Ramp up required on roadside slashing efforts
27 December 2021
Roadside slashing has fallen by the wayside as locals grow concerned about the fuel load on roadsides.
Roads across the region are bordered by out-of-control vegetation after above average rainfall over the past 18 months.
Deputy Leader of the Nationals and Member for Euroa Steph Ryan has flagged concerns with the Andrews Government about its failure to slash long grass on roadsides before Christmas.
“We need immediate action to protect our region heading into the New Year,” Ms Ryan said.
“Every year the government is slow to slash vegetation on roadsides and this year it is even later than usual.
“Regional Roads Victoria’s own website says that its mowing program takes place between August and November each year, yet here we are almost into January and virtually nothing has been done to reduce the amount of long grass on roadsides.”
Ms Ryan said two weeks ago she was forced to call 000 after a grassfire started between the lanes of the Hume Fwy south of Avenel.
“The fire on the Hume spread in seconds. The government’s failure to do its job just makes life harder for our CFA volunteers who are the last line of defence in protecting us from fires.”
Ms Ryan said the Andrews Government had previously reduced funding for roadside slashing while hypocritically spending money on advertising to tell people to be ready for fire season.
“Having had such a wet winter, vegetation on the roadside across the Hume, Northern and Midland highways is out of control,” Ms Ryan said.
“While some roadside slashing has been conducted it’s not nearly enough to reduce the fire risk to a more acceptable level.
“We need this roadside slashing to be conducted immediately to keep country Victorians safe. The government should spend more energy making sure this work is done rather than constantly denigrating the service of our inspiring CFA volunteers.
“This is work that can save properties and there is quite simply not a moment to waste.”
Photo Caption: Steph Ryan is concerned about out of control roadside vegetation across the region