The Inspector-General for Emergency Management recommends that the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (or the single entity referenced in Recommendation 4) – supported by other organisations with a legislated responsibility for fuel management – plan for and increase the application of non-burning fuel management treatments including mechanical means.
The annual fuel management report should include the non-burn component of fuel management treatment, track annual change, and provide a comparison to the previous three years.
DELWP is enhancing Victoria’s network of strategic fuel breaks and is planning for how this can be expanded further in preparation for the 2020–21 fire season. The creation and maintenance of strategic fuel breaks is a key mechanical treatment as Victoria adapts to the reduced window available for planned burning due to climate change.
Strengthening and expanding Victoria’s network of strategic fuel breaks is one of the key actions that form DELWP’s Advanced Forest and Fire Management strategy, designed to reduce the risk and impacts of more frequent, intense and damaging bushfires under a changing climate.
In preparation for the 2020–21 fire season DELWP completed:
• 10.5 ha of strategic fuel breaks establishment in high-risk areas in the Surf Coast around Anglesea, Aireys Inlet and Lorne
• over 2800 ha of non-burn fuel works largely comprising mechanical treatment.
IGEM also notes that DELWP is planning to strengthen and expand Gippsland’s network of strategic fuel breaks as part of the Victorian Government’s $35m investment in bushfire risk management. Refer to Action 6.5 for further details about DELWP’s ongoing strategic fuel breaks and mechanical works program.