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Minimising bushfire risk at public facilities

16 November, 2021Posted in: Community, Roads and Assets
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New growth on burnt tree

Wingecarribee Shire Council continues to work with key stakeholders on a process for closing public facilities in times of increased fire danger.

The process applies to organised group activities at sports fields, pools, cemeteries and public halls on bushfire-prone land.

Council’s General Manager, Ms Lisa Miscamble, said the new process would help Council better respond to bushfire emergencies.

“In an emergency, things can change quickly and being prepared is one of the best ways to ensure everyone stays safe,” she said.

“We also know that communities that are well prepared and connected are more likely to recover faster following a disaster.”

Council began work on a new process to provide clear guidelines on how public facilities will be managed in times of increased fire danger following the 2019/20 Black Summer bushfires.

A risk-rating system was subsequently developed in consultation with the New South Wales Rural Fire Service (RFS) and community and sporting groups in bushfire-prone areas.

The NSW RFS issues Fire Danger Ratings by 5 pm each day during the Bushfire Danger Period. When the rating for the following day is classified as severe, extreme or catastrophic this will impact public facilities.

Hirers of public facilities will be required to check Council’s website, which also includes the Fire Danger Rating, prior to using the facility.

Ms Miscamble stressed that the new public facilities procedure was only applicable to Council-owned amenities located on bushfire-prone land.

“This procedure is another tool designed to keep people safe during days when the chances of bushfire are elevated,” she said.  “It will help residents better prepare for future emergencies and assist in planning for public events during the summer Bushfire Danger Period.”

Ms Miscamble said the promotion of Council’s Public Facilities Bushfire Preparedness Plan was a key recommendation from the independent review into Council’s response to the 2019/20 Black Summer bushfires.

To see when and how these facilities will be affected, visit wsc.nsw.gov.au/facilities-bushfire-risk.

“I strongly encourage residents to also ensure their Bushfire Survival Plan is up to date and discuss the plan with their family.”

For more information, visit myfireplan.com.au.