Call for action on bushfire refuges

Call for action on bushfire refuges

01 August 2012

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Australia–  The Victorian Greens are calling for government action on establishing refuges in bushfire-prone towns.

A report on the implementation of the recommendations of the Bushfires Royal Commission says no fire refuges have been established.

The state Greens leader, Greg Barber, says councils want to build them but need to be protected from legal action.

He says the Government needs to develop a strict building code before major bushfires hit again.

“They need to get the building code and design guidelines right and they need to talk about who’s going to bear the cost and the risk of building and maintaining these things,” he said.

Mr Barber says councils want to build refuges to protect their communities but without guidelines, they are at risk of legal problems.

“Certainly strong guidelines on how they’re built helps to protect councils from that risk,” he said.

“Take a place like the Dandenongs. It’s really a big plateau surrounded by and covered by forests.

“That council’s got their hand up to trial some of these refuges but the Government hasn’t acted.”

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