Minister must answer questions about Lancefield fire

17 November 2015


Tuesday 10 November 2015

The Andrews Labor Government is under renewed pressure to reveal how many firefighters were rostered on at the Lancefield planned burn when it escaped and became an out-of-control bushfire last month.

Member for Euroa and Deputy Leader of The Nationals Steph Ryan said Environment Minister Lisa Neville must provide answers to the local community.

Ms Ryan asked the Minister in Parliament last month how many departmental firefighters were working the day the fire escaped.

“The Minister is still refusing to detail any specific information about resourcing at the fire, palming it off as a decision made at a local level.

“The communities affected by the fire are concerned that the burn was started when the forecast was for hot and windy conditions, not enough staff were rostered on to control the burn and that CFA volunteers were forced to step in when it got out of control.

“The government should be telling the community how many firefighters were rostered on to cover the Lancefield fire on the grand final public holiday, on the Saturday when the fire broke containment lines, and on Sunday.”

Ms Ryan said she put the question to the Minister after she attended a public meeting in Lancefield with worried and angry residents.

“The communities affected by the fire are concerned and they want answers,” Ms Ryan said.

“The government’s failure to be transparent about resourcing a month after the fire shows a lack of regard for the communities that were badly affected.”

Four homes and more than 3100 hectares of land in central Victoria were burnt after a planned burn escaped.



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