VicForests has been instructed by the DELWP Chief Fire Officer to remove timber created as a by-product of fire recovery operations along the Princes Highway and the strategic fuel break between Cowwarr and Bruthen.
Timber removed as part of these fire recovery works will be made available to VicForests to provide to local operators and communities for firewood and other community uses, fence restoration, timber processing and replacing lost timber stocks.
These works will also form part of VicForests’ commitment to provide employment to contractors and employees due to the bushfire impact on coupes. VicForests is proud to take this opportunity to help support recovering communities and industry by utilising and making available valuable timber resources that might otherwise be wasted.
Critically, each hectare of fire recovered timber proportionately reduces VicForests’ ‘green’ or unburnt area harvesting plans.
The work follows significant hazardous tree removal along the Princes Highway after the East Gippsland fires.
Utilising this timber felled during bushfire recovery operations greatly reduces future fire risk and aids immediate fire recovery and protection efforts by removing a large volume of fuel.
VicForests’ ongoing assistance in fire suppression and prevention is undertaken in accordance with the Bushfire Management Agreement (BMA) with DELWP. Under this BMA, DELWP has engaged VicForests’ contractors to assist with removing trees.
Transport for Victoria, the road authority for the Princes Highway, has authorised the DELWP Secretary to exercise powers allowing the clearing, removal and disposal of hazardous vegetation from the road and road reserve on the Princes Highway in East Gippsland (this occurs under clause 2(b) of Schedule 6 to the Road Management Act 2004)
VicForests has been instructed by the DELWP Chief Fire Officer to remove the resulting timber.
VicForests also has an agreement with DELWP to remove and utilise timber following the Gippsland Fires. As part of this agreement VicForests has been assigned all rights, title and interest in the timber upon its removal. The decisions to fell, remove and dispose of vegetation through road-clearing activities have been made independently of VicForests.
VicForests will provide DELWP with monthly reports on the quantities of recovered timber, how the timber is utilised, and will notify the department once recovered timber is exhausted and allocations are complete.