It’s that time of year again when seasonal road closures are in effect across Victoria. We want to remind everyone to respect these closures and obey all closed tracks and gates in forests and parks. The Conservation Regulator and Forest Fire Management Victoria officers are actively patrolling public land during the cooler and wetter months to target illegal vehicle use and gate breaches.
Why are these closures in place, you ask? Well, they’re there to protect sensitive environments and preserve public access tracks when they’re most vulnerable to damage. By driving off-road and going around closed gates, we end up destroying important native plants and wildlife habitats, including billy buttons and clover glycine.
Unfortunately, last year we had over 400 breaches of closed gates and roads across Victoria between June and November. The hotspots for these violations were found in alpine areas, Mt Disappointment State Forest, and Lerderderg State Park. Let’s work together to ensure we don’t repeat those numbers this year.
Remember, it’s against the law to drive or ride on a closed road on public land in Victoria. If you’re caught breaching these road closure rules, you can face fines of up to $925, and if prosecuted in court, the maximum penalty is $9,246. We take these rules seriously because Victoria’s forests are home to thousands of native plants that need our protection. There’s no excuse for deliberately driving or riding around locked gates or on closed roads. Let’s prioritise environmental health and biodiversity.
If you want more information about the seasonal closures, head to Forest Fire Management Victoria. Keep in mind that local conditions and weather can affect the timing and locations of road closures.
We rely on your help too! If you notice any illegal vehicle use on public land, you can report it anonymously to the Department of Energy, Environment, and Climate Action on 13 61 86.
For more information about rules on public land, visit vic.gov.au/rules-in-state-forests. Let’s enjoy our beautiful natural landscapes responsibly and protect them for generations to come.
Original information gathered from www.vic.gov.au/rules-in-state-forests