Rail yards’ weeds a fire risk

Fire risk: although VicTrack has slashed the overgrown weeds at the abandoned Leongatha rail yards, shop owner Anthony Wall observed a major fire hazard at the rear of stores in Bair Street due to major piles of dead vegetation.

THE unkempt nature of the Leongatha rail yards is leading to a possible fire hazard risk according to local shop owner Anthony Wall.
A recent report by The Star highlighted the major maintenance and vandalism problems that plague the rail yard and although weeds have been mowed, the problem of dried out, dead vegetation continues on the steep hill leading to the rear of the shops on Bair Street.
Around two years ago Mr Wall, who owns Phone Rite, said he received a letter from South Gippsland Shire Council requesting he maintain the land behind his store, which is included in their ownership of the shop building.
Since then he has not received any further correspondence or seen any inspection by the council of the area which continues to be riddled with dead blackberry bushes and grasses.
“I did my bit, sprayed the weeds and used the whipper snipper and cleared them but after that letter, it was never monitored by the shire,” Mr Wall said.
“Most of the shops didn’t do the weed clearing and if someone set a fire here, it would not take long to cause some major damage to the stores in our main business district.
“Fires climb hills very quickly and this stuff is all completely dry.”
More than two months ago, a small fire was lit in the abandoned rail carriage by unidentified youths but no suspects were found, according to Leongatha Police Senior Constable Mick Thomas.
He said available fuels such as dried grass were used to light the fire, causing only minimal damage. Police are continuing to investigate the matter.
A VicTrack spokeswoman said VicTrack continues to maintain the Leongatha station precinct, and is in ongoing discussions with South Gippsland Shire Council about its future.
“The council will be taking on the lease and maintenance of the new toilet, which will open once a permanent power connection is in place. Council requires a permanent power supply to be in place before taking this on,” she said.
“Slashing took place in November and the next slashing is scheduled for early February. If our inspections show it to be necessary, we will bring these works forward.
“We are working to get this completed as soon as possible, but we have not confirmed date from the power company for the connection to occur.”

Short URL: https://thestar.com.au/?p=27341

Posted by on Feb 5 2019. Filed under Featured, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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