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New picnic facilities for Penny's Lagoon


The Parks and Wildlife Service has completed the construction of a new picnic shelter at Penny's Lagoon within the Lavinia State Reserve on King Island.

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Southwest ecological burns important for orange-bellied parrot conservation


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Fuel reduction burn program beginning soon


A multi-agency fuel reduction burn program aimed at reducing the risks of bushfires will begin in several areas of the State as soon as weather conditions permit.

The Minister for Environment, Parks, Heritage and the Arts, Michelle O'Byrne, said the State Government had invested $625,000 in the program to help protect Tasmanians from the dangers of bushfires by reducing fuel loads.

"The program, now in its second year, will see the State's three fire fighting agencies, the Parks and Wildlife Service, Forestry Tasmania and the Tasmania Fire Service combine their expertise in a concerted program.

"Fuel reduction burning reduces the potential for damaging bushfires, and makes fighting bushfires more effective and safer for fire fighters.

"Fire is part of the Tasmanian environment, but needs to be managed to protect communities at risk and to maintain biodiversity."

Ms O'Byrne said up to seven fuel reduction burns are scheduled for state forests, in conservation areas and on private land, depending on favourable weather conditions. Current weather conditions mean that the program is unlikely to start until after Easter.

This year's major fuel reduction burns are planned for:
· Granville Harbour.
· The Arthur Pieman Conservation Area.
· Arthur River (north of Arthur Pieman Conservation Area).
· Narawntapu National Park to Reedy Marsh.
· Gladstone to Bay of Fires.
· Southwest of St Helens.
· Lake Leake Road. The program is presented in a new information booklet called Fire: Managing the Risks that is widely available.

Ms O'Byrne said fire safety was everyone's responsibility.

"This includes individuals who conduct garden waste burn-offs and larger-scale burns on private property."

Ms O'Byrne reminded people planning burns that smoke posed a health risk for those suffering from respiratory illness such as asthma. The Asthma Foundation can provide information on how to reduce the risks of exposure.

"Anyone conducting fuel reduction burns on their land should only do so under the right weather conditions that minimises the likelihood of smoke drifting into neighbouring properties and local communities.

"The multi-agency fuel reduction burns will be planned to minimise their impact on the community and will also avoid days when major tourism events are planned."
Further information about planned burns is available at www.fire.tas.gov.au. This web site is updated daily.

People with asthma are encouraged to check this site, as the information will help them to prepare ahead of time if they believe smoke will affect their condition.