On tap: Water tank requirements in Bushfire Management Overlay areas are designed to help firefighters. Photo: SUPPLIED

Water tank audit finds shortcomings

December 13, 2019 BY

A CHECK by Golden Plains Shire council has found nearly half the properties in municipality’s Bushfire Management Overlay areas required to have water tanks for use in firefighting are non-compliant in some way.

The tanks are part of recommendations made following the 2009 Bushfire Royal Commission and mean some properties need a concreate or metal tank with the right fittings so firefighters can use the water during emergencies.

CFA District 15 Commander Gavin Hope said access to the tanks was useful when fires were near or on landowners’ property.

“It means a quicker turn around and a continuous water supply,” he said. “It saves that down time when we have to go and get water, depending on how much water the landowners have in their tank.

“It does help. I know from experience and what I hear that it is a great initiative for us do be able to use those tanks.”

Large portions of Golden Plains Shire fall under a BMO, especially along the Glenelg Highway between Smythes Creek and Pittong, south to Dereel and in areas south and west of the Brisbane Rangers National Park.

There are also isolated pockets of BMO west of Bannockburn and north of Inverleigh.

Commander Hope said it wasn’t just the right kind of tank filled with water in it that helped firefighters.

“It’s getting clear access to the property as well, so we can get our trucks in through gates and under overhanging trees,” he said. “Turn around points are very useful once we get in there.

“The bushfire overlay stipulates what kind of tank and how many litres people need to have on hand, and a CFA connection, which is usually a male three thread per inch.”

To find out what the requirements are for your area, visit planning.vic.gov.au/policy-and-strategy/bushfire-protection/bushfire-management-overlay.

Golden Plains Shire said via statement that, “Failure to comply with CFA requirements for on-site water supply, including incorrect water tanks, may result in enforcement proceedings by council.” However, residents are asked to call the municipality’s Community Safety Team on 5200 7111 to discuss the issue further.