Bellarine Peninsula partnership reduces fire risk

Member News image


For several years, CFA has partnered with Bellarine Catchment Network and the Borough of Queenscliff to carry out fuel reduction and woody weed removal in an area called The Narrows Queenscliff.


The program has been a great success in not only reducing fuel loads and protecting infrastructure assets and buildings, but also protecting and enhancing the biodiversity of Coastal Moonah Woodland, which is listed as ‘Threatened’ in Victoria.

Sustained manual efforts to remove the introduced woody weeds – a range of hardy plants that are difficult to eradicate – has resulted in improved biodiversity, with numerous fire-retardant, indigenous plants returning to the site. These include Seaberry Saltbush, Coast Bonefruit and Bower Spinach, which are known for their succulent form and have fire-retardant characteristics.

Matt Crawley from Bellarine Catchment Network said the locals had made a great effort to improve this area.

“Over the past year we have had nine community weeding sessions involving 71 community members and four schools,” Matt said. 

“This has led to weed control, reduced fuel loads and an engaged community better connected to their local patch. Without the support of CFA and Borough of Queenscliff, projects like this would not have the resources to protect our valuable natural environment and townships that are adjacent to them.”

This program will continue in 2024, with follow-up weed maintenance, monitoring the flora and conducting surveys. 

“This program is a great example of community, local government and CFA collaborating to share ideas and resources to turn a significant problem into a long-term solution,” CFA’s South West Region Vegetation Management Officer Phil Campbell said.

For more information about this project email Phil Campbell or Matt Crawley:

Photo caption: Matt Crawley (Program Manager Bellarine Conservation Network) discusses weed management and fire risk reduction with CFA’s Vegetation Management Team Leader Dan Idczak and CFA South West Region Vegetation Management Officer Phil Campbell.


Submitted by Phil Campbell and Matt Crawley