushfire commissioner Justice Bernard Teague

26 February 2009

published by www.theaustralian.news.com.au

Australia — The retired Supreme Court judge heading Victoria’s bushfires inquiry won’t be taking any chances when the weather turns ugly on Friday.

Justice Bernard Teague will be staying well away from his property in Daylesford, which came under threat from a bushfire burning south of the spa town earlier this week.

The blaze has burned almost 3000 hectares and firefighters will be working to keep it contained as hot and blustery conditions return on Friday.

Justice Teague, who is chairing the bushfires royal commission, said he would not be staying to defend his Daylesford cottage should it come under threat.

“I regret to say that my fire plan is not to be there,” he said at the Kangaroo Ground incident control centre today.

“I’m on the hill which has fuel, it has the botanical gardens on it and three big trees on my little block.

“If it were to be in the path of anything like the kind of fire we’ve seen up there, it would be devastating.

“So my personal plan is to stay away but my heart’s in that place, I even have my burial plot in … Daylesford.”

The commission will review the Victorian Government’s bushfire policy, which urges residents to either stay and defend their properties or get out early.

Many of those killed in the February 7 firestorm died trying to flee their homes as fire swept through their communities. The policy has since come under heavy scrutiny.

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