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15/09/2009

Victorian right to clear vegetation becomes law

The Victorian Government’s ‘10/30 right’ came into effect on Tuesday, allowing landowners in bushfire prone areas to prepare their properties as part of their preparations for the upcoming bushfire season.

Environment and Climate Change Minister Gavin Jennings says the amendments to the Victorian Planning Provision were now law and ready for landowners to use.

“The aim of the Brumby Labor Government’s ‘10/30 right’ is to make it simpler for residents to clear vegetation around their properties to reduce risks posed by bushfires,” he said.

“In less than 45 days Victoria will face a bushfire season that looms as potentially worse than the season we have just experienced.

“We make no apologies for pushing ahead with practical changes to the planning provisions that clarify what landowners can do to protect their homes and properties so they are as ready as possible for the next fire season.”

Mr Jennings says the ‘10/30 right’ allows landowners to clear vegetation, including trees, within 10 metres of their house and any ground fuel within 30 metres of their house ‘as of right’ (without a permit).

The amendments also allow residents to clear all vegetation, including trees, for a combined maximum width of four metres either side of their property’s boundary fence provided they have the permission of the neighbouring landowner.

The amendments apply across Victoria except in 20 Melbourne metropolitan councils where vegetation clearing will continue to be limited by existing controls.

“We are standing up for Victorians in bushfire prone areas because we want to do everything possible to help them prepare for the upcoming bushfire season,” Mr Jennings said

“Landowners are not obliged to remove any trees or vegetation under these amendments.

“Our Government believes they will strike a balance between protecting their lives and properties and recognising the value and beauty of the natural environment of their properties.”

Mr Jennings says the ‘10/30 right’ is part of a suite of measures to help people living in bushfire-prone areas to prepare themselves for the upcoming fire season.

“The amendments to the Victorian Planning Provision also include targeted planned roadside burns for high-risk areas and for people to be able to collect firewood ‘as of right’ from those roadside areas for two weeks prior to the burns,” he said.

“Planned burns will only apply to roadside reserves selected by Road Management Authorities in consultation with the CFA and DSE because of an identified fire risk.

“People will also be able to remove fallen firewood without a permit from the nominated roadside road reserves for two weeks before the burns.

“This firewood is for personal use only and can’t be sold.”

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