Long-standing Moyne Shire councillor Jim Doukas believes a policy aimed at the promotion of planting native trees could be a fire risk.
At Moyne's August meeting, councillors signed off on its updated Planting of Trees and Other Vegetation on Municipal Roadsides policy.
This was the required four-year update of the policy, with amendments to titles the only major change.
Cr Doukas said a fixation on requiring council and ratepayers to plant native trees on roadsides and nature strips was literally playing with fire.
"An example would be if you planted all sort of trees along the Woolsthorpe Road from Mickey Bourkes onwards that are hard to burn, they would not only look good but would provide a fire break," Cr Doukas said.
"If you planted the same stretch with gum trees then they would be likely to burst into flames in the fire danger periods and could be a real fire hazard.
"In some places native trees are just not appropriate, they don't do the job.
"In the towns people want trees that look good, that flower in the autumn and provide shade in the summer.
"A lot of those trees are not native but are still very good trees.
"There are a lot of ratepayers who have a really strong knowledge of trees and know how and when to plant the right tree, native or not, that has the best impact."
Cr Doukas was the lone councillor against adopting the policy, which aims to protect roads, drains and essential services from negative impacts of vegetation.
The policy states that "all vegetation is to be native to Australia and be in accordance with the relevant ecological vegetation class to ensure they are suitable to the local area".
Before planting on a roadside reserve, an application seeking permission from Moyne Shire must be completed.