Being able to safely live in harmony with our natural environment is very important to many Victorians who live with the bush.
Unnecessary vegetation removal around houses, fence lines and roadsides will destroy the natural beauty, amenity and biodiversity that attracts people to living in a bushland setting.
We the undersigned:
1. Uphold the value of human life as well of that of the natural environment that ultimately sustains us all;
2. Are alarmed at the “one size fits all” proposal for the removal of all vegetation within 10m of a house, a 4m wide strip along property boundaries and along roadsides in 59 councils as announced by the Victorian Government on 31st August 2009;
3. Firmly believe that native vegetation can protect as well as endanger lives from fires, and that the public debate has, to date, almost ignored the role native vegetation can play in reducing bushfire hazard;
4. Accept that we have entered a new era of extreme fires and that solutions that were viable in the past may no longer be adequate to these new conditions. Increased vegetation clearance does not always equal increased safety;
5. Accept that fuel reduction around homes and along roadsides is not a panacea; focusing on vegetation removal may provide a false sense of security;
6. Existing vegetation management controls are more than adequate for mitigating the risk of bushfire. Sadly misinformation about these regulations is being circulated;
Please note that this charter relates to vegetation clearance on private land and roadsides, not fuel reduction burns that occur on larger tracts of public land.