A STATEWIDE fuel reduction burning plan is still up to 18 months away with a researcher only just being appointed - even though the state government called for the $400,000 study almost two years ago.
The study was prompted in May 2011 after the state government ignored advice from the State Fire Management Council to spend $25.7 million over four years to increase fuel reduction burns.
It instead opted to spend $400,000 investigating the project.
Tasmania Fire Service chief officer Mike Brown yesterday said the council was about to start the study, which would look at a cost-benefit analysis of fuel-reduction burning and an education and community plan on strategic fuel management.
``We've employed someone to do that work and that person has just hit the ground, so they'll be doing some work to get the research started,'' Mr Brown said.
``We'll probably employ another two or three other people to assist. I'd imagine it'd be within a year to 18 months [it will be completed].''
The Examiner revealed this week that cabinet had deferred a decision to spend the $25.7 million, despite warnings of more frequent bushfires without an overhaul.
Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association and the opposition yesterday called for the $25.7 million advice to be released, but the government did not respond to those requests.
TFGA president Jan Davis said she had tried unsuccessfully for two days to get a copy of the document.
Opposition police and emergency management spokeswoman Elise Archer said she also wanted to know about the $400,000 project and what it included.
``It's time for the Premier to stop obfuscating and hiding, and come clean with all the facts on this very serious matter,'' Ms Archer said.
Ms Davis said she would also like to see an increase in fuel-reduction burning and the ``hassle'' people had to go through to do private land burns and clean-ups removed.
``People at the moment have no rights to look after their own land without government intervention,'' Ms Davis said.
She said the perfect story was a landowner at Dunalley, whose property was almost destroyed in January's bushfires, and who now wants to clear it up.
``But he has to get a forest practice plan to be able to do that. That could cost him up to $5000, maybe more, and could take six to eight months.''
A government spokesperson said ``removing the hassles'' around fuel-reduction burns would be examined during the bushfire inquiry.
He said in the meantime, the government was spending $250,000 a year on bushfire and fuel-reduction research plus $220,000 in-kind investment each year through the Bushfire Cooperative Research Centre.