Corangamite Shire mayor Neil Trotter says the council's calls to the state government to make it easier to reduce fuel loads have fallen on deaf ears.
He said the council was doing all it could to reduce the risk of bushfires since the St Patrick's Day fires, but red-tape often made this task difficult.
"We currently complete three slashes on council controlled roadsides each year compared to one slash per year on state roads," councillor Trotter said.
He said the council had significantly increased its spend on reducing fuel on roadsides, spending $927,000 in 2019.
"We have purchased specialised heavy articulated trimming machinery and we have introduced $1 permits for roadside grazing," Cr Trotter said.
However, Cr Trotter said state government policies made it difficult to manage the shire's roadsides. "We cannot clear vegetation and reduce fuel loads outside prescribed height and width limitations on our roads," he said.
"Restrictions on the classification of native vegetation and grasses make permitting a bureaucratic nightmare."
Cr Trotter said the recent fires that devastated a number of communities brought home the reality of the risks associated with living in regional Victoria.
"As a community that was severely impacted by the St Patrick's Day fires it appears that the learning gained from those fires and the preceding Black Saturday and Ash Wednesday fires has not impacted on government policy or regulation to the extent required or in line with community expectation," he said.
Cr Trotter added that the recommendations of inquiries and the Royal Commission had not been fully implemented.
"Because we live in an area with good rainfall we have ideal conditions for growth," he said.
Cr Trotter said farmers were also reluctant to carry out roadside control measures due to over-regulation and fear of penalties.
"It has become too hard to negotiate council and government regulation," he said.
"As a consequence it is safer for them to do nothing.
"After all, they do not own or control the land. Over-regulation lessens the community's ability to be resilient."
Cr Trotter said it appeared that fire was going to "become an annual or regular reality".
"The community will hold us to account if we do not make safety and the preservation of life and property a much higher priority," he said.
He said prevention was far cheaper than the cost of rebuilding after communities were hit by fires.
A Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning spokesman said the authority worked closely with local councils to provide biodiversity information to allow the responsible authority to make informed decisions on permit applications.
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