More Victorian bushfire trucks shielded for burnovers

By Paul Hemsley Victorian Minister for Police and Emergency Services Kim Wells has announced that upgrades to the Country and Fire Authority’s (CFA) fire trucks to protect the fire fighters from deadly burnover will be extended to include more appliances. A “burnover” is when a fire has surrounded a brigade crew and their truck, providing […]

Push to bury power with NBN

By Julian Bajkowski and Paul Hemsley The local government sector is upping pressure on its state and federal peers to seize the rollout of the National Broadband Network as a once in a lifetime opportunity to also dig dangerous and ugly overhead power lines into the ground once and for all. Kur-ring-gai Municipal Council will this […]

New course on building in bushfire prone areas

The University of Technology, Sydney, has developed a new training course on building in bushfire prone areas for the Victorian Government and Country Fire Authority. Launched last week in Melbourne, the five-day program aims to enhance skills for assessing bushfire attack levels and controlling development in high risk areas. Director of the UTS Centre for […]

Vic Govt invests $21m in fire prediction system

The Victorian Government has launched an Australian-first fire prediction and early warning system that will deliver specific and detailed information on the spread of fires to help protect the lives of Victorians in the event of a bushfire. Premier John Brumby outlined details of a new fully-computerised, digital mapping system which will provide up to […]

SA to prioritise fire refuges in Commission reply

By Rob O'Brien The South Australian Government will make fire refuges a priority in its response to the final report of the Royal Commission into Black Saturday. In announcing support for 60 of the 67 recommendations made by the Commission, SA Minister for Emergency Services, Michael Wright, highlighted support for the provision of refuges ahead […]

Councils will need extra funding to address commission findings

By Rob O'Brien Councils responsible for implementing the recommendations of the Royal Commission into the Victorian Bushfires will need more state funding to make their communities safe, according to the peak local government body. According to the Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV) councils will need $20 million a year to expand their current responsibilities to […]

Governments vow to learn bushfire lessons

  Image: Nillumbik Shire Council.   By Rob O'Brien The response to the Royal Commission’s final report into the 2009 Victorian bushfires has been swift, with other states vowing to learn the lessons of the disaster and the establishment of a national research institute into bushfires. The Premier, John Brumby, yesterday released the Victorian Government’s […]

Regenerating the green wedge shire

By Angela Dorizas Having spent more than a year recovering from Australia’s worst natural disaster on record, Nillumbik Shire Council finally has something to celebrate. The so-called Green Wedge Shire, also known as the ‘lungs’ of Melbourne, has been listed as a finalist in the 2010 Premier’s Sustainability Awards. Nillumbik Shire has worked closely with […]

Bushfire condolence book moved to State Library

By Rob O’Brien Books of condolence commemorating last summer’s Victorian bushfires will be permanently kept at the State Library of Victoria, the Premier has announced three days before the anniversary of Australia’s worst natural disaster. Premier, John Brumby and Minister for the Arts Peter Batchelor handed over the 2009 Victorian Bushfire Message Book Collection to […]

Black Saturday hearings suspended

By Angela Dorizas Victoria's Royal Commission into the February 7 bushfires has resumed just days away from the first anniversary of the disaster. The Black Saturday fires killed 173 people and destroyed more than 2000 homes. Royal Commission chairman Bernard Teague said the commission would only sit for three days this week and, as a mark of respect for those […]

Emergency Alert to deliver 300 texts a second

By Rob O’Brien The Attorney-General has launched a new emergency alert system in Victoria capable of sending 300 text messages a second and 1,000 voice messages a minute.   Attorney-General, Robert McClelland and the Victorian Police and Emergency Services Minister, Bob Cameron launched the national telephone-based emergency warning system, ‘Emergency Alert’ at the Victorian State […]

Victorians to get daily fire rating updates

By Rob O’Brien Victorians will be given clear advice about what actions to take in advance of a fire threat, under a new national fire danger rating system, the Premier, John Brumby, announced today.   Under the new six-tiered national Fire Danger Rating system, Victorians will receive advance warning and clear directions to best preserve […]


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