I've asked the Minister for Emergency Services about the lack of planned burns to protect the community of Nillumbik from devastating bushfires. Nillumbik is one of the highest bushfire-risk areas in Victoria, and I am told that indications are that this summer will be one of elevated fire risk. However, not all planned burning to reduce fuel loads has occurred, and this is apparently due to a lack of Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning resources.
One such burn was once planned for Laughing Waters Road in Eltham. It was listed in Forest Fire Management Victoria’s fire operations plan and was due to be carried out in 2016–17, but a decision was made to postpone this burn as resources were needed in areas of higher priority. This burn is now scheduled for next year.
I've therefore asked the Minister why the Government have not taken active measures to prioritise highly-populated and at-risk areas such as Eltham and North Warrandyte in this year’s fire season?