Following the publication of the “Tolhurst” endorsed DELWP Phoenix Fire Assessment for Haining Farm, the YWG Committee worked with the community members of the Haining Farm Working Group to try and obtain the “inputs” used to determine the final fire assessment for Haining farm. DELWP and their expert Kevin Tolhurst determined, “that the revegetation of Haining would not increase the Bushfire Risk in the Upper Yarra despite plans to plant 315,000 trees and shrubs on the site [ Greening Australia 2017 Annual Report ].
The reaction to this information by both our community and many members of the CFA was that the assessment must have been based on the wrong inputs, but DELWP were refusing to disclose the information despite numerous emails over five months.
The committee in desperation decided to approach Yarra Ranges Council to request them to write to the Minister Lily D Ambrosio to instruct DELWP to provide us with the Input data. The Committee arranged to make a public submission at the Council Meeting of 13 March 2018. This approach was very successful as at 5.00 pm on the friday prior to the Council Meeting DELWP emailed most of the input details to YWG.
Meanwhile we found out that Parks Victoria had formed a new “Haining Farm Working Group Design / implementation Committee” to finalise the plans for Haining Farm. Unfortunately once again the Don Valley Community was ignored having no representation on the new implementation working group.
As YWG were booked in to present our earlier submission on the inputs, we decided to use the opportunity to ask Council to write to the Minister to request that a member of the Don Valley Community be added to the implementation working group membership. Thanks to Councillor Jim Child and Councillor Stevenson a motion to write to the Minister requesting that a local Don Valley resident be added to that Committee was carried with the support of Clrs Avery, Child, Stevenson, Clarke, Higgins and Mc Allister. Councillors Cox and Cliff voted against the motion.
The letter sent to the Minister is in the link below.
PDF Letter from Council to Minister