10/50 VEGETATION CLEARING LAWS – CHANGES
Changes have been announced to the way the 10/50 vegetation clearing rule is applied in some areas, effective from 30 September 2014.
The 10/50 vegetation clearing rule was introduced on 1 August 2014 in response to the devastating 2013 bush fires in NSW in which more than 200 properties were destroyed. The rule allowed property owners living within 350 metres of Category 1 and Category 2 Bush Fire Prone Land (known as the 10/50 Vegetation Clearing Entitlement Area) to remove trees within 10 metres of their home, as well as vegetation within 50 metres, without state or local approval, on their own land.
Changes have been announced to the way the Entitlement Area applies in some areas, particularly around areas of bushland which pose a lower risk of bush fire.
You can find out if your property is in a 10/50 Vegetation Clearing Entitlement Area using the RFS online tool. You should check the tool immediately prior to attempting to remove any vegetation, as the entitlement area may have changed.
For further information visit the RFS website .
Under the 10/50 entitlement, the clearing of any vegetation on land other than your own, requires the owner’s consent.
All 10/50 vegetation clearing works carried out are the responsibility of the landowner.
For those properties outside of the 10/50 Vegetation Clearing Entitlement Areas, the current laws relating to vegetation removal for hazard reduction purposes still apply. Contact NSW Rural Fire Service on 1800 679 737 or http://www.rfs.nsw.gov.au for advice on bushfire preparedness outside of the entitlement area.
The removal of trees or native vegetation for purposes other than bushfire hazard reduction generally requires the consent of Council.
It is important that residents do not take it upon themselves to remove vegetation from a property, for any reason, without the right permission. It is the responsibility of the property owner to ensure the removal of trees and vegetation is in accordance with the requirements of the Rural Fires Amendment (Vegetation Clearing) Act 2014, or Council’s Tree Preservation Order. Council recommends property owners do not rely solely on the information and tools relating to the 10/50 Vegetation Clearing Code of Practice. Property owners should obtain further advice if you are uncertain about how any of the information provided by the Tool, including the Assessment Outcomes, applies to you or your property.
The lopping or felling of trees is a potentially dangerous activity. Residents who wish to remove trees are strongly encouraged to use an appropriately qualified and insured contractor.
Clearing can only be undertaken by landowners or with approval of the landowner. This includes Council managed land or any other public land.
Council may, under certain circumstances, be in a position to give consent for the removal of trees from its land. If you are proposing to do this, you should contact Council to discuss and seek consent.
Council is committed to reducing the threats from bush fire occurring on land under its care and control, and has an existing bush fire mitigation program by which these risks are managed. At the present time, Council will not be undertaking work beyond the scope of the existing works program and works standards.
If you are concerned that vegetation on land near you may be placing your property at risk from bushfires, you can request an inspection by an officer from the NSW RFS by lodging a Bushfire Hazard Complaint.
Any relevant bushfire hazard complaint in relation to public or privately owned land, as well as any further enquiries in relation to the 10/50 Vegetation Clearing Code of Practice, should be directed to NSW Bushfire Information Line on 1800 679 737.