Making Progress On The Lessons From Lancefield

The Andrews Labor Government has received the Inspector-General for Emergency Management’s interim progress report on implementing the independent investigation findings into the Lancefield-Cobaw fire.

Premier Daniel Andrews today joined Minister for Environment Lisa Neville and Member for Macedon Mary-Anne Thomas to discuss the report  and recovery progress at a meeting with Lancefield residents.

The interim report found the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning was on track to implement all recommendations and commitments on time.

The Government ordered the independent investigation in October last year following the escape of the planned burn at Lancefield on September 30. DELWP accepted all 22 recommendations in the investigation report and made an additional 10 commitments to improve its fuel management program.

In its progress report IGEM found DELWP had so far fully implemented one recommendation and three commitments, with the rest on track for completion by their due dates, most of which are by July this year.

IGEM will provide a further update report in June this year and quarterly reports thereafter until all recommendations and commitments have been implemented.

In December last year the Victorian Government announced a $1.4 million package to fund priority projects in the Lancefield area to help the community recover as quickly as possible from the fire.

The package included $450,000 to upgrade the netball change rooms at Lancefield Park and $150,000 to fund works at the Mechanics Institute. The Premier today announced works on the netball courts will begin in May and be completed by October.

Another $800,000 will be provided for further works at Lancefield Park and open community forums will be held in April to enable the community to have their say on how the money should be used.

Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews

“What happened at Lancefield was unacceptable – that’s why we acted quickly to launch an independent investigation into Victoria’s planned burning program and those changes are now being implemented.”

“While we’re making good progress, there still remains work to be done. The Inspector-General for Emergency Management will continue to closely monitor the progress in implementing all recommendations.”

Quotes attributable to Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Water  Lisa Neville

“We made a commitment to the people of Lancefield and the broader community that significant improvements would be made to the planned burning program and we’ll ensure all necessary steps are taken to achieve this.”

Quotes attributable to Member for Macedon Mary-Anne Thomas

“Prior to the 2014 election I campaigned on the need to improve Lancefield’s netball facilities and I’m thrilled that works are set to begin shortly.”

“I will continue to stand up for the community as they recover from the fire and encourage locals to attend the community forums in April to have their say on how best we upgrade Lancefield Park.”