FIREWOOD COLLECTION SEASON OPENS
Firewood collection areas have opened across Victoria, allowing communities to gather wood for personal use until 30 June 2021.
Member for Werribee Tim Pallas said where firewood supply is scarce, priority access can be given to local residents, Traditional Owners and those who depend on firewood for heating.
“Financial assistance is available for people on low incomes who purchase firewood or wish to transition to other energy sources. For more information please visit: https://www.ffm.vic.gov.au/firewood/energyconcession-and-support” Tim Pallas said.
“Low income households can also now apply for the Andrews Labor Government’s Power Saving Bonus, available for those who hold a pensioner concession card or receive JobSeeker, Austudy, Abstudy or Youth Allowance. The $250 bonus is available through the Victorian Energy Compare website: compare.energy.vic.gov.au or by calling 1800 000 832.”
Tim Pallas reminded the community that firewood can only be taken from designated collection areas in state forests or parks during approved collection seasons and is for personal use only and cannot be sold.
“Collection limits include taking a maximum of two cubic metres per person per day and a maximum of 16 cubic metres per household per financial year.
“The felling of trees and cutting of hollow logs for firewood is also prohibited. Hollow logs and dead trees provide critical habitat for a wide variety of native species.
“Under the Forest Act 1958, people who collect firewood outside designated collection areas or season or take more than the maximum allowable amounts can face fines of up to $8,261, or a maximum penalty of one-year imprisonment or both, if the matter goes to court.
“Firewood collection from roadsides is managed by local government agencies and usually requires a permit. Residents are encouraged to contact their local councils directly for further details.”
Tim Pallas urged collectors to be COVIDSafe, carry a fitted face mask, follow physical distancing directions, use hand sanitiser and observe group size limits.
Further information, including access to interactive online maps is available at www.ffm.vic.gov.au/firewood