Napthine Government Delivers On Commitment To Fire Affected Communities In East Gippsland

Minister for Police and Emergency Services and Bushfire Response Kim Wells today returned to meet with fire affected communities in East Gippsland, to discuss findings and recommendations of the 2013-14 Fire Season Compliance Report by the Inspector-General for Emergency Management, Tony Pearce.

“I made a commitment to residents impacted by the 2013-14 fires in East Gippsland to return following the release of the Inspector-General’s independent report on the progress and implementation of actions relating to issues arising from the East Gippsland fires,” Mr Wells said.

“Today, I am honouring that commitment.

“Residents from Bonang, Goongerah-Deddick, Lindenow and surrounding areas played an integral role in this process, contributing to this report and identifying issues within our emergency services arrangements which can be improved upon.

“The meetings provide an opportunity to listen, discuss and look at actions specific to the East Gippsland fires and the progress that continues to be made.

“The report is about ensuring that community concerns have been addressed and necessary reforms to the emergency management sector are identified and implemented to ensure Victoria is a safer place,” Mr Wells said.

“At the same time the Napthine Government has already addressed many concerns raised in the report, with changes underway to improve land and road access, integrated communication between emergency services and better communication with affected locals.

“We have increased funding for the Country Fire Authority to a record $457 million in the 2014-15 Budget which has enabled the employment of an additional 200 career CFA officers.

“Beyond that, an extra $7.15 million has been allocated for four extra specialist aircraft this fire season, including two large air-tankers.

“We are building a safer Victoria.”

Media contact: Jess Jackson 0437 422 048 jess.jackson@minstaff.vic.gov.au