Wed. Apr 17th, 2024

A new program to boost the bushfire resilience of critical transport corridors by supporting Aboriginal cultural landscape management has been launched at four sites across regional New South Wales.

The $4.5 million Transport for NSW (TfNSW) Aboriginal Cultural Landscapes Project is a land management pilot created in response to recommendations from the NSW Bushfire Inquiry which followed the Black Summer disaster.

“Hazard reduction and mitigation play a key role in managing fire risk, and we know from the Bushfire Inquiry that there are many different approaches we can take to this to prepare as much as possible for bushfires.” said Minister for Emergency Services Jihad Dib.

“This project will support Aboriginal communities to carry out and expand cultural landscape management, making our road network more resilient and promoting the use of local traditional knowledge to better prepare our landscape for natural disasters.”

The outcome-driven project supports local Aboriginal communities to use traditional land management methods, including cultural burning, to reduce the risk of bushfires impacting key NSW roads.

Pilot sites are located:

  • near the Bruxner Highway northwest of Grafton on Bundjalung Country
  • near the Oxley and Newell Highways at Coonabarabran on Gomeroi Country
  • along the Princes Highway at Bega and Batemans Bay on the South Coast on Yuin Country

A joint TfNSW and La Trobe University research project will accompany the pilots and explore how traditional and cultural land and water management can be used to build resilience to natural disasters into the transport network.

The Department of Regional NSW Regional Aboriginal Partnerships Program will support Aboriginal groups within a culturally safe environment to ensure their business models can deliver landscape management services to landowners and Government once the pilots conclude in mid-2025.

The pilot is part of the NSW Government’s $28 million Network Resilience Program being delivered by TfNSW over four years to improve the State Road network’s resilience to bushfires.

More information about the Network Resilience Program is here: https://www.transport.nsw.gov.au/projects/programs/regional-and-outer-metropolitan-network-resilience-program

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