Roads | January 09, 2018

Fire risk concerns from roadside growth

The Nationals Member for Lowan, Emma Kealy MP is calling on the Andrews Labor Government to take urgent action to fund the slashing of roadsides across the region.

Ms Kealy said the fire risk posed by vegetation growing on roadsides was a major concern to local residents.

“I have been contacted by a number of residents who are concerned about the lack of roadside slashing and it is essential the Andrews Labor Government provides the funding needed.

“Some roadside slashing has been undertaken by VicRoads, however budget cuts by Labor means less slashing has been undertaken over the last few years compared to previously,” she said.

Ms Kealy said in the aftermath of Black Saturday, the Bushfires Royal Commission had highlighted the importance of clearing vegetation from roadsides.

The Commission noted: ‘in the case of bushfires, roads and roadsides can be important fuel breaks, so road managers need to reduce the fuel levels in preparation for the fire season’. (p.16 – Bushfires Royal Commission Final report Summary).

“Funding cuts by the Andrews Labor Government have evidently reduced VicRoads capacity to undertake slashing across the region.

“Labor is brushing off the concerns of residents who are worried about the fire risk caused by poorly maintained roadsides.

“The Andrews Labor Government must immediately reverse its reduction in funding for roadside slashing to reduce the risk of fire and danger to local lives,” Ms Kealy said.

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