Fire trails overgrown as fire season arrives

The Nationals member for Eastern Victoria Region Melina Bath has called on the Andrews Labor Government to clear fire trails developed in the aftermath of the 2009 Black Saturday fires.

 Speaking in parliament this week, Ms Bath shared the concerns of residents of Traralgon South in particular.

 “The Traralgon South Flora and Fauna Reserve backs onto the north-eastern side of the township,” Ms Bath told parliament.

 “It is used by bushwalkers, bike riders and horse riders. The reserve is approximately 843 hectares in size.”

 “During the course of Black Saturday, control lines and firebreaks were constructed by emergency fire management agencies to provide a buffer for the town.”

 “Much of the reserve was burned, contributing to the loss of native animal and bird species, but the buffer provided a very important space for Traralgon South.”

 “With the 2017 fire season now upon us, residents have expressed concern that clearing efforts have not been carried out in the reserve, meaning that fuel loads have built up and access to the reserve is constrained. It is impossible for a vehicle to get through along the old line.”

 “The residents I have spoken to still have Black Saturday fresh in their minds every fire season, and they are concerned that this public space will be a liability to them in the event of a bushfire.”

 Ms Bath has called on Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio to implement a review of the fuel loads at the Traralgon South Flora and Fauna Reserve and to provide a fire prevention strategy for the adjoining township.