This statement was read into Parliament today by the Emergency Services Minister Hon Fran Logan MLA
MR F. LOGAN:
I rise to urge Western Australians to act now to prepare their properties for the threat of fire as the weather heats up. It is a reality in Western Australia that during the warmer months there will be bushfires throughout the state, so it is essential that people do their part to ensure not only their own safety, but also the safety of their neighbours by doing the right thing and preparing now.
Last weekend I met with members of the Wedgetail Ridge bushfire ready group and was taken on a tour of Christine and Graham McCauley’s well-prepared property in Bullsbrook.
The McCauleys have cleared trees and vegetation from around their house, they have firebreaks, they have cleared trees from around their dam to improve access for aerial firefighting units and they have an evacuation plan. They also have a mobile water source, backup water tanks and generators, and can even flood the gutters of their house if required. I urge others to follow their lead.
Our firefighters have already been battling blazes in the north west with fires destroying more than 1.4 million hectares, which is double the size of the Perth metropolitan area. Volunteer and career firefighters do an amazing job trying to keep communities safe during bushfires but there will never be enough of them to knock on every door and save every home. My visit to Bullsbrook brought home the importance of residents taking proactive steps and working together to protect themselves—indeed, bushfire preparedness is a shared responsibility.
I implore all members of this house to do all they can to raise awareness of bushfire preparedness and encourage their communities to become more resilient to fires. People need to take action now to prepare themselves, their families and their property by having a five-minute fire chat, which can be found on the Department of Fire and Emergency Services’ website, and creating a plan using the bushfire preparation toolkit. They should take 30 minutes to plan what they will do during a bushfire. This could save their lives. I would also urge people to visit the Emergency WA website at www.emergency.wa.gov.au during bushfire events in their area.