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 Bush Fires

Bush Firebreaks and Fire Control

The Bush Fire Act requires the City to ensure that appropriate measures are taken to reduce the risk of fires on property and also to prohibit open fires during periods of high risk. During the four month summer period from 1 December through to the 31 March of the following year, all properties must be kept clear of flammable material and overgrowth.

In addition, the City has Local Laws prohibiting the use of incinerators or burning on the ground in all residential areas throughout the whole year. The Local Laws seek to prevent the discharge of smoke into the atmosphere in such quantities or of such nature as to cause a nuisance. This not only prevents the risk of a fire outbreak but also improves the City’s air quality and the health of our residents.

If you have excess rubbish or garden refuse, the City provides most residential properties with four free bulk bins each year. You can order a bulk bin directly from the Cleanaway Customer Service Centre by phoning 9449 3344 any time between 8am and 4pm, Monday to Friday. 

If you only have green waste to dispose of such as branches, tree fronds, shrubs and weeds, request a green bin as your material will be diverted from landfill and will be turned into mulch.

Incinerators in or around industrial or commercial premises are permitted, however, these require prior approval under the provisions of the Environmental Act.

Please help to keep a clean and safe environment in the City of Belmont.


City of Belmont Firebreak Notice (2017-2018)
Bush Fires Act 1954
Section 33(1)

NOTICE TO ALL OWNERS AND/OR OCCUPIERS OF LAND IN THE CITY OF BELMONT.

As a measure for preventing the outbreak of a bush fire, or for preventing the spread or extension of a bush fire which may occur, all owners and occupiers of land within the City of Belmont are required BEFORE THE 1ST DAY OF DECEMBER 2017, OR WITHIN 14 DAYS OF BECOMING THE OWNER OR OCCUPIER OF LAND IF AFTER THAT DATE, to clear firebreaks or to take measures in accordance with this Notice and maintain those firebreaks and measures in accordance with this Notice UP TO AND INCLUDING THE 31ST DAY OF MARCH 2018.

1. LAND WITH A BUILDING ON IT WITH AN AREA OF 3,000 SQUARE METRES OR LESS 

• Have all inflammable matter except living trees, shrubs, plants under cultivation and lawns, slashed, mowed or trimmed down by other means (other than burning) to a height no greater than 5cm across the entire property;
• Prune all trees and shrubs around all buildings to provide a safety zone; and
• Ensure the roofs, gutters and walls of all buildings on the land are free of inflammable matter.

2. VACANT LAND WITH AN AREA OF 3,000 SQUARE METRES OR LESS

• Have all inflammable matter except living trees, shrubs, plants under cultivation and lawns, slashed, mowed or trimmed down by other means (other than burning) to a height no greater than 5cm across the entire property. 

3. LAND WITH A BUILDING ON IT WITH AN AREA OF 3001 SQUARE METRES OR MORE 

• Have all inflammable matter except living trees, shrubs, plants under cultivation and lawns, slashed, mowed or trimmed down by other means (other than burning) to a height no greater than 5cm across the entire property;
• Install bare earth firebreaks three (3) metres wide immediately inside and along all boundaries of land in a continuous form, including on boundaries adjacent to roads, rail and drain reserves and all public open space reserves, with all overhanging branches, trees, limbs etc. to be trimmed back from over the firebreak area to a minimum height of four (4) metres. Driveways must also be maintained to these conditions;
• Prune all trees and shrubs around all buildings to provide a safety zone; and
• Ensure the roofs, gutters and walls of all buildings on the land are free of inflammable matter.

4. VACANT LAND WITH AN AREA OF 3001 SQUARE METRES OR MORE

• Have all inflammable matter except living trees, shrubs, plants under cultivation and lawns, slashed, mowed or trimmed down by other means (other than burning) to a height no greater than 5cm across the entire property;
• Install bare earth firebreaks three (3) metres wide immediately inside and along all boundaries of land in a continuous form, including on boundaries adjacent to roads, rail and drain reserves and all public open space reserves, with all overhanging branches, trees, limbs etc. to be trimmed back from over the firebreak area to a minimum height of four (4) metres. Driveways must also be maintained to these conditions;
• Remove all inflammable matter within 20 metres of any haystacks or stockpiled inflammable matter; and
• Maintain fuel loadings of inflammable matter at less than 8 tonnes per hectare across the land.

5. FUEL DUMPS AND DEPOTS

Remove all inflammable matter within 10 metres of where fuel drums, fuel ramps or fuel dumps are located, and where fuel drums, whether containing fuel or not, are stored.

6. GARDEN REFUSE

Pursuant to Section 24G(2) of the Bush Fires Act 1954 and Section 48(1) of the City of Belmont Health Local Law 2002, the burning of any material including garden refuse is prohibited throughout the whole year. This prohibition pertains to all properties within the City of Belmont.

Failure to comply with this prohibition is an offence (maximum penalty of $5,000 applies).

7. WELDING AND CUTTING APPARATUS

Pursuant to Regulation 39C(1) of the Bush Fire Regulations 1954, a person shall not operate –

(a) welding apparatus of any kind; or
(b) power operated abrasive discs of any kind, in the open air, unless-
(c) at least one fire extinguisher is provided at the place where the welding or cutting is carried out and
(d) the place referred to in paragraph (c) is surrounded by a firebreak which is at least 5 metres wide.

Failure to comply with Regulation 39C(1) is an offence (maximum penalty of $1,000 applies).

8. GENERAL

Firebreak Inspection Officers will commence inspection of firebreaks and fire hazards from the beginning of the bush fire season. In some circumstances, an owner or occupier of land may be required to undertake fire prevention measures in addition to the measures specified in this Notice.

Where the owner or occupier of the land fails or neglects to comply with the requisitions of this notice or any other notice given pursuant to Section 33(1) of the Bush Fires Act 1954 within the time specified in the notice, the City of Belmont may direct its officers together with such servants, workmen or contractors, and with such vehicles, machinery and appliances as the officers deem fit, to enter upon the land and carry out the requisitions of the notice which have not been complied with and the City of Belmont may recover the amount of any costs and expenses incurred in carrying out those requisitions in any court of competent jurisdiction as a debt due from the owner or occupier of the land.

Failure to comply with this prohibition is an offence (maximum penalty of $5,000 applies).

9. APPLICATION TO VARY THE ABOVE REQUIREMENTS

If it is impracticable for any reason to clear firebreaks or to take measures in accordance with this Notice, the owner or occupier of the land may apply to the City of Belmont in writing BEFORE 15TH DAY OF NOVEMBER of each year for permission to provide firebreaks in alternative locations or take alternative measures to prevent the outbreak or spread of a bush fire. If permission is not granted in writing by the City of Belmont, owner or occupier of the land shall comply with the requirements of this Notice.

10. ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS

In addition to the requirements noted above, regardless of land size and location, the City of Belmont or its duly authorised officer may require the owner or occupier of the land undertake additional works on the property to improve access and or undertake further hazard removal and/or reduction works, where in the opinion of that authorised officer, it is to be necessary to prevent the outbreak and/or the spread of a bush fire.

11. ALTERNATIVE METHODS OF FUEL REDUCTION

The requirements of this Notice should be carried out by means other than burning, i.e. mowing, rotary hoeing, ploughing, scarifying or cultivating.

Order of the City of Belmont
Robin Garrett
Acting Chief Executive Officer
City of Belmont