As we reported in March, the Mount Alexander Shire has been in the process of producing a Rural Land Study. The draft study is now out for consultation, and is well worth a look. You can find it on the Shire’s website.
FOBIF has made a brief submission on the study, which can be read below:
‘We congratulate the authors of this comprehensive rural land study.
‘There is however one issue that has barely got a mention and needs more attention given to it. The issue is the interface issues that arise with proposed new rural living areas near public forested land.
‘We fully support the report’s emphasis that any new rural living areas must have the ability to create defendable space around new housing. But there is more to this issue. If a rural living area is proposed near public forested land, there could immediately be a demand on the public land manager to carry out Asset Protection Zone burns adjoining any new rural living areas.
‘As the prescription for Asset Protection Burns requires frequent, highly destructive burns, the effect on biodiversity is inevitably severe.
‘The above has to become a planning issue when considering the location of new rural living areas, as since Black Saturday we have seen a significant expansion in the areas of public forest that Public Land Managers have allocated to Asset Protection Burning. If new rural living areas are sited near public forested land there will be more destructive Asset Protection Burns and consequent loss of biodiversity.
‘We would like this issue included in your final report.’