Draft Tasmanian Bill opens way for quicker bushfire measures

New legislation allowing faster processing of applications by land owners to reduce fuel loads has gone on public exhibition in Tasmania.

The State Government says its draft Bushfire Mitigation Measures Bill will make it easier to reduce fuel and mechanically clear vegetation for a fuel break “while balancing environment and community concerns”.

Announcing the new Bill last week, Premier Peter Gutwein said: “We know the traditional window available for fuel reduction is narrowing and the intensity of our bushfires is increasing.

“It is not possible to eliminate bushfires, however, measures can and should be put in place to reduce the impact of fires and … protect life, property, infrastructure and our natural assets,” the Premier said.

A bushfire hazard management plan will have to be in place for a fuel-load reduction application to be processed faster.

The legislation also proposes the establishment of a bushfire mitigation measures panel (BMM) – with representation from the Local Government Association of Tasmania – to consider the approval of bushfire mitigation plans.

Public submissions on the draft Bill are open until 23 October.