The Greens are calling for money tied to Tasmania's forest peace deal to be spent on more fuel reduction burns in bushfire-prone areas.
Greens Senator Peter Whish-Wilson believes a recent burn on the east coast protected the Freycinet Peninsula when a bushfire swept through Courland Bay near Bicheno two weeks ago, destroying five houses and several shacks.
The Greens oppose regeneration burns carried out by the forest industry, but Senator Whish-Wilson says the Parks and Wildlife Service is under-resourced and federal funding set aside to implement the forest peace deal could be invested in a state-wide fuel reduction plan to protect communities.
"I think it's actually resources in general we could look at, we have volunteer firefighters, we could also have people who've previously worked in this area who may want to volunteer their expertise," he said.
"Either way we need a plan because we do believe that these type of extreme weather events are going to be more frequent in the future." But Liberal Senator Richard Colbeck says new forest reserves set up under the peace deal would increase the bushfire risk, and he is sceptical about the Greens' motives.
"They're feeling the pressure and so they're trying to deflect that and pretend that there's some nuance difference," he said.
"And yet, any time there's a puff of smoke on the horizon you'll hear the Greens running out condemning the forest industry." The Glamorgan-Spring Bay Mayor, Bertrand Cadart, agrees that more fuel reduction burns would help, but says at the moment there are too many restrictions on when they can be carried out.
"Now there is only so much back-burning you can do in two weeks," he said.
"In a way we are over-regulated so either we find a solution to do it, to increase the resources so the back-burning can be done in this extremely narrow window of time or we put less boxes to tick." Power returning About 500 electricity customers in bushfire-affected areas of the south-east are still waiting to have their power restored.
About half are north of Dunalley and the rest are on the Forestier Peninsula.
Aurora Energy crews have been concentrating on the Arthur Highway between Copping and Dunalley, Sugarloaf Hill, Carlton River and Murdunna.
All homes on the Tasman Peninsula should be reconnected, but there may be some short-term interruptions while the work continues.