Liability fears aired over fire refuges

Liability fears aired over fire refuges

12 December 2011

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Australia — A northern Victorian shire is expressing concern that it could be held liable if someone is killed or injured in a fire refuge on council-owned land.

No Community Fire Refuges have been established in Victoria since the State Government detailed its policy on the issue back in October.

The Government says it hopes to trial the program this summer.

A refuge would be a dedicated building offering short-term protection from a bushfire.

However, a report to today’s Loddon Shire meeting urges councillors to be wary of the proposals.

Councillors are told the shire could face extreme legal risk if someone was killed or injured in a refuge because of a lack of legislative protection.

The Loddon Shire is also yet to accredit a place of last resort during a bushfire, making it the only shire in central Victoria without a Neighbourhood Safer Place this summer.

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