|The area alongside our farm which is earmarked for burning|
A burn right alongside us will have serious environmental implications as well as threaten our farm. Here's a letter I have sent to our State Minster for the Environment, Ryan Smith:
I am concerned that your Department plans to burn swamp scrub at the edge of the Grantvillle Nature Conservation Reserve in the next round of burning. It's too late this year, by far. Hasn't been safe for the whole winter. But the question is why would anyone burn swamp scrub? It is wet for most of the year - it provides habitat for bandicoots and skinks and Swamp Harriers nest there every year. It is considered an endangered vegetation community. VicRoads had to pay approx. $1.3m to offset some weed infested swamp scrub and sedgeland for the duplication of the Bass Highway near the Corinella turnoff. The area of the planned burn is also the headwaters of one of the few remaining permanent creeks running into the Bass River and feeds the one connected perched swamp. Contrary to the advice in DEPI's letter once this is burned it won't come back. The transevaporative effects will kill off the scrub, ferns, fungi, bladderworts etc. There is so little swamp scrub left that it makes no sense to burn it – far from any claims of making the bush safer from wildfire, it will make the area more fire-prone by changing the vegetation type.
|Here's one patch of swamp scrub under threat|