Slow fire response slammed
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Slow fire response slammed

Gippsland East Nationals MP, Tim Bull has slammed the Andrews Labor Government in Parliament over its slow bushfire recovery response, citing 17 of the many locations that remain closed after the fires 16 months ago.

Mr Bull told Parliament this work should have been completed pre-Christmas, but even now, in May, there are jobs where tenders have not been released and no dates for completion made available to communities.

“When we have the Premier come down and the minister come down and say, ‘We’re going to help you with your economic recovery. We’re going to walk with you’ – well we want the work done,” he told parliament.

“These are areas that are important tourism infrastructure. There was nothing stopping this government providing a Treasurer’s advance to Parks Victoria to get this work done.

“We want time frames on the areas that have not been reopened and have not been rebuilt.”

Mr Bull then went on to list the areas that have not been rebuilt or re-opened, stating:

• Thurra River bridge that blocks off access to the Thurra River campground and Point Hicks, not rebuilt, no time frame;
• The Mueller River campground, not reopened;
• Cape Conran boardwalk, not reopened;
• The Cape Conran cabins that were damaged by the fires, I know the Minister announced they were going to be rebuilt, but they have not been started, 16 months later;
• The Wingan Inlet boardwalk has not been started; I was told that that would be done over the summer months;
• The Wingan Inlet rapids walk, closed;
• McKenzie River Rainforest Walk, closed;
• Fairy Dell picnic area, closed;
• Access to Clinton Rocks, closed;
• Genoa River day visitor area and jetty, closed;
• Gravelly Point day area and jetty, closed;
• Wilderness Coast Walk between Cape Howe and Bemm River, closed;
• Double Creek walk and day visitor area, closed;
• Genoa Falls visitor area, closed;
• Cann River Bushland Reserve, closed;
• Maramingo Creek reserve, closed;
• Little Cabbage Tree Creek Falls, closed.

“Sixteen months, and we do not have completion dates on the vast majority of these jobs.

“Our communities want time frames and the thing is, this is not a comprehensive list.

“This is only some of the stuff that has not been rebuilt 16 months on. So, I encourage the Minister to get busy and get these jobs started, but in the next fortnight at least provide my communities with a time frame of when these works are going to be completed.

“Many of these works are not undertaken by Parks, but rather contractors, so simply get the tenders out into the market place, so we can progress things,” Mr Bull told the Chamber.

Caption: Gippsland East Nationals MP Tim Bull, at McKenzie River Rainforest Walk, one of the many Parks Victoria tourist attractions that remain closed after the fires 16 months ago.

Thursday, 6 May 2021