Members strolling in Kalimna recently will have noticed that maintenance work on the Tourist road has just been completed. The works were much needed, because wear and tear, plus water damage after heavy rains, had corrugated and rutted the road.
FOBIF is concerned however, that such works inevitably seem to be accompanied by apparently unintentional, and certainly unnecessary road widening, with some gouging into the bush. We have written to the Mount Alexander Shire, asking the following questions:
- Were workers given a specific direction to widen the road, and if so for what reason?
- Are workers working on tracks in bushland given any briefing about the value of roadside vegetation?
The Victorian Environment Assessment Council [VEAC], in its recent report on remnant vegetation, raised, among other issues, the matter of care of roadside vegetation. It also recommended special training for workers operating in bushland. One of the objectives of Mount Alexander Shire’s recently launched Environment Strategy is that Council should set an example of good environmental practice in its works.
On the subject of insidious road widening, members are recommended to read the submission of Castlemaine naturalist Ern Perkins to the VEAC enquiry. It contains photos of local roads with observations of changes over the years. It can be read at