Ravensthorpe and Jerramungup to receive bushfire mitigation funds

Ravensthorpe and Jerramungup have been named among the 15 local governments in high-risk areas eligible to apply for the $15 million Bushfire Mitigation Fund.

Having completed Bushfire Risk Management Plans, those eligible can now apply for a portion of the initial $3 million available in funding this financial year.

The funding, from Royalties for Regions, is expected to finance on-ground works to minimise the risk of bushfire.

The works will include the creation of firebreaks, hazard reduction, burning, slashing, mowing, clearing, and access-road construction.

Ravensthorpe Shire president Keith Dunlop said having put aside close to $30,000 for bushfire mitigation this year, the funding would go a long way in helping the shire prepare.

“In terms of bushfire mitigation, it’s going to put a lot less pressure on the Council,” he said.

“We’re three quarters bush and it’s a lot of money but there are a lot of firebreaks needed to keep the community safe over a big area.

“The shire has been pretty tough on firebreaks this year and it comes down to everyone doing their bit and making it a safer place for everybody.”

Emergency Services minister Fran Logan said mitigating the bushfire risks faced by much of the state is one of the best chances at reducing ‘catastrophic’ bushfires.

“All landowners, which includes local governments, have a responsibility to reduce fuel loads and deal with bushfire risks,” he said.

“Our communities cannot afford to ignore unmitigated risks and hope that emergency service responders will always be able to deal with major emergencies. Our climate is drying, the threat is growing and we have seen how deadly and devastating the consequences can be.”

Member for Roe Peter Rundle said his team ‘pushed hard’ to have the funding increased to include more local governments in fire prone areas.

“Adopting a shared responsibility approach to address unmitigated risk is an essential measure in our drying climate, which presents an ever-growing fire danger,” he said.