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Bushfire risks ignored despite past lessons in East Gippsland and more preparation needed

Tim Bull MP raises lack of bushfire mitigation in East Gippsland and excessive roadside fuel loads in the Parliament, urging the government for action.

By news@gippsland - 20th March 2023 - Back to News

The lack of bushfire mitigation works being undertaken in East Gippsland - and the need to do more - has been raised again in State Parliament by Nationals' Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull. Mr Bull told Parliament "it seems this government has not learnt from the 2019/20 fires as we are headed down a similar path due to a lack of concerted action".

Excessive roadside fuel loads despite post-fire vegetation growth and large piles of wooden debris have seen to be the reasons that contribute to bushfire

Excessive roadside fuel loads despite post-fire vegetation growth and large piles of wooden debris have seen to be the reasons that contribute to bushfire

Out of control with fuel loads

\Mr Bull said, "Our roadsides are out of control with fuel loads. The above average rainfall has seen a vegetation explosion after the fires with black wattle infestation in many areas and head high grass. In addition, we still have large piles of wooden debris pushed up after the fires sitting on the roadsides adjacent to private freehold that burnt in 2019/20."

"These windrows make home owners who have been burnt out once very nervous and, despite having raised this many times, we see inaction as the department dither as to whose responsibility it is." Mr Bull said.

Neglected fire tracks

Mr Bull added, "We saw these unmaintained roadsides act as wicks in the last fire event, but we again allowed them to get out of control. The blame will sit with the relevant Ministers if we have a repeat as you have all had multiple warnings to address it."

"Secondly, the bureaucracy around approvals that need to be obtained for roadside burns is becoming a very difficult process. This needs to be streamlined to allow our CFA volunteers to better protect our communities, not be restricted by the levels of approval that have to be obtained. They are the experts in roadside burns and they should be entrusted to do this rather than have to get approvals from agencies that are not experts in the field."

"Thirdly, fire tracks through the bush that are important for our firefighters are not being maintained to the level required. It will be too late when the fires hit again and it is when, not if. This government needs to focus more on these areas and ensure we are ready and prepared," he said.

Pictures from Tim Bull MP websit.


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