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TAS Country : February 9th 2012
Friday, February 10, 2012 Tasmanian Country 3 News Cutting power a last resort' Plan for extreme fire danger days ROGER HANSON ACT NOW: Fire authorities are urging the farming community to be prepared 'It would be irresponsible of us to ignore the findings of the Victorian royal commission'---AURORA SPOKESMAN CUTTING electricity supplies in rural areas at high risk on days of extreme fire danger would be a last resort, says electricity utility Aurora Energy. It says there are a whole range of considerations to take into account in extreme conditions. Any action would be taken after consultation with Tasmania Fire Ser- vice and the SES, a spokesman said. Aurora has had discussion with the Department of Infrastructure, Energy and Resources (DIER) to plan for extreme events. Talks were aimed at cutting the risk of fallen or malfunctioning power lines that could spark fires. The Victorian Bushfires Royal Com- mission found fires caused by failures of electricity assets were responsible for the deaths of 117 of the 173 people killed during the Black Saturday fires of 2009. ''It would be irresponsible of us to ignore the findings of the Victorian royal commission,'' the Aurora spokes- man said. Aurora has an ongoing program of cutting back trees and vegetation around power lines. The Tasmania Fire Service con- tinues to urge landowners to minimise the risk of a bushfire on their property. Tasmania Fire Service's acting dis- trict officer for state operations, And- rew McGuinness, said people should plan very carefully if they light a fire. While there has been a period of rain, the north and south have dried out considerably in the past two months, Mr McGuinness said. ''Pasture and grassland have cured, really dried off, so it is vital people consider very carefully before they light a fire,'' he said. ''It is important all appropriate pre- cautions are taken, a clearance must be kept around the fire and [someone] be in attendance at all times. ''Any time a fire is getting out of control, people must notify 000 as soon as possible so a brigade can assist.'' Mr McGuinness also emphasised the importance of landowners keeping a defendable space around their property and housing. Tasmania Fire Service chief officer Mike Brown said the ''Prepare. Act. Survive'' message must apply to the farming community. Landowners are reminded about the fire danger rating scale that warns of the level of bushfire threat on any given day, based on the forecast weath- er conditions. New categories that came in after the Victorian fires include ''severe'' and ''catastrophic''. A national telephone-based emerg- ency warning system, Emergency Alert, has been created to warn the public of major emergencies, including serious bushfires. Under the system, emergency mess- ages can be sent by recorded voice to fixed phones and as an SMS text message to mobile phones. A fire permit is required to burn more than one cubic metre of vegetation. Notifying the Tasmania Fire Service on free call 1800 000 699 when lighting up would prevent fire crews unnecess- arily attending controlled burn-offs. Take close look at hemp at field day TASMANIAN farmers will have the chance to find out more about oppor- tunities for industrial hemp at a field day later this month. The Sustainable Industrial Hemp Production in Tasmania field day will be held on February 22, from 10am until noon at Phil Reader's property, Littlehampton, at Bishopsbourne. Participants at the field day will be able to see some of this year's hemp crops up close. All aspects of crop management and other associated issues will be dis- cussed during the field day program, which will also include a series of guest speakers including Ecofibre Industries operations managing director Phil Warner and agronomist John Muir from Queensland. Tas Industrial Hemp Association secretary Peter Simmul and local grower Phil Reader will also make presentations on the day. For catering purposes please RSVP by Monday, February 20, to Serve-Ag project officer Peter Heading on 0408 006 315 or email pheading@ serve-ag.com.au Defence contract workshop TASMANIAN agribusinesses have a chance to gain valuable supply con- tracts with the Defence Force. A series of free workshops on how to win supply contracts will be held in Hobart later this month and in March. Workshop presenter Suzi Watral says the events are designed to help businesses become a supplier of a product or service to the ADF. The workshops are specifically tar- geting small or medium-sized busines- ses or just individuals. ''It is not just about learning invalu- able business development insights but also doing. The focus is on providing attendees with the skills which they can immediately apply,'' she said. The workshops will be at the Techno- park in Hobart on February 28, March 13 and March 27. Details: www.ascon sult.com.au/DefenceWorkshops.html. BEST PRICES EVER ON SELECTED POLARIS ATVs AND RANGERS. ENDS FEB 29TH OR WHILE STOCKS LAST. 1300 654 142 www.polarisindustries.com.au
February 2nd 2012
February 16th 2012