Ryan Rejects Call For Emergency Alert Investigation
The Bailleu-Ryan Government must immediately investigate the performance of Victoria’s Emergency Alert Service, the Shadow Minister for Bushfire Response, Jacinta Allan, said today.
Ms Allan said Victorians deserved to know why a workable system was not activated to alert residents during two emergency situations since Christmas.
“The Emergency Alert Service was meant to send a text notification to residents under threat during an emergency, such as an extreme weather event or bushfire,” Ms Allan said.
“However, residents in Melbourne’s north-west received no text alert during Christmas Day’s severe storms that wrecked havoc on homes and on our roads.
“Again, the system was not activated to alert locals when a bushfire threatened Strathewen last Sunday.
“The Baillieu-Ryan Government must explain why these communities were not alerted via the EAS system. The only way they can do this is to set up an independent investigation into the system’s performance.”
In Parliament this week, Ms Allan called on the Minister for Bushfire Response, Peter Ryan, to set up an independent examination.
“Vulnerable communities deserve to have faith in the system,” Ms Allan said.
“The Royal Commission into the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires identified the need for a greater emphasis on public information and emergency alert systems to assist families living in Victoria’s bushfire-prone areas.
“An independent investigation will help Victorians understand why the system was not activated and in what circumstances they can expect it to operate.”
Ms Allan said the Christmas Day storms damaged thousands of homes and wiped out tens of thousands of cars. Damage costs are expected to exceed the costs of last year’s Victorian floods.
“Yet, the Baillieu Government says public information made available to residents about the storms was adequate,” Ms Allan said.
“Mr Ryan’s “head in the sand” approach to the system’s failure is yet another example of the Baillieu Government’s laziness.”