Moogji crew working to reduce bushfire risk in Snowy District

 Earlier this year, Forest Fire Management Victoria (FFMVic) awarded a contract to the Moogji Aboriginal Council East Gippsland Inc. Natural Resource Management crew under the State Government’s Reducing Bushfire Risk program.

 Snowy District Manager, Craig Chapman said: “The Moogji crew has risen to the challenge of a new work environment and enthusiastically embraced this opportunity for employment.

 “Some of the work they’ve been doing as part of the Reducing Bushfire Risk program includes improving vehicle access and safe passage for fire vehicles along the strategic forest road network and ensuring clear vision for drivers by removing saplings and shrubs from roadside corners,” Mr Chapman said.

 “They’ve also been clearing vegetation and debris around water points to allow for safe filling in emergency situations and near bridges to improve access and visibility.

 “Snowy District forest recreation sites have benefited from winter maintenance works by the Moogji crew and to date they’ve completed works along 42 kms of the District’s strategic road network, including Rocky River Road, the southern end of Bungywarr Road and the southern end of the Yalmy Road.

 “In the months ahead, they’ll do more vegetation management works along about 60kms of the strategic forest road network, from the Yalmy Road and the Pinnak Road through to private property at Bonang to allow for safe access for firefighters and vehicles.

 “The Moogji NRM crew also plays a pivotal role within the Snowy District delivering pest and weed works including weed, feral pig and rabbit management, fox control and monitoring with the Southern Ark team, and deer monitoring and exclusion fencing to protect the endangered Buff Hazelwood tree.

 “Through this work with the Snowy District and its partners, the Moogji NRM crew is now a valuable natural resource management works team with the required skills and abilities to deliver a broad range of projects.

 “We’re working with the Moogji Aboriginal Council to build further capacity and the crew is progressing towards Basic Wildfire Awareness and General Firefighter accreditations.  In the future, they’ll provide valuable local support for planned burning and emergency response.

 “Snowy District staff have received numerous positive comments about the project, about the Moogji crew and the work they’ve done to improve the local forest road network and make it safer for firefighters, community and the timber industry,” Mr Chapman said.