The need for further reform

When it comes to bushfire risk management

My submission to the Public Inquiry into January 2016 Waroona Fire in Western Australia


I chose to target my submission to address the third Term of Reference:

“The need for further reform”, and in particular:

“Any … policy or functional reforms relating to bushfire risk management … to strengthen the State’s capability to efficiently and effectively manage bushfire-related risk.”

My major concern is about the “forgotten” people, i.e. the people who live at the Rural Urban Interface and who are not being reached in a meaningful way by the emergency authorities to equip them to handle living in a fire-prone area.

There is not nearly enough focus on mitigation and making the surroundings of the house and the house itself to be at a lower risk of bushfire attack. Much more could be done to educate homeowners as to how they can make themselves safer from bushfire attack.

In most of the published material we see brochures with flames on the cover and generally frightening pictures. Instead it is better to provide models of what we can aim for that will help provide protection. Positive concepts will usually work better than negative ones when it comes to learning.

The submission has this image on the cover that shows a relatively low fuel area which is one of several buffers around the small town of Balingup that helps to reduce its risk of bushfire attack.

I’ve updated the submission to ensure that the links in the document all work. (Hopefully) The document is in the form of a pdf. The links are to related articles on the internet.



Entry to the Golden Valley Tree Park, south of Balingup, which has a collection of deciduous trees, that are at lower flammability levels than the native eucalyptus forests further away.