New Laws To Protect Property From Bushfires

Residents in designated areas close to bushland will be given additional powers to protect their homes from bushfires, with new laws being introduced into NSW Parliament to make it easier to clear trees and vegetation from around a property, Member for Baulkham Hills David Elliott announced today.

“Last summer’s bushfires destroyed homes and property across the state, which is why
the NSW Liberals & Nationals Government is removing regulatory obstacles on homeowners who want to take sensible steps to protect their properties from bushfires,” Mr Elliott said.

“Under these new laws green and red tape will be cut for Baulkham Hills residents whose homes are located in designated areas close to bushland, so they can clear trees and vegetation from their property.

“The new rules mean people with homes in the designated area will be able to clear trees within 10 metres of their house as long as the work complies with the 10/50 Vegetation Clearing Code of Practice.

“They will also be able to clear shrubs and other vegetation, except for trees, within 50 metres of their home as long as the work complies with the 10/50 Vegetation Clearing Code of Practice.

“The NSW Government has worked closely with the Rural Fire Service (RFS) to develop
these new rules which will empower landowners who are taking responsibility for minimising fuel loads around their homes.

“The Code of Practice will be put out for public comment for 21 days after the laws pass.

“The designated areas will be known as a ‘10/50 vegetation clearing entitlement area’.

“The RFS Commissioner will determine where the 10/50 vegetation clearing entitlement areas are and these areas will be shown on a map published on the RFS website.

“The new rules will also apply to high risk facilities in designated areas close to bushland including schools, child care centres and hospitals.

“I also encourage all homeowners to complete a Bush Fire Survival Plan, which can be downloaded from the RFS website.

RFS Deputy Commissioner Rob Rogers has welcomed the new laws.

“We need to ensure the community is as prepared as possible for bushfire and these
changes will give residents the flexibility they need to clear their property from bushfire risk,” said Mr Rogers.

“A well prepared property, along with a completed Bush Fire Survival Plan, can minimise the risk of loss of life and property.”

A map of the 10/50 vegetation clearing entitlement areas will be published once the new laws come into force.

For more information visit: http://www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/