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 will expand the permanent network of strategic fuel breaks across Victoria by December 2022.
Strategic fuel breaks are strips of land where vegetation has been permanently modified to reduce the rate of fire spread and intensity. They are created for the direct protection of assets and to assist fire control.
The Victorian Government invested $35m to deliver 1447 km of strategic fuel breaks across Victoria by July 2022. For more information refer to ffm.vic.gov.au/bushfire-fuel-and-risk-management/strategic-fuel-breaks-program
During 2020–21 DELWP constructed and upgraded 545 km of strategic fuel breaks across the state. Details of fuel management activities for this year are available at ffm.vic.gov.au/fuel-management-report-2020-21
During 2021–22 DELWP constructed a further 741 km of strategic fuel breaks. Another 164 km are in progress and once completed (when weather and site conditions are favourable) will deliver the cumulative target of 1447 km.