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Peta Townsing

Peta Townsing

Balingup, Western Australia, Australia

  • Communications/outreach
  • Community Wildfire Protection Plans
  • Firewise Communities / Defensible space
  • Fuels treatment / Prescribed fire
  • Fuels treatment economics
  • Ignition-resistant home construction
  • Wildfire risk assessment

I live in a fire-prone area in the South West of western Australia. I am one of a small group of likeminded people making up Firewise WA who live at the Rural Urban Interface in the SW or Perth Hills.

A key goal is to try to bring about the active involvement of residents in bushfire-prone areas to enable them to reduce the bushfire risk on their own properties. Residents need to be recognised as the key stakeholders in mitigation processes such as reducing overgrown vegetation. Government does not have sufficient resources to do all the work required to ensure the safety of citizens.

I’ve worked as a systems analyst in the WA public service. I worked on projects involved in public sector reform whilst seconded to the Department of Premier and Cabinet.

Now semi-retired I have a 1.9 Hectacre property on a fresh water stream. I have been experimenting with ways to reduce vegetation. All trees and shrubs with volatile oils have been banished from within 50m of the house. I am conscious of and have done research on bushfire risk having had friends losing their houses to fire. I made a submission to the Keelty Review after the Kelmscott Roleystone Fire.

I made a submission to the Special Inquiry into the Waroona Fire. I suggested the Firewise USA program be a model for adoption in Australia.

After the Waroona Fire I helped on the Recovery Team working for the State Recovery Coordinator as a volunteer. I interviewed about 30 residents of Yarloop.
I am a member of the Balingup Bush Fire Brigade. The Brigade has been impressive in its ongoing commitment to carry out prescribed burning around Balingup with the aim of reducing the risk of bushfire attack.

In 2017 the Balingup Bush Fire Brigade was the host for a Fire Protection Expo. I was the Coordinator. The Expo was focused on homeowners to enable them to better reduce their risk of bushfire attack to their homes and property.