Shadow Environment Minister, Brad Battin
A leaked ‘burn journal’ memo published in The Age on planned burning in the Wye River area stated:
“Minister Nevill (sic) – Not to burn Wye River next week due to Koalas being a hot topic in the media.”
The memo was dated 5 March 2015.
The day, before, on 4 March 2015, The Australian had reported that 700 koalas had been culled in the Cape Otway region.
December 2015 – a bushfire in the Wye River area destroyed 116 homes.
Comments from Shadow Environment Minister Brad Battin
“This is a damning leak which shows Daniel Andrews’ government more worried about bad headlines than the safety of the Wye River community.
“Daniel Andrews must ensure this matter is fully examined by the State Coroner who is currently investigating the Wye River bushfire. The Minister must not hide documents or records from this investigation.
“Victorians need to have confidence that Daniel Andrews’ minister hasn’t put the community at greater risk of a bushfire.
“The owners of 116 homes destroyed in the fire deserve the truth from Daniel Andrews’ minister about whether her actions effectively made the devastating fire worse.”
Media: John Deller on 0400 496 596 or email on firstname.lastname@example.org