This policy is designed to enhance the management and mitigation of bush fires and reduce the negative impact of these fires on the community and the environment.
For many years now there has been a noticeable increase in restrictions by all levels of government, which prevent and hinder private landholders in the removal of vegetation, for the purpose of reducing fuel loads, restrictions that prevent them from adequately protecting their assets. Authorities in control of many areas of public land have let fuel loads increase to levels that pose a significant threat to public health and safety and the environment, with significant threat to adjoining properties, urban areas and major infrastructure and services.
There are some private properties, where vegetation on those properties, poses a significant threat to public health and safety and adjoining properties, urban areas and major infrastructure and services. There is significant evidence that shows there are issues with the management style of the rural and regional Fire Services in Australia, in relation to, the conduct relating to the suppression of rural fires, training and resources.
- We consider that legislation needs to be introduced to allow the controllers of private land, to construct firebreaks, to at least twice the height of trees nearest, or a minimum of 30 metres separating the extremities of the Vegetation canopy.
- We consider that, where adjacent vegetation is dense and or in areas greater than 50 hectares, or are adjacent to dwellings or other significant infrastructure, the limits in point 1, can be doubled.
- We consider that, controllers of public lands be required to ensure that a fire break be maintained free of obstructions that prevent access and egress by motor vehicles and vegetation greater in height than 200mm, to a minimum width of 30 metres, or twice the height of the nearest trees, around the boundaries of the land, and where this land adjoins roads.
- We consider that, where the areas listed in point 3, are adjacent to and within 500 metres of dwellings, farm buildings, residential, industrial areas or any significant utilities, fire breaks with a significantly reduced fuel load that can be maintained by strip mowing be maintained to a minimum of 500 metres where terrain permits.
- We consider that, legislation needs to be introduced to allow the controllers of private land, to remove and or reduce vegetation for the purpose of reducing fuel loads, where any vegetation poses a threat to infrastructure, assets, crops or pasture, or neighboring properties, as a result if fire.
- We consider that, controllers of public lands be required to ensure vegetation fuel loads are maintained, so as reasonably not to pose a threat from fire to anything on adjoining properties.
- We consider that, the Rural Fire Service, be provided with the authority to require controllers of land to construct firebreaks, and or reduce vegetation, where necessary to reduce a credible threat to infrastructure, assets, crops and pasture on, or access and egress to adjoining land.
- We consider that, all rural and regional Fire Services in Australia be a self managing stand alone department, and that senior management be required to possess practical rural fire fighting experience and qualifications.
- We consider that, decisions regarding control measures at a rural fire, be primarily, the jurisdiction of the senior officer at that particular fire.
- We consider that all rural and regional Fire Services personnel in Australia, be in line with the requirements of the NSW Rural Fire Service training curriculum.
- We consider that, weather permitting, particular preference be given to the indirect, (back burning) method of attack on vegetation fires in areas larger than 400 metres square, where appropriate as determined by the senior officer at that particular fire.
- We consider that, any laws made pursuant to this policy, be taken as the paramount authority over other state laws and codes. Note, state law automatically overrides Local government laws, policy and codes.