Critical report on bushfire crisis

Critical report on bushfire crisis

31 March 2013

published by

Australia — The first emergency agency to report on Tasmania’s bushfire crisis has found communication failures and a lack of coordination and planning all contributed to the disaster.

The Dodges Ferry Sea Rescue was at the centre of the January emergency when bushfires cut roads to the Tasman Peninsula.

Volunteer, Peter Derklin says it was a scary time.

“We were pulling people off jetties and putting them on boats,” Mr Derklin said.

The Sea Rescue’s report on the disaster says volunteers could not find an emergency plan and had difficulty contacting the police radio room without phones and radio.

It also notes an apparent lack of control at evacuation sites.

The Sea Rescue president, Mark Donovan, hopes the findings will become part of a larger review.

“We have asked to be part of the debrief,” Mr Donovan said.

The Deputy Police Commissioner, Scott Tilyard, says police have arranged to meet volunteers to discuss the report.

About 200 properties around the state were destroyed in the bushfires, but no one died in the blazes.

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