- Kim WellsEmergency Services Minister,
- Craig LapsleyEmergency Services Commissioner,
- Tim BullLocal MLA, Gippsland East
- Wade NoonanShadow Emergency Services Minister
Set up an INDEPENDENT PUBLIC INQUIRY into the East Gippsland Red Sunday bush fires
Incompetence, chaos and lack of direct attack on bushfires in far East Gippsland saw 170,000 ha burnt in January and February. Why did this happen when so much more could have been done? Many of the problems experienced were avoidable.
Numerous inquiries after fires admit to problems and identify solutions, yet nothing changes. An inquiry is critical to ensure other rural communities don't pay the high price of government failings. It must investigate why the disarray remains.
Houses, assets, livestock, thousands of native animals and some of the state's most beautiful forests in the Snowy National Park might have been saved if there was proper preparation, communication, effective use of resources and timely deployment of machines and fire fighters.
The fire edge was deliberately increased daily and left unattended. Water use and strategic direct attack was minimal. Government fire agencies failed communities in basic and obvious ways.
The cost of the fires came to over $100 million and the fire continued for 58 days.This must also be scrutinised.
Please tell the Minister and Commissioner that an internal review is not good enough. An open and independent inquiry must be ordered.
- Emergency Services Minister,
- Emergency Services Commissioner,
- Local MLA, Gippsland East
- Shadow Emergency Services Minister
Independent public inquiry into the East Gippsland Red Sunday bush fires.
Dear Mr Wells, Lapsley, Bull and Noonan,
The community’s faith in the ability of DEPI fire managers to efficiently extinguish fires and protect property and public lands diminishes each fire season. We join the affected communities in their call for an independent public inquiry (rather than an internal review) of the Gippsland fires this year.
We believe the evidence presented raises very serious concerns about ongoing mismanagement, the culture within the fire fighting agencies and other issues that must be addressed by an open inquiry.
After many other bushfires that have also documented similar failures, these problems must be identified and examined so that improvements are made and properly adopted on the fire ground.
Please inform me if you will you set up an independent public inquiry into the East Gippsland fires. If not, I would like to know why. Thank you.
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