News & Media

So I can just… get on with it?? 10/50 rule

By: CFA News

Category: Community Safety

  11.07 AM 5 October, 2016

Location: General

Views: 6710

The lazy bloke in this video is in a nasty shock – with the 10/50 rule applying in most bushfire risk areas, his excuse for not clearing that tree just won't cut the mustard. 

There’s no doubt about it – procrastination and getting ready for bushfire season just don’t mix. But for those wanting to use ‘council paperwork’ as an excuse not to clear vegetation around their properties, it’s time to think again.

An online tool on CFA’s website has been set up 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 – have been around since 2011 to reduce red tape for residents needing to clear up ahead of the bushfire season for reasons of safety.

However CFA is concerned that in many communities the rules are not widely known or understood, and that essential pre-summer activities such as lopping branches might go into the ‘too hard basket’ for busy households.

In most areas outside of Melbourne a permit isn't needed to remove trees within 10m of a home, and understorey vegetation for up to 30m from their home.

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.

Brigades and community groups are encouraged to share the 'Clear up or clear out' YouTube video to raise awareness of the rules around vegetation clearing.

Residents are urged to ‘check before you clear’ by going to, and talking to their local council about any local laws that might be in place.

Research consistently shows that clearing vegetation around your home is important to give it the best possible chance of surviving a bushfire.

For information about getting ready for the fire season visit

Last Updated: 05 October 2016