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Gash welcomes nation charred response.



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Joanna Gash Member for Gilmore

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GASH WELCOMES NATION CHARRED RESPONSE

Member for Gilmore, Joanna Gash has welcomed the Australian Government's response to "A Nation Charred: Inquiry into the Recent Australian Bushfires".

Mrs Gash was a member of the Parliamentary Committee that conducted the Inquiry and produced the report.

"In the wake of some of the nation's most devastating fires that hit the Shoalhaven hard, the Australian Government's response is overwhelmingly supportive to the Report's 59 Recommendations," Mrs Gash said.

Mrs Gash said the report highlights significant areas of need and the input of former Shoalhaven Fire Control Officer Brian Parry, whose company investigated rural fire communication abilities and requirements for the inquiry, was invaluable in putting the report together and giving the Australian Government the perfect platform for positive action.

"The Government's supports better access to public lands, better access to water for fighting fires in remote areas, more preventative actions to avoid a build up of fuel, improved incident management, better use of local knowledge and effective use of aircraft in fighting fires," Mrs Gash said.

"The bulk of the recommendations require action by the Co-operative Research Centre for Bushfires, Council of Australian Governments and State and Territory Governments.

"The fact that the Australian Government has now put its weight of support behind these Recommendations hopefully will motivate State Governments, in particular, into action."

Mrs Gash said the Australian Government had already acted on the access issue by providing $15million over three years to improve fire trails.

"We, however, cannot do it alone," Mrs Gash said.

"The State Government needs to take on the challenge and allow its agencies to better prepare.

"We never want to see another bushfire season like that of 2003 and by implementing all of these Recommendations we will go a long way toward reducing the risk of another disaster."