SO MUCH talk. So little done. So few days to the next fire season and the only substantial measure in place from the Government has been the ''10/30'' land-clearing provisions overriding conservation zones, overlays and heritage controls across my municipality and 10 others in outer-urban ''green wedges''.
The 10/30 provisions are foolish and arbitrary. In giving fearful people a false sense of security, they are also potentially lethal. Such clearances will destroy the environment of areas like my own in Warrandyte, but will be insignificant in halting firestorms.
The Brumby Government's response to the disastrous fires has been a smoke-and-mirrors exercise: a screen to the Government's failings and a reflection of responsibility on to local government and their uncertain communities. The loss of life on Black Saturday was due not to local planning restrictions but to matters within State Government control. The measured language of the commission interim report does not miss these failings: the ''collapse'' of the triple-zero service, the inadequacy of warning messages and evacuation plans and directions.
We do not need a razed-earth policy in green wedge areas and outer-urban bushland. We need the State Government to take a leadership role in working with local and federal government to get these measures in place, immediately.
In Warrandyte as one example, the two-lane bridge, the only crossing for miles in any direction, is widely acknowledged as a death trap. It can only be fixed by action of the State Government. What better use of stimulus funds than to upgrade this and other access routes in the designated high-risk areas.
David Ellis, Manningham councillor, Warrandyte
The Age, Letters, 10th October 2009