Preparing For Bushfire Season
Its time for us to start thinking about preparing for the bushfire season
Each year prior to summer, Council will send reminder letters to property owners or occupiers of properties reminding them to reduce any fire hazards on their land. Council will inspect said properties as a follow up. If the fuel load on the property is deemed to be a fire hazard, the property owner will receive an Abatement Notice to remove the hazard.
What is an Abatement Notice and what do I have to do?
An Abatement Notice is a notice informing you that a hazard has been identified and what you need to do to reduce the risk.
You may be required to do the following:
- Clear long grass
- Remove tree and garden waste
- Clear general rubbish which could be a fire hazard
- Take any other action as directed on the Abatement Notice
The works must be carried out by the due date on the Notice. You must maintain your property in this state for the duration of the Fire Danger Period. The Abatement Notice does not authorise you to remove shrubs and trees.
But I've just cut my grass!
There may be a slight delay between when the property being inspected and the issuing of an Abatement Notice. If you have already carried out the works required on the Notice, then you don't need to worry. Just ensure that you maintain the property in this state for the rest of the Fire Danger Period.
What if I don't comply with an Abatement Notice?
Follow up inspections are carried out on all properties that have been issued an Abatement Notice. If the work required has not been carried out by the due date, Council will engage a contractor to carry out the works. The cost of the contractor, plus additional administration fees, will be passed on to the property owner.
I am having difficulty meeting the deadline
All requests for an extension on the due date will be to be made in writing to Council prior to the due date on the Abatement Notice. In most cases, an additional 7 days will be granted.
I received an Abatement Notice for a property I no longer own.
If you have received an Abatement Notice for a property you no longer own, please contact Council.
I want to make a complaint about a property that is a fire hazard.
To make a complaint about a property that you believe is a fire hazard, please contact Council
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
When is the Fire Danger Period?
The Tasmania Fire Service (TFS) introduces Fire Restrictions (Fire Danger Period) for all private land in Tasmania over the summer period each year. The Fire Danger Period start and end dates change yearly, however normally operate from approximately November to April. Information can be found on the TFS website: www.fire.tas.gov.au
Why did I receive an Abatement Notice?
Council Officers have recently inspected your property for fire hazards and determined that you need to reduce fuel loads on your property to reduce the potential fire risk.
What do I have to do?
You are required to clean up and reduce fine fuels such as bark, leaves, twigs and long grass either as a fire break or the entire property as directed on the Notice. Reducing the fine fuels assists to reduce the intensity of a fire if it occurred, as fine fuels are responsible for the major increase in fire intensity and spread. The required works must be carried out by the completion date and you must then maintain your property in this state for the duration of the Fire Danger Period.
Can I remove trees and shrubs?
The Notice does not authorise you to remove shrubs and trees. If you wish to remove trees and shrubs, contact Council’s Planning Department for advice.
Why does Council issue Abatement Notices?
Council has an obligation to reduce the risk of fire for the community. Council Officers have the power to inspect and to issue Abatement Notices within the municipality. However, there are no guarantees of personal or property safety when it comes to bushfire. The works detailed on the Abatement Notice are designed to reduce radiant heat, fire intensity and ember attack and minimise direct flame impact on you or your neighbour’s assets.
I disagree with the assessment!
Contact the Council Office to discuss your particular situation before the completion date on your Notice.
I’m planning to cut my paddock for hay or putting stock on that paddock
If it is your intent to cut your paddock for hay, carry out other works, or put stock on your paddock, call the Council Officer and inform us of your intentions before the completion date on your Notice. You may still be required to cut a firebreak or complete other works.
Burn Off Permits
During the Fire Danger Period, residents are required to obtain a permit to burn in the open air. Burn Off permit conditions are set by the TFS. For more information please contact the TFS.
My roadside is a fire hazard. What can I do?
Council’s fire hazard inspection program focuses on protecting your house and outbuildings by providing a fuel reduced area around these assets. You must have permission from Council before removing native vegetation from a roadside.
What about the Crown Land/Parks land behind my property?
Council is not empowered to issue Abatement Notices to statutory bodies such as State Government agencies. Council however contacts these agencies as a reminder to reduce fuel loads just as they do with property owners.
Who can I engage to reduce my fire risk?
Council has a list of contractors that can be contacted for assistance. Please contact the Council office.