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Angair representatives were recently briefed by Parks Vic/DELWP fire management staff on developments with the Strategic Fuel Break program and the intended Spring Burn program.

Angair’s Flora and Fauna Interest Group and Management Committee members are a sounding board to the department on their activities and also provide local information on significant vegetation sites that may require special protection.

Areas mulched this year (e.g. along the Great Ocean Road) have been assessed for weeds and contractors hired to undertake work. These areas have also been assessed to see if any revegetation is required. Provision has been made to purchase indigenous plants from a local nursery to begin some planting in spring given the wet season being experienced. Some mulched areas will require tree planting to achieve a 30 per cent canopy, leaving five-metre gaps between trees to allow for future maintenance activities. Some areas such as very wet areas that had limited diversity and some steep sites may require other revegetation works.

Some weedy trees will be removed where the works can be carried out without traffic control.

With the planned spring burning program around Anglesea some areas of significant vegetation (threatened or rare species) may be protected from burning or have wet breaks applied if possible. Areas to be burnt this spring (weather permitting) include the Lookout Reserve, Anglesea Bushland Reserve opposite Betleigh Street, behind and north of the sports ovals, Golf Links Road, Pipeline Track, Hurst Road east end, Firetail Track and at Tanners Road.

Some maintenance works on existing Strategic Fire Breaks mainly on access roads to the north and west of Anglesea and Fairhaven are also planned and these areas have been assessed for the presence of threatened species as part of the planning process using several databases.

Most of the new breaks will not be maintained this year to allow them to settle. The following is a summary of planned work based on communities/areas:

Great Ocean Road: FFMV will look to slash the section from the car park on Hurst Rd through to the Forest Rd roundabout on the southern side of the road. That’s the area that was mulched 18 months ago. The remaining sections of the Great Ocean Road will be left to settle for this season.

Anglesea: A few of the new breaks within town that have excessive bracken growth will be slashed. This includes areas around the YMCA and Industrial Park in Anglesea. The break in the low heath near the treatment plant will be slashed to control the eucalypt regrowth and will be followed up with cut and paint of stumps. That area is slashed at a higher level around 20 cm to retain the low heath species. Weed control has commenced across the breaks and will continue over the next few weeks. There will be follow-up work in the new year. The existing break network will be maintained as usual.

Aireys Inlet: Most of the new break will be left to settle with only limited slashing in areas of regrowth. The existing break network will be maintained as usual. There are a few breaks that will be left for this season such as around the Barwon Water treatment plant. Due to burning last season the surrounding area has been treated and it gives the FFMV an opportunity to rest a break for a season. FFMV still has some outstanding works to complete. Works on the Great Ocean Road have been halted due to the moisture and to limit soil disturbance. There is still some material on the ground that needs chipping and additional ‘limbing’ to undertake. FFMV looks to complete that work late in December, post seeding and the wildflower season. This will need to occur prior to the annual slashing program.

Lorne: At this stage it is wet across the network and it is looking like a later start to the slashing program. All existing breaks will be slashed, and only minor works planned on the new network. Due to the damp FFMV has scheduled weed control later, towards December, as access is limited and they are expecting a protracted regrowth period due to moisture.

Angair members are welcome to provide feedback to Angair and/or the FFMV team on fire management activities.