Firewood collection closed

By Simon Ruppert

Benalla's autumn 2020 firewood collection season closed at midnight, Tuesday, June 30.

Forest Fire Management Victoria (FFMVic) Hume Deputy Chief Fire Officer Aaron Kennedy said firewood collection was now illegal until September 1.

“There are serious penalties for failing to follow firewood collection rules,” Mr Kennedy said.

“Under Victorian legislation, firewood can only be collected during the firewood collection seasons from March 1 to June 30, 2020, and September 1 to November 30.

Lake drawdown scheduled for summer

“Limits are in place to prevent households stockpiling large volumes of firewood from public land and denying others a supply."

● Any information the community may have about the illegal removal of firewood for sale can be reported to DELWP on 136 186.

Concession card holders who rely only on buying firewood for home heating may be eligible for the non-mains energy concession.

● More information is available on the Department of Health and Human Services website at this link.

Lions support local groups

Victorians on low incomes (both concession card and non-concession card holders) who rely on buying firewood and have experienced unexpected financial hardship may also be eligible to apply for the non-mains utility relief grant of up to $650 to help with firewood costs.

A person may apply for the grant if they have an amount owing for a previous firewood purchase, or if they will not be able to afford their next firewood purchase.

● Information on eligibility for the Non-Mains Utility Relief Grant Scheme can be found at this link.

● For more information on available financial assistance, community members should phone the Concessions information line on 1800 658 521.

● FFMVic supports domestic firewood provision through the creation of firewood collection areas on public land and a list of these areas can be found at this link.

During the designated collection periods an individual can collect a maximum of two cubic metres of firewood in a day and may collect up to 16 cubic metres per household per financial year.

If you are collecting firewood before the season ends, be considerate, use common sense, follow physical distancing requirements and stay safe.