Road­side fire risk con­cern

Seymour Telegraph - - THE TELEGRAPH -

The an­nual road­side grass mow­ing pro­gram is ramp­ing up along the state’s ma­jor ar­te­rial roads.

But while the ma­jor free­ways and high­ways are get­ting some at­ten­tion, Mem­ber for Euroa Steph Ryan has called on the Vic­to­rian Gov­ern­ment to slash all of the re­gion’s road­sides as au­thor­i­ties warn of a dan­ger­ous fire sea­son.

Speak­ing in Par­lia­ment, Ms Ryan urged the gov­ern­ment to take im­me­di­ate ac­tion to ad­dress in­creased road­side veg­e­ta­tion, ahead of the com­ing fire sea­son.

‘‘Res­i­dents across the Euroa elec­torate have raised their con­cerns with me about the fire risks of long grass on road­sides, par­tic­u­larly given that con­di­tions are al­ready hot and dry,’’ Ms Ryan said.

‘‘With dry con­di­tions and a bad fire sea­son ex­pected, it is crit­i­cal that VicRoads stays on top of slash­ing and man­age­ment of road­side veg­e­ta­tion to mit­i­gate fire risk.

‘‘The CFA es­ti­mates that slash­ing de­creases any po­ten­tial flame height by half, mak­ing road­side fires eas­ier to put out.’’

Re­gional Roads Vic­to­ria (RRV) North East­ern re­gional di­rec­tor Nicki Kyr­i­akou said mow­ing crews would be out for the next cou­ple of months on key roads in­clud­ing Hume Fwy be­tween Wal­lan and Wodonga, and on Goul­burn Val­ley Hwy.

‘‘Tim­ing our grass cut­ting sea­son is cru­cial, which is why we’re get­ting started now to make sure we’re on top of spring growth and ahead of the peak fire re­stric­tion pe­riod,’’ she said.

Ms Kyr­i­akou said the slash­ing pro­gram dif­fered each year, based on rain­fall, tem­per­a­ture and the time it takes for the grass to grow.

In North East Vic­to­ria, the slash­ing pro­gram is ex­pected to be com­pleted across the re­gion by early De­cem­ber, weather per­mit­ting.

Dur­ing that time, speed and lane re­stric­tions may be in place to keep driv­ers and work­ers safe.

Ms Ryan has also raised her con­cerns on ac­ces­si­bil­ity for CFA fire­fight­ers with wire-rope bar­ri­ers now in place.

‘‘CFA brigades across the re­gion are greatly con­cerned about man­ag­ing fires along the free­way this year with­out the equip­ment needed to cut through wire rope bar­ri­ers,’’ she said.

‘‘This is a ma­jor con­cern re­peated time and time again by our lo­cal brigades that the gov­ern­ment has con­tin­ued to ig­nore.

‘‘Emer­gency ser­vice work­ers, farm­ers and road users have all pointed out the po­ten­tial dan­gers cre­ated by un­bro­ken kilo­me­tres of wire rope bar­ri­ers.

‘‘I am gravely con­cerned that the An­drews Gov­ern­ment has height­ened the risk of peo­ple get­ting trapped in a fire and has made it more dif­fi­cult to re­spond to emer­gen­cies.’’

Con­fir­ma­tion and bless­ing

For many Chris­tians, bap­tism is the first sacra­ment they re­ceive.

On Oc­to­ber 21, four chil­dren were given the sec­ond sacra­ment of Con­fir­ma­tion at St Malachy’s Catholic Church in Nagam­bie by the Bishop of Sand­hurst, Bishop Les Tom­lin­son.

The con­firmees had re­ceived re­li­gious in­struc­tion for this spe­cial day by parish folk, par­ents and through their school­ing, then on the day their fam­i­lies and friends were in the con­gre­ga­tion to see them re­ceive Con­fir­ma­tion and bless­ings from the Bishop, with Mon­signor Frank Hickey as­sist­ing with mass.

Pic­tured are Mon­signor Frank Hickey (back) with Liam Tre­ble, Charley Cahill, Bishop Les Tom­lin­son, Eoin Mur­phy, Emma Ver­roc­chi. The chil­dren re­ceived the sacra­ment of Con­fir­ma­tion at Malachy’s Catholic Church in Nagam­bie.

— Di­ane Grant

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.