Changes for rural and rural residential zoned property in Firebreak Notice 2023/2024

Published on Wednesday, 27 September 2023 at 10:18:44 AM

The Shire of Ravensthorpe Fire Control Notice and Firebreak Notice 2023/2024 was recently sent out to ratepayers with the annual rates notice. It is also available to view or download here.

The notice sets out the actions that you must take to prepare your property for the fire season.

As a measure for preventing the spread or extension of a bushfire which may occur, all owners and occupiers of the land within the Shire’s district are required to have firebreaks in place before Tuesday 31 October 2023.  And those firebreaks must be maintained until 30 April 2024.

It is the responsibility of all landowners/occupiers within the Shire of Ravensthorpe to read and fully understand their requirements mentioned within the notice.

Change for rural areas 

The 2023/2024 notice includes an update for residents in rural and rural residential zoned property.

Major changes for all land zoned as “rural” include:

  • Any Rural Land, Rural Small Holdings less than 200Ha and not being managed in a large single entity farming operation that includes stock and/or cropping practices: i. Areas of unmanaged pasture or grassland must have a 20 metre wide bare earth firebreak constructed and maintained inside ALL external boundaries. ii. Breaks to provide a 5 metre vertical clearance so that the firebreak provides unrestricted vehicular access. and, iii. Driveways must be cleared to a minimum of 4 metres wide and 5 metres in height, and must provide unrestricted access to emergency service vehicles

For more details of requirements, including diagrams, please review the notice.

Rural residential

All land zoned as “rural residential” must:

  • Clear either a 3 metre wide bare earth firebreak or a 3 metre wide mulched/slashed firebreak immediately inside on ALL external boundaries. Breaks should also have a 5 metre vertical clearance so that the firebreak provides unrestricted vehicular access
  • Parkland clearing must be carried out in all open paddocks and along the boundary of the property. Clearing means that all dead vegetation and flammable material (excluding approved crops, pasture areas and living trees/shrubs) are removed
  • Unmanaged pasture and grasslands must be maintained to height no greater than 100 millimetres
  • A 3 metre wide bare earth firebreak shall be located around fuel storage tanks, sheds, gas cylinders and within 6 metres of haystacks. Haystacks cannot be situated on the external boundary

Please refer to the Fire Control Notice and Firebreak Notice 2023/2024 via the link above for more details and diagrams of requirements.

How to apply for a variation to the Fire Control and Firebreak Notice

As detailed in the Fire Control Notice and Firebreak Notice 2023/2024 sent out to ratepayers, you can apply for a variation to the notice.

To apply for a variation you can:

  • Contact the Shire of Ravensthorpe during office hours for a form to be emailed or posted out to you
  • Forms can be picked up from either the Ravensthorpe or Hopetoun Shire Office locations
  • Variation forms are available to be downloaded here                                    

    Please note forms MUST be completed and returned to the Shire Officer by October 1 each year.

    You will be notified either by phone or in writing with the outcome of your variation request; 

    If successful, your variation approval period can last up to 5 years, depending upon the results of the officer inspection. 

    If unsuccessful, you will need to comply with the requirements mentioned within the notice by the due date.

    Frequently asked Questions

    A list of frequently asked questions about the Fire Control and Firebreak Notice can be found here.

    Some examples include:

    I didn’t know what the Notice was so I threw it in the bin. What do I do?

    It is important to read through this document, if you are unsure about any sections of the Notice please contact the Shire. As the landowner/occupier you are the legal entity responsible for
    making sure your land complies with the conditions contained within the Notice. Not reading the Notice does not provide an excuse for not complying with your legal requirements.

    Explain to me how reducing fuel loading is going to make any difference if a fire comes through?

    By reducing the ground fuels this will slow the rate of spread of the fire. Please note this will not stop the fire but gives firefighters the chance to save lives and properties!

    I cannot meet the requirements by the due date deadline, can I get an extension?

    Reducing the risk of bushfire is a shared responsibility between local government, state government agencies and the community.

    We all have our part to play. Landowners/occupiers are responsible for making sure their properties are compliant with the requirements of the Fire Control and Firebreak Notice by the due date to reduce the level of bushfire risk for the whole community and therefore, extensions will generally not be granted.

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