An elected Liberal Nationals government will support Return of the Firestick, a project that will study and use traditional fire management practices to restore the health of bushland and reduce fire risk for Victorian communities, says Shadow Environment Minister Nick Wakeling.

Mr Wakeling announced the Liberal Nationals will fund and help implement Return of the Firestick, which includes training and employing up to 40 Indigenous Fire Practitioners.

“The Liberal Nationals will work with Traditional Owners, Councils and other land managers and stakeholders to fund and implement the Return of the Firestick project in Victoria, if we are elected at the November State Election,” Mr Wakeling said.

“We can all learn so much from the way our landscapes were managed, protected and rejuvenated in the past.

“Return of the Firestick will study the methods and benefits of traditional Indigenous fire management practices; it will train people in these practices; and it will share this knowledge and training for the benefit of all Victorians.”

Indigenous fire management, sometimes referred to as ‘cultural burning’, is understood to promote healthy landscapes and boost biodiversity with ‘cool’ low-intensity burns.

The Return of the Firestick concept was developed by the Wurundjeri Tribe and the Cultural Heritage Council, in collaboration with Yarra Ranges Council, and was presented to the Liberal Nationals as a project that can have statewide application and benefit.

Mr Wakeling said the $28.8 million Liberal Nationals commitment would help rebuild and share valuable ancient cultural knowledge of Victoria’s Indigenous people in the land management space.

“We all treasure Victoria’s landscapes and the new Indigenous Fire Practitioners will help to protect and boost the health of our ecosystems,” Mr Wakeling said.

“This project also gives a leadership role to Indigenous communities, sharing their cultural knowledge and skills and delivering positive land management outcomes like healthier ecosystems and reduced fire risks.”

 

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