Lower South West local governments are fired up about community safety, following last week’s announcement of their share in $5.5 million for bushfire risk mitigation.
Manjimup Shire Council will receive $395,600 to carry out 48 bushfire mitigation activities, while other councils to share in the funding are Bridgetown-Greenbushes ($2 73,535), Donnybrook Balingup ($163,320), Nannup ($221,500) and Boyup Brook ($163,830).
Funding is awarded for local governments to carry out mitigation activities including reducing fuel levels, creating firebreaks and conducting hazard-reduction burns.
Shire presidents in the region welcomed the funding increase.
“That additional funding will only improve the mitigation works, and obviously will allow us to do significantly more mitigation works than what we originally planned and budgeted for and that from our point of view is a very positive outcome ,” Bridgetown Greenbushes shire president John Nicholas said.
“I think the happenings of the last few months in the Eastern States vindicate that mitigation work is required.”
Manjimup shire president Paul Omodei said his first priority was protecting the towns in his shire.
“Given that we have four major towns and seven settlements, it certainly does help and I think we shouldn’t look a gift horse in the mouth,” he said.
“We are doing a lot of mulching at the moment in the southern corridor.”
Emergency Services Minister Francis Logan said there were more rounds of funding to come and encouraged all local governments to apply.
“For every dollar we invest in mitigation, we save $11 in emergency management, so not only does it make sense to reduce the chances of catastrophic bushfires and the effects they have on communities, but it also makes financial sense,” he said.
Grant money is drawn from the State Government’s Mitigation Activity Fund — introduced in 2017 — which is supported by Royalties for Regions.