Australia — Attorney-General Robert McClelland today said the Commonwealth Government has tabled its response to the Senate Select Committee on Agricultural and Related Industries report on bushfire mitigation and preparedness in Australia.
The report – The incidence and severity of bushfires across Australia – includes 15 recommendations aimed at reducing the incidence and effects of catastrophic bushfires in Australia.
The events of last summer are stark examples of the damage and destruction that natural disasters can inflict on Australian communities, Mr McClelland said.
While catastrophic floods dominated our last disaster season, unfortunately its no secret the next bushfire season is not far away.
We need to spend the cooler months preparing for the summer – we cant afford to become complacent about the threat that such events pose to so many Australian families, businesses and communities.
In the wake of the 2009 Victorian bushfires, the Commonwealth is already working with the States and Territories to ensure communities are better prepared and more resilient to the effects of such devastating bushfires.
A key development has been the Council of Australian Governments adoption of the National Strategy for Disaster Resilience. The strategy represents a whole-of-nation effort to strengthen Australias resilience to disasters one that is focussed on better assessing, mitigating and communicating disaster risks.
The Government will also work with the states and territories to develop a proposal for a new national disaster research centre in consultation with potential partner institutions.
While there will never be a way to completely fire proof Australia, the Commonwealth strongly supports action by all governments, businesses and communities to reduce the incidence and impact of damaging bushfires, Mr McClelland said.
Mr McClelland commended the Senate Select Committee on Agricultural and Related Industries for its examination of bushfire mitigation and preparedness in Australia.
We will continue to work closely with the states and territories to strengthening the nations resilience to disasters, he said.