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Bushfire inquiry recommendations a ‘slap in the face’ for affected community

The mayor of a community devastated by the 2019-20 bushfire disaster has launched into a scathing criticism of the NSW inquiry’s findings.

Eurobodalla Shire Mayor Liz Innes told Deborah Knight she’s “devastated” and “let down” by the report, which she says fails to address multiple much-needed legal provisions.

“From what I’ve seen so far, as a landowner and as mayor down here, I feel a little bit like I’ve been slapped in the face.

“We’ve been struggling for years to try and get somebody to listen to us.

“I just think we’re being fed a whole lot of platitudes.”

Emergency Services Minister David Elliott hasn’t yet contacted her either, she said.

“That’s appalling,” Deb commented.

“I think so.”

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Among the 76 recommendations handed down in the final report are measures that would see landowners take further action to reduce fire fuel on their properties.

Former RFS Commissioner, now Resilience NSW Commissioner, Shane Fitzsimmons told Deborah Knight the sweeping recommendations are not intended to be a silver bullet solution.

“I don’t think anyone … is suggesting we can avoid the fire season into the future.

“As a matter of fact, what the report signals is that the last season … is a signal of the potential for the sorts of extreme fire seasons we can expect into the future.”

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Image: Getty