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Shadow Environment and Emergency Services Minister, Brad Battin

Background:

The Australian Workers Union has launched industrial action which involves staff at the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP).

Staff at DELWP play a critical role in carrying out planned burning operations to reduce the bushfire fuel load in our forests and other public land areas.

Emergency Services Minister Jane Garrett recently warned that the state was “bracing for a long, hot and dry summer fire season”.

Environment Minister Lisa Neville said she “encouraged” the parties to keep talking.

The 2009 Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission specifically recommended the need for prescribed (planned) burning to be carried out on public land.

Volunteer firefighters with the CFA rely on the efforts of planned burning to improve bushfire safety.

Comments from Brad Battin, Shadow Environment and Emergency Services Minister:

Hot on the heels of the train and tram strikes, Victorians are now facing bans on critical works to reduce the risk of catastrophic bushfires.

Daniel Andrews must resolve this strike as soon as possible because the protection of volunteer firefighters and communities is being put at risk by the ban on planned burning.

It’s not good enough for the minister supposedly in charge to just ask the parties to keep talking, especially when another Labor minister is already warning of a dire bushfire season ahead.

Media: John Deller on 0400 496 596 or [email protected]



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