Each year the Directorate works closely with the ACT Emergency Services Agency (ACT ESA) and the ACT Rural Fire Service (ACT RFS) to minimise the risk and impact bushfires may have on school communities and Directorate assets.
In early 2013, the Directorate took responsibility for the facility management of 33 childcare centre buildings owned by the ACT Government. These facilities were previously managed by the Community Services Directorate. In reviewing the 2013-14 Bushfire Strategy, the Directorate liaised with ACT ESA and the ACT RFS to determine if any changes had been made to fire danger zone boundaries and if any of the transferred facilities were located in elevated fire danger zones. The Directorate was advised that there were no changes to the current fire danger zone boundaries and that no childcare centre buildings managed by the Directorate were at increased bushfire risk.
Under an 'extreme' fire danger rating, the following five public schools will be closed temporarily:
- Birrigai Outdoor School (Paddy's River);
- Black Mountain School;
- Fraser Primary School and Fraser Preschool;
- Hall Preschool site of Gold Creek School; and
- Tharwa Preschool site of Charles Conder Primary School.
Under a 'catastrophic' fire danger rating, Bonython Primary and Preschool and Jervis Bay School will be temporarily closed along with the five schools identified above under an 'extreme' fire danger rating.
The 14 non-government schools to be closed temporarily under a 'catastrophic' fire danger rating are:
- Brindabella Christian College;
- Burgmann Anglican School (Valley and Forde campuses);
- Canberra Christian School;
- Canberra Girls' Grammar School;
- Canberra Grammar School;
- Canberra Montessori School;
- Covenant College;
- Daramalan College;
- Islamic School of Canberra;
- Marist College Canberra;
- Orana Steiner School;
- Radford College;
- St Edmund's College; and
- The Galilee School.
All ACT schools are required to be on high alert on days when extreme or catastrophic fire danger ratings are declared. If a bushfire occurs and poses a risk to schools, the ACT RFS or ACT Fire Brigade may direct schools to close immediately.
Public schools are reviewing Emergency Management Plans to ensure plans are consistent with the Directorate's Security and Emergency Management Governance Framework.
An annual bushfire preparation program was undertaken by the Directorate to ensure vegetation and other fire hazards were well managed.
The Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve Bushfire Operation Plan managed by the Territory and Municipal Services Directorate covers the operations of the Birrigai Outdoor School.
For further information contact:
Infrastructure and Capital Works
(02) 6205 3173