Fire recommendations ignored – MLA

Bassendean MLA Dave Kelly near Ashfield Flats. Picture: David Baylis   d448847
Bassendean MLA Dave Kelly near Ashfield Flats. Picture: David Baylis d448847

But Bassendean MLA Dave Kelly believes more could be done.

The Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) completed a review of the area last year after a blaze came within metres of homes on Hardy Road and Fisher Street in March.

The report commissioned by the Department of Planning, Ashfield Flats Fire Review of Bushfire Land Management Practices dated May 14, 2015, listed 12 works needed to “give better protection to residents, limit fire spread, protect wildlife and give emergency response crews greater access to the reserve”.

Emergency Services Minister Joe Francis would not comment and a DFES spokeswoman said its role was “simply to provide advice on mitigation to the landowners as requested”.

The Department of Planning, Town of Bassendean and Water Corporation own the land. A Department of Planning spokeswoman said it had been working “on a range of fire mitigation measures on the WAPC-owned properties in this area”.

“This has included installing a raised causeway to provide better access for emergency vehicles, local fuel load reduction and tree pruning, and removing several tonnes of rubbish from the site,” she said.

Mr Kelly said it appeared that not all works had been completed.

“Of the recommendations, a lot of them don’t seem to have been implemented,” he said.

“I don’t think the community here have seen anything in the way of education, campaign or fire plans or fire hydrants.

“The drain adjacent to Hardy Road, which was identified as a particular fire risk, seems to be in the exact same condition.”

Town of Bassendean chief executive Bob Jarvis confirmed it had taken action, including firebreaks, but said it did not see the report until December 2015.

“The intention of the firebreak is to improve access for fire and emergency services,” he said.