Local Member for Ovens Valley Tim McCurdy is calling for roadside native vegetation protection laws to be lifted.
Mr McCurdy said the current laws prevent roadside grazing, increase fuel load and needed to be lifted to allow drought and fire-affected farmers to utilise roadsides for their stock.
“There is abundant roadside vegetation across Victoria that could be accessed by fire-affected livestock,” Mr McCurdy said.
“The Minister for Environment needs to urgently facilitate the use of roadside vegetation by suspending onerous native vegetation regulations that so severely restrict grazing.
“The Minister for Roads needs to instruct her agencies to facilitate droving and grazing on the roadsides of state and local roads.”
Mr McCurdy said the benefits of grazing roadsides not only advantaged farmers and afflicted livestock but could dramatically reduce fire risk posed by abundant native vegetation acting as a fuel load.
“Current native vegetation laws that prohibit roadside grazing are ridiculous and in some cases have contributed to property losses in bushfires,” he said.
“We saw in Gippsland where drought affected properties had very little fuel to burn but the roadsides acted as a “wick” that kept the fire burning from property to property.
“The fire would have been extinguished without the fuel on the roadsides that had built up due to laws that protect native vegetation.”