The Coalition Government will invest $5 million in 2011-12 in the first stage of the Retreat and Resettlement policy of non-compulsory land acquisitions as part of the government’s commitment to accept all the Bushfires Royal Commission recommendations, Deputy Premier and Minister for Bushfire Response Peter Ryan said today.
“The Coalition Government is providing funding of $5million for the non-compulsory acquisition of land deemed to be at unacceptably high risk of being destroyed by bushfire,” Mr Ryan said.
"This scheme will give eligible bushfire survivors who are unable or unwilling to rebuild the chance to move on and buy elsewhere.
"Implementation of the scheme will fulfil recommendation 46 of the Bushfires Royal Commission's final report, which the former Labor Government rejected out of hand.
“Comprehensive consultation with the community has always been central to the development of this plan, and we will seek advice from residents in high-risk areas before we start this program,” Mr Ryan said.
Mr Ryan said the Coalition Government had also provided $50 million to fund safer electricity assets in line with the recommendations of the Royal Commission.
"In delivering on this commitment the Coalition Government has done what the former Government was never willing or prepared to do – that is, begin the important work to reduce the amount of bushfires started by electricity assets,” Mr Ryan said.
"We recognise this is an enormous and expensive task, but it is one that simply cannot be ignored.
"Decisions on how this funding can best be used to reduce the risk of bushfire will be made once the Powerline Bushfire Safety Taskforce delivers its final report in September," Mr Ryan said.