Protecting life during bushfires top priority
- 10 Jan, 2019
Michael Ferguson, Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Management
The Government continues to focus on supporting our dedicated and hardworking firefighters to protect life and property during the current fire incident.
During this particularly crucial time, we won’t be distracted by armchair critics like Nick McKim who are seeking to politicise the bushfire response and criticise the decisions of the Tasmania Fire Service.
Frankly, we see this opportunism from the Greens each fire season, when experts and trained firefighters are focused on dealing with fire threat.
The Government responsibly acts based on advice from the experts in the Tasmania Fire Service on all matters related to fire fighting. The TFS has advised they have been actively working on developing a trial of an Initial Attack Program.
Nick McKim was part of a Government that cut emergency services, the Hodgman Liberal Government has invested heavily in resourcing our firefighters to better prevent and fight fires.
This includes an unprecedented investment of $55 million in fuel reduction strategies to decrease the bushfire risk in Tasmania, an area of fire management woefully overlooked by Mr McKim when he was a member of the Labor-Green cabinet.
Today’s criticism by Nick McKim and the unions is the latest in a series of unfortunate politicisations of the fight against the Gell River Fire, which has involved a comprehensive and immediate response to a bushfire in remote and often inaccessible terrain.
The Government does believe that we can learn from each fire season and major fire operations. What we won't be doing is allowing those who want to score political points during a major fire to distract or undermine those who are actually fighting it.
As Minister, I again thank the TFS and all our dedicated and hardworking firefighters who do an incredible job keeping Tasmanians safe.