Tuesday, 20 September 2022


Roadside vegetation

Roadside vegetation

Mr T BULL (Gippsland East) (19:06): (6538) My adjournment tonight is to the Minister for Environment and Climate Action. It could have probably been to the Minister for Roads and Road Safety also, but I will go with the minister for environment. For the 10th and final time this term I want to bring to the attention of this government, and on this occasion the minister for environment, an ongoing issue in my electorate. The action I seek is for the minister to address the black wattle infestation and build-up of debris on our roadsides prior to the upcoming summer.

As I said, I have asked for this on nine previous occasions. I first raised it in April 2020, then in November 2020, December 2020, June 2021, September 2021, October 2021, December 2021, May 2022, August 2022 and now September 2022. We have piles of debris that were pushed up after the 2019–20 fires that are still sitting on our roadsides in Gippsland East and black wattle infestation above your head. It is a massive, massive fire risk.

I acknowledge that we have had a wet spring, which will put back the fire risk certainly into next year, but East Gippsland residents know too well that it only takes a few days of really, really hot weather to turn all of this debris and all of this vegetation into a huge fire risk—

Ms Britnell interjected.

Mr T BULL: As the member for South-West Coast says, a tinderbox. These are roadsides adjacent to private property where families lost everything almost three years ago. We have not learned our lessons. We have now got a government that is letting the debris build up to incredible levels again, so I finally ask the minister for environment to liaise with the minister for roads—you both say it is each other’s responsibility—and get this problem fixed before summer, because we cannot go through a period with this level of debris on our roadsides.