Safety first - VicForests’ Wombat State Forest operations
At VicForests we operate to the highest standards with a commitment to achieving zero harm in our workplaces.
The safety of our people, contractors and the communities where we operate is our highest priority and this is never more evident than in the recovery works we are undertaking in the Wombat State Forest as we remove fallen trees and treat hazardous trees and debris resulting from the June 2021 storm events.
This is an extensive operation undertaken to reduce fuel loads and fire risk to communities and assisting Traditional Owners to restore Country.
The Forest Recovery TUP identifies areas where VicForests may undertake forest recovery operations in the Wombat State Forest. Operations conducted under this TUP are limited to windthrown trees from the storm events. It may also be necessary to remove hazardous trees for safety reasons and, if necessary, the removal of additional trees where this is operationally required and where safety is paramount.
We are using suitable equipment to remove hazardous trees in line with standard forest management practices. Managing and recovering fallen trees and debris following storm damage is a sensitive operation and requires VicForests’ specialised planning, equipment and expertise.
To complete these operations, we have created appropriate tracks to ensure the safest possible path to the operations. We are conducting these works with environmental values at the heart of our efforts and all tracks and landings will be rehabilitated under the direction of the traditional land owners DJAARA.
As part of our planning, we are prioritising clearing fallen trees and heavy debris first. This is essential as the heavy debris creates a barrier to fire fighter access and inhibits the establishment of control lines in the event of a fire.
While much of our focus on safety is on our people working in the forest, we are just as committed to ensuring the public remains safe.
Timber Harvesting Safety Zones are hazardous worksites, and we ask that people do not enter these Zones for the safety of everyone involved.
While we respect everyone’s right to protest, we take people’s safety very seriously and any preventative action to ensure the safety of VicForests staff, contractors and the general public is critical.
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