Nearly 940 bushfire risks across 26 regional and metropolitan West Australian communities have been significantly reduced with the help of the State Government’s mitigation funding.
The funding includes Royalties for Regions funding to assist regional local governments, as well as the inaugural $35 million mitigation funding led by the Department of Fire and Emergency Services.
For the first time, the Department of Fire and Emergency Services has been given funding to work with local governments and other agencies to lead greater mitigation activities on Unallocated Crown Land and Unmanaged Reserves.
In 2019-20, $11 million has been budgeted for more mitigation work in areas that have previously proved difficult to address.
Under the Mitigation Activity Fund (MAF) more than 20 regional local governments have been assisted to create fire breaks, conduct prescribed burns, clear access roads, and reduce weeds to improve community safety.
Local governments have also benefited from the $15 million Bushfire Risk Management Planning funding which includes more Bushfire Risk Management Officers and Coordinators to help prepare plans.
To date, 45 local governments have either completed or are completing a Bushfire Risk Management Plan (BRMP) which identifies the bushfire risks in their areas.
Local governments with an endorsed BRMP are eligible for funding under MAF.
So far in 2019, eight local governments have been allocated $1.6 million in mitigation funding to help reduce the threat of bushfires in their communities.
They include the shires of Collie, Mundaring, Serpentine-Jarrahdale, Northam and Gingin; and the cities of Joondalup, Rockingham and Cockburn who have been assisted with 140 mitigation activities.
Emergency Services Minister, Francis Logan, said it was pleasing to see that so many local governments receive funding assistance to help with mitigation activities that will help to make their communities safer.
“There has been nearly 940 mitigation activities funded to treat identified bushfire risks, which is a fantastic achievement,” Mr Logan said.
“We have 45 local governments who either have a Bushfire Risk Management Plan in place or are in the process of doing so, and with the extra funding for more Bushfire Risk Management Officers and Co-ordinators, I hope to see even more great work in this area.
“When I took on this portfolio, there were a handful of local governments that were putting their plans together, and now we have 26 local governments that have gone further and are treating those risks or plan to do so.
“There is a lot of work to do across a big and diverse State, but I believe we are heading in a new and very positive direction of greater collaboration and support for local communities to try to address bushfire risks.”
A further round of mitigation funding will open in August.