Ms MAXWELL (Northern Victoria) (12:02): My question is to the Minister for Local Government, and it relates to the impact on local roads of landslides and run-off soil since the bushfires in the Towong shire. As we know, plants and tree roots help to bind the ground, and after a bushfire these footings are severely compromised. Subsequent rain softens the ground and increases the likelihood of run-off and landslides, which will recur for years as the land rejuvenates.
Towong shire has taken responsibility for numerous clean-ups of debris across roads in the shire but cannot claim landslides and run-off as part of the bushfire event. Towong shire has many roads affected, and their operating budget simply cannot sustain this cost for years to come. I ask the minister: what funding supports are available to Towong shire to support them in dealing with their ongoing costs of clearing their roads of run-off while their landscape recovers and restabilises from the bushfires?