Member of Lions Club – State Parliament
The ability to clear appropriately around fence lines where public land abuts private freehold, must be one of the areas for review in the wash up from these fires.
That point was made by Nationals Gippsland East MP, Tim Bull, when in an act of bipartisanship this morning, he announced the State Government's increase to boundary fencing assistance for fire impacted farmers.
“The Premier was coming here today to make this announcement, but due to a late change of plans, his office was happy for me to get this out in the community, as it is something we’d had ongoing discussions on,” said Mr Bull.
“Fire recovery is all about building things bigger and better and this funding of $5,000 per kilometre for boundary fencing materials provides more support to not just replace boundary fences with a standard fence, but upgrade them, making them more fire-resistant with options for items like concrete posts and to a specification that will better allow for the exclusion of pests such as wild dogs.”
But Mr Bull said, changes also needed to be made to vegetation guidelines where Crown Land abuts freehold and this needed to accompany today’s announcement.
“Upgrading fences is one thing, but everywhere I go I am hearing about the need for more boundary fence line clearing.
“It is OK having a Rolls Royce fence, but a tree or tree branch can bring it down and these dogs are opportunistic, they were attacking sheep within 48 hours of the fire taking out dog proof boundary fences.
“I am all for the funds being provided for fencing upgrades, but it limits their effectiveness if the clearing isn’t done and we have trees and branches coming down with every storm on these fences.”
Mr Bull said the impacts were likely to occur more often in the coming 12 months as many trees had been fire affected and more prone to falling.
Caption: State Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull pictured with Bushfire Recovery Victoria chair Ken Lay has called for vegetation clearance changes to protect newly constructed exclusion fences from being damaged by falling trees.