Bushfire warning system fails again

Bushfire warning system fails again

5 January 2010

published by www.theage.com.au

Australia — Victoria’s bushfire warning system has failed again – this time giving days-old advice despite the presence of fires in the state.

A Country Fire Authority spokesperson today confirmed the Victorian Bushfire Information Line was giving outdated advice for 12 days until yesterday as a result of a human error.

The failure comes just weeks after the CFA website failed during a day of extreme fire danger.

And in November, a test warning about a large, out-of-control fire in the Otways was inadvertently posted on the site.

The Victorian Government today said the Department of Premier and Cabinet would investigate how outdated information found its way onto the recorded message service.

“The message has to be very clear that information in relation to bushfires … has to be consistent, it has to be concise, it has to be clear, and it has to be accurate and up to date,” acting Premier Rob Hulls said.

“My understanding is that last night on the Victorian Bushfire Information Line information was out of date and that is not good enough.

“The Victorian public needs to be assured that they are getting accurate and up-to-date information.”

Opposition bushfire response spokesman Peter Ryan said another failure in Victoria’s bushfire warning system was unacceptable.

“If we’re going to have these systems, the Government must ensure they are reliable and are operating correctly,” Mr Ryan said.

“The repeated failure of these key warning systems is undermining the confidence of bushfire-prone communities.”

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