10/50 Vegetation clearing entitlement changed

Announced by the Rural Fire Service today.

Picture from Black Saturday Bushfires

The current 10/50 code which allows trees to be cleared within 10 metres of a property on bushfire prone land has changed. Mayor Jannifer Andersen welcomes the changes.

A review – announced by the state government today – comes into effect from Wednesday 1 October 2014.

Introduced on 1 August 2014, the entitlement allowed property owners living within 350 metres of Category 1 and Category 2 Bush Fire Prone Land 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. 

The changes mean that the 10/50 entitlement area for Category 2 Bush Fire Prone Land is now 150 metres, reduced from 350 metres.

Further, councils will have the ability to reclassify smaller parcels of vegetation from Category 1 to Category 2 therefore reducing the entitlement area.

“These changes address council and community concerns while maintaining an appropriate level of protection for properties and the community,” Commissioner Fitzsimmons said.

Mayor Jennifer Anderson said the Council welcomed the changes. “In a matter of only a few weeks, Ku-ring-gai’s tree canopy was being deeply affected by the 10/50 rule,” she said.

“This review enables us all to pause and reflect on what is a workable solution to keep people safe but not unduly impact our environment.”

Mayor Anderson said the Rural Fire Service would need to provide guidance to councils on the reclassification process for small plots of land.

“We would also encourage our residents to have their say on these changes before the public exhibition period closes on 14 November.”

Council is encouraging residents to comment on a review of the 10/50 vegetation clearing laws by contacting them directly.

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As publisher of The Kuringai Examiner, I have an interest in all things on the North Shore, particularly news, sport and food. I'm always on the outlook for something unique and original to bring to my readers.