The recent Tasmanian Liberals announcement on ensuring bushfire safe communities and supporting our volunteers has been welcomed by the Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association. With approximately 25% of Tasmanian land used for agriculture, lessening fire risk across agricultural/farming regions is crucial to the protection of livestock, native flora and fauna, rural communities and the many families who call the farm home.

The double investment in the successful “Red Hot Tips” Program to support farmers and large landholders to conduct private burn-offs with total funding of $2.5 million, is particularly pleasing noted the TFGA. The Red Hot Tips initiative which has been very successful in assisting landholders, including farmers, to understand and manage bushfire risk on their properties. The program aims to educate, engage, and support farmers and rural landholders.

Since August 2020, registered landholders under this program have completed 97 planned burns, covering over 1700 hectares of privately/managed land. The successful program will receive additional funding to expand so that more landholders and farmers can seek assistance to undertake bushfire planning and burning that will enhance business, property, and community safety.

We are all too familiar, unfortunately, with the devastation of bushfire in Tasmania and across the rest of Australia. The Red Hot Tips initiative is a practical program on managing the risks associated with bushfire through the implementation of effective strategies to manage burns on farms and via landholders to reduce this risk. We already know the Red Hot Tips initiative is working so this extension of funding is very welcome, especially as fuel loads invariable increase after good seasonal conditions.