The Liberal Member for Northern Victoria Wendy Lovell has supported the residents of Barmah by calling on the Andrews Labor Government to allow firewood collection in the Barmah Forest area.
Speaking during the adjournment debate in State Parliament recently, Ms Lovell asked Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio to reinstate a firewood collection area so locals can collect the fuel they need to heat their homes and in some cases cook their meals.
In her contribution Ms Lovell said that with no natural gas supply connected to the town, residents of the Barmah area had collected wood from the forest for more than 100 years but the practice was banned by Ms D’Ambrosio in April 2020, with the closest collection point now an hour and half drive away south of Rushworth.
Ms Lovell recently visited the Barmah Forest with Shadow Minister for Environment and Climate Change Bridget Vallence, where they were shown by locals a two kilometre section on the edge of the forest at Yielima where Parks Victoria are due to commence burning to clear a firebreak.
Ms Lovell said the area contained a substantial amount of good firewood due to be burnt and it made more sense to allow locals to collect the wood prior to the burn, gathering fuel to heat their homes for the coming winter.
Comments attributable to Member for Northern Victoria Wendy Lovell:
“With no natural gas connection in the area, the people of Barmah have relied on firewood collection in the Barmah Forest to heat their homes and in some instances cook their food.
“Labor’s ban will see elderly residents forced to drive a hour and a half to collect the wood they require.
“This is an unacceptable scenario and the Minister must intervene and reinstate a firewood collection area for locals to collect the wood they need for the coming winter.”
Media Contact: Jason Kelly 0413 103 240 firstname.lastname@example.org