At the two-year anniversary of the black summer bushfires, fire affected areas are slowly recovering thanks to more than 140 projects funded by the Andrews Labor Government.
Since February 2020, the Labor Government – in partnership with 25 organisations − has delivered 145 projects to give fire-affected landscapes, habitats and native species the greatest chance of survival and recovery.
The projects were supported by more than $62 million in funding through the Bushfire Biodiversity Response and Recovery program.
Parks Victoria scientists Dr Mark Norman and Dr Mark Antos have visited fire-affected areas and observed that while there’s a way to go for some areas others are recovering well.
One of the areas − Mottle Range Flora Reserve − has turned from a site of utter devastation into an area of dense, vigorous regrowth with a high diversity of native species.
The reserve is special for having the only naturally occurring stand of Spotted Gums in Victoria and Parks Victoria’s scientists were encouraged to see that the trees are getting their spots back and Yellow-bellied Gliders are returning to the area.
At Cape Conran Coastal Park there’s been a significant recovery of grass tree plains. Grass trees sprout quickly after fire and in the first spring after the fires the trees put up flower stalks, covering the landscape.
Other areas like Martins Creek Nature Conservation Reserve, which experienced one of the hottest, highest intensity fires, impacting 91 per cent of the reserve, will take longer to recover.
The Labor Government will continue to work together with delivery partners to support bushfire recovery and conserve fire-affected protected areas across the state.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio
“It is both heartening to see the recovery that has taken place and a stark reminder of how extensive and damaging the black summer bushfires were for our native wildlife and landscapes.”
“We have invested nearly $500 million towards protecting biodiversity and our natural environment since coming to government in 2014, the largest ever investment by a Victorian Government."
Quote attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria Jane Garrett
“The damage to the environment caused by the black summer bushfires was incredibly extensive. While the environment is still recovering it is so good to see areas coming back to life.”
Quote attributable to Dr Mark Norman Chief Conservation Scientist Parks Victoria
“The fires occurred at such a truly landscape scale that there have been winners and losers. It’s still early days on a long road to recovery and, in many places, nature will come back different from before.”
Reviewed 22 February 2022