THE state government says it does not know when a $400,000 study into a statewide fuel reduction burning plan will be completed - more than a year and a half after it was commissioned.
The research was prompted by a request from the State Fire Management Council two years ago for an extra $25 million across four years to ramp up the state's bushfire mitigation efforts.
Premier Lara Giddings yesterday denied accusations cabinet rejected the request from the council, saying it was ``deferred'' because more information was required.
Ms Giddings described the detailed proposal from the council, which comprises the heads of the Tasmanian Fire Service, Parks and Wildlife Service and Forestry Tasmania, as ``initial preliminary advice''.
She said the Department of Premier and Cabinet advised cabinet that more information about adapting the strategy taken in Victoria following the Black Saturday tragedy to Tasmania was required.
``You can't have a one-size-fits-all approach,'' Ms Giddings said.
As a result, cabinet deferred a decision and the council submitted an alternative request for research funding.
Yesterday, Ms Giddings said she was seeking advice on what progress had been made.
``I don't have a timeline on it, but it is already under way.''
Concerns have been raised that a dramatic drop in fuel-reduction burns contributed to January's devastating bushfires.
However, Ms Giddings said it was unfair to make a link between the state's fuel-reduction burning and the disaster.
``Let's be very clear about this, in terms of the fires that occurred around Dunalley and Forcett, our advice is any fuel reduction would have had negligible benefit in those catastrophic events.''
The Liberal Party grilled Ms Giddings about the issue in Parliament yesterday.
Opposition Leader Will Hodgman said Ms Giddings's decision not to act on the council's advice sooner raised doubts about her ability to govern.
Ms Giddings accused the Liberals of playing politics with the disaster.