Public Consultation Begins On Bushfire Protection Laws

The NSW Government and NSW Rural Fire Service is inviting public feedback on a draft Code of Practice for the new 10/50 laws giving residents in designated bushfire areas additional powers to protect their homes.

Member for Baulkham Hills David Elliott said the legislation will allow homeowners in designated areas to clear trees within ten metres of their home, and thin vegetation other than trees within 50 metres of their home.

“With the consultation period beginning, it provides the community with a great opportunity to provide feedback ahead of bushfire season,” Mr Elliott said.

“The designated bushfire zone areas – known as a ‘10/50 vegetation clearing entitlement area’ – will be determined by the Rural Fire Service.

“This Government is proactively addressing real risks from bushfire and is cutting the red tape for residents whose homes are located in designated areas close to bushland.

“However it’s important to remember that while the laws are expected to be in place before
the coming bush fire season, they are not yet in force.

“Until the laws are formalised, following the consultation period, existing rules and penalties apply,” Mr Elliott stated.

NSW RFS Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said the new rules will empower landowners to minimise the fuel loads near their homes

“It’s important that when these laws come into effect in the near future that people in designated clearing areas understand their obligations,” Commissioner Fitzsimmons said.

“The Code of Practice outlines these responsibilities and now is the opportunity for all of
the community to have a say on the Code.”

The consultation period closes 21 July.

The draft Code of Practice is available on the NSW Rural Fire Service website at www.rfs.nsw.gov.au