The following question without notice was asked by the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Member for the Agricultural Region Hon Rick Mazza MLC and answered today in the Legislative Council by the Hon Stephen Dawson representing the Emergency Services Minister Hon Fran Logan MLA.
Hon RICK MAZZA to the minister representing the Minister for Emergency Services:
I refer to the minister’s media release of 14 September titled “Record $7.3 million to combat the threat of catastrophic
(1) Can the minister advise the eligibility criteria for local governments to access $500 000 of funding?
(2) Given that we are fast approaching the ideal time to carry out mitigation measures, why is the funding not available until “later in the year”?
(3) Will the funding be available to local governments on an annual basis?
(4) Which other government agencies will have access to the nearly $1.2 million available “to treat bushfire risks in areas such as unmanaged Crown reserves”?
(5) Are local governments required to report their progress and reach set targets?
Hon STEPHEN DAWSON replied:
I thank the honourable member for some notice of the question. The Department of Fire and Emergency Services
advises the following.
(1) The amount of $500 000 in funding will be available through a second mitigation activity fund competitive
grant round planned for late 2018. The MAF competitive grants program is accessible to local governments
with a bushfire risk management plan that has been endorsed by the Office of Bushfire Risk Management and
can be used for physical treatment works that mitigate extreme, very high and high bushfire risk on state-held
lands affecting regional town sites in Western Australia.
(2) MAF competitive grant rounds are held regularly. The most recent round, awarded in September 2018,
supports treatment works that will be completed by June 2019. MAF supports a variety of physical mitigation
treatments, not all of which have a seasonal window for completion. The upcoming funding round will allow
local governments that have recently received OBRM endorsement of their BRM plan to access MAF.
Previous funding was allocated to 15 local governments in February 2018, totalling $1.48 million.
(3) MAF has been seeded with $15 million from the royalties for regions program and will be distributed between
2016 and 2020. It is intended that MAF competitive grant rounds will be held at least annually over the duration
of the program.
(4) The Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions and the Department of Planning, Lands and
Heritage received MAF support totalling $1.2 million in September 2018 for treatment activities on
unallocated crown land and unmanaged reserves for mitigation of extreme, very high and high bushfire risk to
regional town sites in Western Australia. Additional government agencies with these land management
responsibilities will be eligible to apply for future MAF support.
(5) MAF competitive grant funding agreements establish reporting requirements for recipient local governments.
These include progress reports and both financial acquittal and evaluation reporting. All treatments identified
through MAF are captured in DFES’s bushfire risk management system. Relevant information such as
treatment objectives, treatment status and associated costs are recorded and updated in the system by each