The following Question was asked and answered prior to the 2017 Upper House Estimates Hearings that began in Parliament today (we believe this document was made public on 11/10/2017)
Estimates and Financial Operations Committee
2017-18 Budget Estimates Hearings – Questions Prior to Hearings
Department of Fire and Emergency Services
Hon Colin de Grussa MLC asked:
1. refer to Budget Paper 3, Page 226 “Bushfire Mitigation on Crown Land Regional Townsites”:
(a) What are the locations of these mitigation works;
The locations for bushfire mitigation works on Crown land within regional townsites are assessed on an annual basis. There are approximately 500 proposed townsites for 20 17-18 located throughout regional Western Australia* excluding the Perth metropolitan area.
(b) How were the sites determined;
The sites are determined by Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) staff based in the regional areas using a risk assessment process. Sites assessed as extreme or very high bushfire risk will be prioritised to have treatment(s) applied.
(c) How will funding be distributed;
Funding will be distributed according to the identified risk in each location and the capacity for the mitigation works to be completed. Extreme and very high risks are given priority. The role of the State Bushfire Co-ordination Committee (a subcommittee of the State Emergency Management Committee) is to distribute Mitigation Activity Funds in WA via an open competitive grants process.
(d) Who will be responsible for completing the mitigation works; and
DFES has a Memorandum of Understanding with the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage for bushfire management on Unallocated Crown Land and Unmanaged Reserves. DFES’ country regions or Bushfire Risk Management Branch will assign the completion of the mitigation works to a variety of entities including: DFES or local contractors.
(e) Why has no funding been allocated for 2020-21?
The criteria for bushfire mitigation on Crown land is deterrnined by the State Bushfire Coordinating Committee. The funding distribution will be managed by the Office of Emergency Management through the Mitigation Activity Fund (MAF). The MAF includes a $15 million allocation of funding from Royalties for Regions and is budgeted across four years, The current round commenced in 20 16- 17 and concludes 2019-2020,