Just days before the DSE attended a workshop on public safety, they approved VicForests lock and gate two major fire access roads – favoring the logging industry over and above public safety.
There was no notification to the CFA brigade. These roads provide major access to the west for the local community – the most dangerous direction for fire threats. Call outs to the western side of the valley are not uncommon. Also the road is access the Snowy Nat Park from the local campground and is a declared firewood collection zone.
No notices have been placed at intersections to alert the traveling public, costing them many kilometers of wasted travel.
A local father and his 10yo son towing a trailer almost came off a wet road when the new gate appeared.
Alternative routes add another hour or more onto travel (not ideal in a fire situation let alone for tourists).
If VicForests wants to lock their logging operations up from public view, as a declared ‘public safety zone’, why not put the gates on the coupe road rather than deny other people access along public roads?
VicForests also did this several years ago at Brown Mountain – closing the main road to the Errinundra Nat Park. Threatening notices stated people must not proceed! They were told to take the signs down.
When we tried to contact the DSE, which approves these VicForests road closures, the manager was attending a workshop on – wait for it … ‘public safety’!