Roadside maintenance and fire risk

Ms BATH (Eastern Victoria) (12:24): My question is for the Minister for Roads and Road Safety. I raise concerns on behalf of Gippsland constituents who are rightly concerned about the long grass and weeds on roadsides that if left uncleared will add to fuel loads. If not urgently slashed, tall grass along the edges of our regional roads will have the potential to act as a wick. In addition, weed species, such as 3-metre-high bamboo on the Strzelecki Highway, abutting the bitumen will decrease and are decreasing driver visibility. The CFA estimates that roadside slashing decreases any potential flame height by half, making roadside fires easier to put out. As Gippsland approaches another fire season it is critical the government properly resources VicRoads to get on top of the slashing and management of roadside vegetation for fire risk mitigation. I ask the minister: will you commit to an intensive slashing and vegetation removal program throughout Eastern Victoria Region?