On 1st October 2014 the NSW Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS) in partnership with the Department of Planning and Environment and the Office of Environment and Heritage commenced its review of the 10/50 Vegetation Clearing Scheme (10/50 Scheme).
As part of the review, more than 3,500 submissions and comments were received, detailing a wide range of issues including the 10/50 Code, legislation, planning, mapping and environmental matters. The issues raised in the submissions were complex and deserving of careful consideration. All feedback and formal submissions have been considered as part of the review.
The review is now complete and the report, Review of the 10/50 Vegetation Clearing Entitlement Scheme, has been released.
Review of the 10/50 Vegetation Clearing Entitlement Scheme (External link)
The report recommended that the principle of NSW residents living in or near bush fire prone land, having the right to remove hazardous vegetation from their properties should be retained. However, a number of significant changes have also been recommended that will address many of the concerns raised. Many of these changes came from discussions, or representations from local government.
The report makes 30 recommendations to improve the framework in which the 10/50 Scheme operates. All of those recommendations have been accepted by the Government and will make for a vastly improved 10/50 Scheme.
Of particular significance, the recommendations will result in the revised Scheme applying stronger planning controls and environmental protections such as excluding koala habitat, National Parks, critically endangered ecological communities and habitats, and land parcels within 100 metres of the coastline or major estuaries.
If homeowners are not in the entitlement area and are concerned about bush fire hazards you can request an inspection by an officer from the NSW RFS by lodging a Bushfire Hazard Complaint or phoning 4868 5500.
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.
The associated Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) have been updated and are now available on the Rural Fire Service website.
Frequently asked questions (External link)
The 10/50 Vegetation Clearing Code of Practice is a State Government initiative in conjunction with the Rural Fire Service and is not an initiative or policy of Wingecarribee Shire Council.
The Code and other online tools that have been made available are for use by private landowners with any resulting works being the responsibility of the landowner. Council will be unable to provide advice on the code or any enquiries in relation to the mapping provided under the 10/50 Vegetation Clearing Code entitlement area.
Clearing can only be undertaken by landowners or with approval of the landowner where the clearing is proposed.
Council’s existing Bushfire Risk Management Plans provide a framework for an ongoing Bushfire works program. In line with Council resolution ES 20/14, Council will not be undertaking further works under 10/50 beyond the scope of the current works program.
Resolution ES 20/14:
1. THAT Council acknowledges its existing Bushfire Hazard Reduction program which meets the targets established by the regional Bushfire Risk Management Plan and will not approve requests to undertake vegetation clearing, in any capacity, on Council land under the new 10/50 Code.
2. THAT Council reaffirm that all hazard complaints affecting Council owned or managed land will be assessed and actioned by the Rural Fire Service in accordance with Rural Fires Act 1997.