Last chance to have your say on Bushfires Management Act
Territorians are encouraged to have their say on a proposed new bushfire legislation which aims to provide a framework for bushfire management to suit a contemporary Northern Territory.
Department of Land Resource Management Chief Executive Officer Alastair Shields said the new legislation was based on extensive consultation with landowners and stakeholders over the last two years, which included 28 public meetings and forums which generated more than 30 formal submissions.
“This final call for community input is designed to ensure the legislation truly reflects the wishes of Territorians,” he said.
“Bushfire is a natural component of the Northern Territory landscape and environment and, like most natural events, it must be managed to prevent impacts on property, industry and, in extreme cases, human life.”
The Bushfires Act provides the framework for managing bushfire in areas outside major NT towns and was created in 1980; however there have been major changes in the factors that affect bushfire management.
These changes include land use, growth of rural residential development and the spread of high fire danger weeds which have all contributed to greater bushfire risk.
NT Bushfire Volunteers Association President and Bushfires Council Member Mrs Dianne Tynan said the current review of the Act would improve coverage for Bushfire Volunteers, by having their roles defined within the Act.
“This will greatly improve the welfare and safety for our volunteers,” she said.
“It is important the Bushfires Act is modernised, keeping in mind that the Act is based on ground roots involvement from land owners, from stations to smaller rural properties across the whole of the Northern Territory and that fire on your land is your responsibility.”
Mr Shields said there was a clear need for a new fire management framework that would support continuing growth and development of the Northern Territory.
“It is important for Territorians who are interested in this Act to take the opportunity to have their say on this review,” he said.
“The Department will be holding public consultation workshops in Darwin, Katherine, Tennant Creek and Alice Springs next week all with the opportunity for participants to dial in to ensure they are informed of the Act and the review.
“We have engaged an independent consultant, who will be chairing these workshops and I urge all Territorians who are interested in this review to come along to these seminars.
“In reviewing the Act we will be looking at ways we can modernise our bushfire management to suit a contemporary Northern Territory.”
Chairman of the Bushfire Council Paul Blore said the Council members, Bushfires staff and volunteers had all done an amazing job over the past few years in putting this document together.
“They have worked through hours of community consultations across the whole of the Territory to bring this Bushfires Act up to a more modernised standard to other states and jurisdictions to help protect the community in the event of wildfires across the Northern Territory,” he said.
The current review of the Bushfires Act seeks to assess the effectiveness of the Act and provide advice on changes that could lead to improved bushfire management in the Northern Territory.
Territorians are encouraged to have their say on the proposed legislation which is available at www.lrm.nt.gov.au/bushfires by April 4, 2016.
Workshops will be held in:
- Katherine on Monday 21 March from 12noon - 1.30 pm at Bushfires NT Conference Room Giles Street, Katherine
- Darwin on Tuesday 22 March from 10.30 - 12 pm at the NADO Conference Room, Development House, The Esplanade and at 4.00 - 5.30 pm at the VBB Meeting Rooms Berry Springs
- Alice Springs on Wednesday 23 March from 10.30 am - 12 pm, Alice Springs VBB Elder Street, or 1.30 pm - 3 pm ABB Conference Room, AZRI, Alice Springs
- Tennant Creek on Wednesday 30 March from 11 -12.30 at Barkly House, first floor 99 Patterson Street, Tennant Creek
Most workshops will have teleconference facilities available. Please contact Bushfires NT on 8952 3066 if you would like to dial in to the meeting.