Can you believe this?! Victoria is the most ecologically damaged state in Australia but the Brumby Government recently reduced protection for remnant native vegetation on railway reserves.
It’s our railway reserves that are chocka-block with the rare vegetation types from pre settlement days. They haven’t been grazed or ploughed. They get the odd burn, which is natural, but support loads of threatened plants and vegetation communities.
Rail authorities already have the power to clear vegetation for safety reasons, so why is this needed?
The new laws give rail operators a blanket exemption to planning and environment laws on native vegetation clearing. But a farmer who wants to knock over a tree has to plant other trees in another area as an offset. Rail operators can scalp the entire line and get away with it.
The Greens were the only Party which opposed this provision to the planning law, saying it’s trying to fix a problem that doesn’t exist.