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Making Victorian Schools Better Prepared For Bushfires

04 January 2017

Thousands of Victorian students will be safer this summer with the Andrews Labor Government making sure schools in the state’s highest fire danger areas are better prepared for bushfires.

Acting Premier and Minister for Education James Merlino today inspected Billanook Primary School in the Dandenong Ranges, which will have its bushfire shelter area audited and upgraded under the $10 million program.

Fire shelter areas at 200 government schools in high-risk areas around the state will be upgraded under the program, including vegetation removal, gutter cleaning, and the installation of gutter guards, door and window fire shutters, water tanks and sprinklers.

Bushfire preparation audits have already been completed at 51 high-priority schools and work is underway to make sure they are bushfire ready for the first day of term one, 2017.

Forty more schools will have their shelter areas audited next month, with the final 109 school audits completed by June.

School shelters are being audited and upgraded based on risk, with work completed first at higher-risk schools.

These bushfire safety upgrades – combined with the newly funded school emergency SMS service and existing school emergency plans like closing on Code Red days and off-site evacuation protocols – mean students in Victoria’s high bushfire risk areas are safer at school.

The Labor Government is building the Education State so every Victorian student gets the opportunity for a great education and every community has access to a great school.

There are now 42 new government schools in the construction pipeline and more than 1000 school building projects going on across Victoria following the Labor Government’s record $1.8 billion investment in school infrastructure.

To find out more visit the Victorian School Building Authority website at www.schoolbuildings.vic.gov.auExternal Link .

The 200 schools receiving bushfire safety upgrades are at http://www.schoolbuildings.vic.gov.au/Pages/Bushfire-Risk-and-Readiness.aspxExternal Link .

Quotes attributable to Acting Premier and Minister for Education James Merlino

“We’re making sure Victorian students living in high bushfire risk areas are safer at school with these vital bushfire safety upgrades.”

“Every Victorian government school has a place to shelter from bushfires as a last resort, and this program will make sure the shelters at 200 schools in the highest fire risk areas are even safer.”

Quote attributable to Emergency Management Commissioner Craig Lapsley

"Children are in school at a critical time of the year when it comes to fire risk in Victoria, and these very practical measures have the potential to protect children when they need it most."

Reviewed 19 August 2020

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