Roadside vegetation Fire safety

Slashing effort just doesn’t cut it

20 December 2018

The effort put into roadside slashing across the Euroa electorate needs to increase, according to Euroa MP and Nationals deputy leader Steph Ryan.

Ms Ryan said more work is needed to urgently address long grass along major roads and highways.

“Across the electorate, people are concerned about long grass on roadsides as we enter the fire season,” Ms Ryan said.

“While I’m commend VicRoads for its efforts in developing a mower which reaches over wire rope barriers, there’s still a lot more work which needs to be done.

“Recent slashing on the Kilmore Broadford Rd, for example, has been described by locals as the absolute bare minimum.

“If you’re going to do a job, it should be done right the first time.”

Ms Ryan said she hoped newly appointed Roads Minister Jaala Pulford would take urgent action to fund further roadside maintenance.

“In recent years we’ve seen the maintenance of roadsides cut back because of budget cuts to VicRoads,” Ms Ryan said.

“The Andrews Government needs to put community safety at the forefront of its agenda. Most communities would prefer to see existing roadsides properly maintained rather than roped off in a way that makes them difficult to access in an emergency.”

Kilmore East resident Peter Medley said the grass along his section of the highway was currently 1.5 meters high and still growing.

“My concerns about Broadford-Kilmore Rd are many. Vicroads tell me they only have to slash three metres from the road where they can. The installation of wire rope barriers means a goodly portion of C311 can't be slashed,” Mr Medley said.

“The road has a 100 km/hr posted speed limit, my driveway is atop a hill up from Broadford without me mowing the grass on the verge to my northeast myself and my family would have to put the front of our cars on the road to check for  traffic,” Mr Medley said.

“The grass is perfect fire fuel and as the only link between Kilmore and Broadford if there is a fire event in the area residents may be trapped and unable to reach a refuge.

“I have requested a burn in April or May for the area in the past but they have fallen on deaf ears. I even suggested a crew of men with brushcutters could do what needs to be done in half a day.

“We are only 70kms out of Melbourne but we may just as well be 300 miles north of Mildura, for all Spring St cares.”

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