Grange Jephcott,Manager, Land & Fire, Gippsland
Re: Proposed Fuel Reduction Burns for Cape Liptrap Coastal Park
Dear Grange, I am writing to you about the proposed burn for Cape Liptrap Coastal Park. I am a resident of the Walkerville Estate and, along with other community members have taken a keen interest in this area. We have explored it with the help of local and other naturalists and gathered previous wildlife surveys. It is a unique area sheltered from northerly winds and it is growing back to the wet forest it once was fringed by wet heathlands and has Lyrebirds.
The community have wildlife cameras and have just found and photographed a long nosed bandicoot in the Walkerville North camping ground; right next to the area of this proposed burn. As best we can find out they have not been seen since 1976 and then at Grinder Point, south toward Cape Liptrap. This identification has been confirmed with Jenny Nelson at the Arthur Rhylla Institute in Melbourne.
We have also noticed that the areas burned more than ten years ago in the heathland in the upper catchment of Second Creek was just made shorter with lots of dead twigs. It is hard to see how burning these wet heath lands make them less of a fire hazard.
The forest planned to be burned on the east and south side of the Estate has not had a fire in it since 1927 and is ‘growing wetter’. On the east side it is a paperbark swamp – the lookout track goes through it, from the beach below the Walkerville North Camping Ground , around a point and a kilometre down the beach. This camping ground has plumbed fire hoses every ten metres or so through it and there are several wet gullies between the camping ground and the Estate. It is also hard to see how fire will do other than make these areas more flammable.
In the forest on the north side between the estate and the lookout, there is a shady forest of messmate and peppermint containing actively used hollows. We are using wildlife cameras here too. If this area was burned we’re concerned it would kill the animals using these hollows, open up and dry this forest – making it more of a fire hazard.
We recently walked down Second Creek and found a termite mound and noticed that all the dead timber on dry slopes was rotten. There are tree ferns, shield ferns and other ferns along the creek as there are along the back of the camping ground and even on the steep sandy slopes leading down to the beach.
The Cape Liptrap Coastal Park is sheltered from all hot northerlies and is unique for having wet forest growing in old sandy dunes that supports a population of Lyrebirds. Other creeks to the south have even more extensive tree fern stands and wet forest species and are also planned to be burned in the future.
How can these planned burns be delayed so we and other interested groups can continue wildlife surveys?
Could there be a delay in these burns until there is an evaluation as to whether these burns are necessary and whether burning will actually increase the fire hazard this bush currently poses to the Walkerville Estate, the camping ground and the residents with homes in the bush at Walkerville North and South?
I recognise the pressure for ‘fuel reduction burning’ across the State and the lack of resources to evaluate each and every area before it is burned but hope in this case the Cape Liptrap Coastal Park is seen as unique and deserving of a re-evaluation,
This petition closed about 3 years ago
to support this letter to the Department of Sustainability and Environment to preserve the habitat of the Long-nosed Bandicoot, last recorded sighting in the Cape Liptrap Coastal Park in this...
to support this letter to the Department of Sustainability and Environment to preserve the habitat of the Long-nosed Bandicoot, last recorded sighting in the Cape Liptrap Coastal Park in this area in 1976 prior to current recorded sightings.