Home News Reducing bushfire risk in the Midlands District

Reducing bushfire risk in the Midlands District

Divide Road, Mt Cole State Forest (near Beaufort). Photos submitted

Forest Fire Management Victoria (FFMVic) crews, supported by local contractors, have just finished 33 major roading projects in forest areas around Ballarat under the State Government’s $272.3 million Reducing Bushfire Risk program

Completed between November 2019 and May 2020 and worth $1.325 million, the works have considerably enhanced FFMVic’s ability to quickly access and respond to bushfires should they occur in future.

FFMVic Deputy Chief Fire Officer, Tony English said completing all projects within six-months was a huge effort for the Midlands District crews and contractors.

“Roading works were carried out by local contractors as much as possible, with the dual benefit of providing more jobs for local community members as well as upskilling forest contractors to increase their readiness and experience to provide support during the bushfire season”, Mr English said.

“Five earthmoving businesses were appointed to complete road maintenance, grading and re-sheeting; four quarries were engaged to pick up and deliver the materials needed; three hire companies provided plant; two grooming contractors carried out verge works; and several local hardware stores and businesses were used for smaller purchases, equipment and fuel.”

In total the works delivered 40km of heavy verge preparation, 170km of road grading, 53km of re-sheeting, and 30 culvert replacements.

This included works within Enfield, Creswick, Mt. Cole and Wombat State Forests, near Ballarat, Beaufort and Daylesford.

All activity complies with DHHS requirements and prioritises the safety of the Victorian community as well as our staff.
“The program has brought fire and land managers together with communities to reduce bushfire on public land throughout Victoria over a period of four years and will end in June 2021,” Mr English said.