The State Liberals have released a Bushfire Inquiry by a Parliamentary Committee that supports Liberal plans to upgrade the main road traffic corridor through the Mitcham Hills for public safety reasons.
The Labor dominated Natural Resources Committee was chaired by current Deputy Premier John Rau when it released its Interim Bushfire Inquiry Report in 2009 that recommended:
“the provision of substantial funds to improve road infrastructure in the Mitcham Hills to be spent over the 2010/11, 2011/12, 2012/13 and 2013/14 budgets.”
The Final Report in 2011 contained exactly the same principal recommendation.
“The very real possibility of Mitcham Hills residents being trapped in their cars whilst trying to flee a dangerous bushfire prompted the Committee’s unanimous support for the allocation of substantial funds to this traffic corridor,” said State Liberal Leader Steven Marshall.
The then Sturt CFS Group Officer Mike Pearce gave evidence to the Committee that a bushfire in the Mitcham Hills on a weekend “could have more than 8500 vehicles fleeing from an approaching front” which would “cause severe traffic congestion throughout the district and leave road users in some areas at extreme risk.”
“The Weatherill Labor Government has ignored the Committee’s principal recommendation leaving the residents of the Mitcham Hills at increased risk of being trapped in a bushfire,” said Mr Marshall.
“The State Liberals pledge of a Master Plan and a $20 million investment in its first stage is a down payment on enhanced bushfire safety for people living in the Mitcham Hills.”
“A Marshall Liberal Government will provide the funding needed to ensure there is a safer escape route for the people of the Mitcham Hills in the event of a bushfire,” said Liberal Candidate for Davenport Sam Duluk.
“With sustained population growth through the Mitcham Hills and surrounding districts in the five years since this recommendation was first made the need for upgrading the districts central road corridor has only increased.”