I refer to Commissioner Dunn’s response (CT, January 5) to my letter regarding the power to evacuate property owners during a bushfire.
Commissioner Dunn acknowledges that the power to evacuate does "exist", but is "designed for a very different type of emergency".Unfortunately, the publication he refers to (Bushfires in the Bush Capital) has highlighted, the power of officials to evacuate in a bushfire emergency, directly contradicting his assertion.
The legislation should provide for the right of property owners to defend their property, as in the Victorian model recommended by McLeod.
Until then, a property owner’s right to defend the property is at the whim of an official.
The last time ACT officials forcibly evacuated people against their will in a major bushfire emergency they did so with catastrophic effect.
Lance Williamson, (Canberra Times letter)