Shadow Minister for Emergency Services, Brad Battin
Daniel Andrews and Lisa Neville have serious questions to answer over today’s revelation that there was no accredited Burn OIC present in Lancefield on Grand Final public holiday.
The Independent Investigation of the Lancefield-Cobaw Fire revealed that whilst an experienced Burn OIC was on duty on Wednesday 30 September and Thursday 1 October, there was no accredited Burn OIC present on the Grand Final public holiday.
This is despite Lisa Neville giving Parliament “an absolute guarantee” that the Grand Final public holiday didn’t impact resourcing to manage the controlled burn.
The report also shows that risk assessment given to the minister said that it was “very likely” that the fire would break control lines.
Daniel Andrews was repeatedly warned that his public holiday thought bubble wasn’t properly planned or managed and this report shows that his decisions put the community at risk.
Other concerning revelations in today’s report are that the planned burn was ignited and local CFA brigades were not warned despite the risk assessment rating the likelihood of the burn to break containment lines as “very likely”.
It was also revealed that an experienced Burn Officer in Charge (OIC) involved in the burn requested pre-emptive burn operations weeks prior to igniting the fire. Due to a lack of resources these measures were not taken.
We are now entering the high-fire danger period and Daniel Andrews is at war with the United Firefighters Union, isn’t listening to the CFA and has an Environment Minister that isn’t across the detail. Victorians deserve much better in this critical period.
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