Archive:   Living With The Bush - Community Group

Last Updated  15/10/10



A New Community Voice2:  Living With The Bush (and Bushfire)

(17/9/09 - CC)  A site where you can show you support sensible solutions to bushfire safety - sign up if you think there's more to it than just clearing vegetation


Here's what Living With The Bush had to say about the State government's new 'slashing and burning' controls:


This week is a dark one for native vegetation and the environment


On Thursday 3rd Sept Brumby bulldozed amendments to the Dandenong Ranges and Yarra Valley Regional Strategy Plan.


This was pushed through both houses of parliament with less than one day's notice so the Government can soon remove vegetation protection to allow:

  - clearing of all trees and vegetation within 10m of a house

  - clearing a 4m wide strip of all vegetation along each property boundary

  - clearing any vegetation except trees between 10m and 30m from a house;


from all of Victoria except the 20 urban councils around Melbourne proper.


This will have a devastating impact in many areas of Victoria where many communities live with in a bushland setting.


And the evidence is that doing this will not make us safe from bushfire. There are examples from Black Saturday of houses without any nearby vegetation that burnt, of fires that raced through short grass fields to ignite buildings. Houses located more than 380 metres from continuous bush were lost.


Vegetation can also act as an essential windbreak, reducing the wind that intensify  a fires, and may provide protection from radiant heat as well as slowing down or stopping embers.


Yet the Brumby government intends to allow this clearing until the final recommendations of the Bushfire Commission are

released next year.


By then everyone who has been endeavouring to clear their block for any reason, including gaining a better view will have done so. We will have lost forever even more of our biodiversity and dumped more green house gases into the atmosphere.


The Living With The Bush Coalition has been formed to campaign against this proposal. We believe that this unfettered clearing is fundamentally flawed in that it will not protect houses from bushfires, may in fact increase the danger by creating more intense fires and will destroy the reason so many of us live with the bush.


You can read our charter at as well as more information on this issue, why we have reached this position and what you can do.


If you support the views expressed in the charter please consider endorsing it, either individually or as on behalf of a group.


You can register your support at the website or email me and I'll sign you on.


With a large community outcry we hope we can get these unilateral changes modified to something that will protect our lives instead of just removing trees.


 Click here for more information.


See also MRRA article on the State government's new "slashing and burning' controls, now introduced into all planning schemes in Victoria.


MRRA Says:

This is one close to our heart.  If the places we all love so much are to survive, we surely all need to think carefully and closely about what happens next.  There has to be a better answer than the one put forward by the State government - cut it down or burn it.  MRRA thinks there needs to be a much more thoughtful response and better long-term solution.  MRRA's vote goes to not putting any more people in fire risk locations - just common sense, really.  We would like the 'tree-change' trend to become the 'fire-risk' rule.


The rest of us must weigh up the risks of living in bushfireprone areas - and odds for survival - and make some tough decisions.  Cutting the bush down won't solve the problem or ensure safety.  It is more likely to create a completely false sense of security that will do no-one any favours.