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Media Release

Influx of absentee landowners at bushfire community forums
Thursday 20 October 2011 – 10:00 AM

A record number of people have attended FESA’s recent Absentee Landowner Forums with many information sessions at capacity.

It is estimated that there are around 11,000 householders who own additional property in high bushfire risk areas in the southern half of the State.

These absentee landowners are being urged to acknowledge the risk and begin preparations on their properties ahead of the bushfire season.
FESA Acting Chief Operations Officer Lloyd Bailey said this week, Bushfire Action Week (October 16-23), was the perfect time to start.
“If you own a holiday home or property near bushland you need to remember you are still responsible for making the necessary bushfire preparations, even if you don’t live there,” Mr Bailey said.
“People who live in low risk areas themselves should not underestimate or ignore the threat of bushfire.
“For example, if you live in an inner city suburb but you own a holiday home outside of Perth then you need to start thinking about what measures you will take to protect your holiday property.
“Bushfires happen every year and it is everyone’s responsibility to prepare.”
FESA’s Community Engagement has held forums in Heathridge, Winthrop and Floreat over recent weeks, with the fourth and final session planned for Tuesday 8 November in Floreat.


The forums discuss issues such as asset protection, bushfire survival plans, fire danger ratings, water and power supply, hazard separation zones and ember protection, with presenters from regional areas.


Mr Bailey said Bushfire Action Week was also an opportunity for communities to come together and discuss their preparations ahead of the fire season.

“We encourage people to contact or join Bushfire Ready groups that may be available in their area and start thinking about their preparations,” he said.
“It’s a time for people to get their properties in order and create a bushfire survival plan that everyone in the family is familiar with.”


Mr Bailey said that as hard as FESA and other agencies work to prevent and respond to bushfires, there’s no substitute for someone who has taken the time ahead of the summer to make the necessary preparations.


 “In the case of a widespread fire emergency, we can’t guarantee that firefighters will have road access to get to a property or that aerial water bombers will be available,” he said.
“That’s when someone’s bushfire survival plan and the work they’ve done to prepare their property, become so important.”
FESA recently sent out a copy of their Prepare. Act. Survive. guide to residents in high bushfire risk areas. A copy of the guide and further information about bushfire safety is available online at www.fesa.wa.gov.au.
Upcoming Absentee Landowner Bushfire Information Forums will be held:
  • Tuesday 8 November, 7pm-8pm at Tamala Room, Bold Park WA Ecology Centre, 165 Perry Lakes Drive, Floreat. Places are limited. To secure a place email ruth.noonan@fesa.wa.gov.au or call 9323 9816.
Media Contact: Media and Public Affairs on 9225 5955.



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