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Check, clear, prepare
CFA has launched a new online tool to make it easier for people to check whether they can clear vegetation, including trees and branches, from around their homes without a permit.
Planning exemptions – known as the ‘10/30’ and ‘10/50’ rules – were introduced in 2011 to reduce red tape for residents wanting to clear up ahead of the bushfire season.
CFA Chief Officer Euan Ferguson said in many communities these rules were not widely known or understood.
“We are concerned that some residents may be putting off essential property preparation work because they think a permit is needed, and it all goes into the too hard basket,” he said.
“For people living in most areas of regional Victoria and in high bushfire risk areas especially, that is not usually the case.”
CFA wants everyone to be aware that in most areas outside of Melbourne a permit isn't needed to remove trees within 10m of their home and understorey vegetation for up to 30m from their home.
A new two-minute video 'Clear up or clear out' was released on CFA’s Facebook and YouTube pages this week to raise awareness of the rules around vegetation clearing.
The video is lighthearted on tone but features a serious message, urging residents to ‘check before you clear’ by going to cfa.vic.gov.au/clearing, and talking to their local council.
Some exceptions exist to Victoria’s 10/30 and 10/50 rules, primarily for newer homes. For example residents in homes built or approved after 10 September 2009 still require a permit to clear any vegetation.
Mr Ferguson said it was still necessary to check with your local shire or council about local laws that might be in place.
“Clearing vegetation around your home is important to give it the best possible chance of surviving a bushfire.
“The more fuel around your home the more the intensity of a fire will increase and the greater the chances that fire will burn into your home.”
For more information on the 10/30 and 10/50 rules, and to check which rules may apply to your area, visit cfa.vic.gov.au/clearing or call the Victorian Bushfire Information Line (1800 240 667)
For information about getting ready for the fire season visit cfa.vic.gov.au/plan-prepare