2022-23 Firebreak Notice

The Annual Firebreak Notice sets out the requirements for property preparedness to assist in the control of fires and reduce the risk of fire to the community. A summary is provided below.

 

FIREBREAK NOTICE 2022-2023

BUSH FIRES ACT 1954

The following Notice is hereby given to all owners and/or occupiers of land within the Shire of Augusta Margaret River

PURSUANT to the powers contained in Section 33 of the Bush Fires Act 1954, you are hereby required and therefore ordered by the local government to carry out fire prevention work in accordance with the requirements of this Notice, on or before 30 November 2022, and maintain the requirements up to and including 12 May 2023, except for APZs which must be maintained all year round.

Inspections, appointments, education, and compliance

Owners and occupiers who would like an early inspection by appointment, for reasons including biosecurity, locked gates, and dangerous animals, or for explanation on the requirements of this Notice, should contact Rangers as soon as possible and by no later than 1 November 2022. Where inspections by appointment are not requested, Rangers are appointed as Bush Fire Control Officers with the power to enter land under the Bush Fires Act 1954 and will be inspecting properties for compliance without further notice from 1 December 2022.

People who do not comply with this Notice or a Variation to this Notice may be issued with an infringement Notice ($250) or prosecuted with a penalty up to $5,000. The Shire of Augusta Margaret River may carry out the required work on the land at cost to the owner/occupier.

Requirements of landowners and occupiers

1. All landowners/occupiers must carry out fire prevention work in Part A of this Notice.
2. Owners/occupiers of Residential and Rural/Residential lots 4001m2 and over must comply with the requirements of Part A and Part B.
3. Owners/occupiers of Rural lots (excluding plantations, vineyards, orchards, and olive groves) must comply with the requirements of Part A and Part C.
4. Owners/occupiers of Plantations, Vineyards, Orchards and Olive Groves must comply with the requirements of Part A and Part D or E depending upon the land use.

Variations to the requirements of this Notice

Where compliance with the Firebreak Notice is not practical due to environmental considerations or site-specific
constraints such as water course or steep gradients, owners may apply to the Shire of Augusta Margaret River for a Variation to the Firebreak Notice. Variations must provide an alternative means of meeting the objectives of the Notice, including bushfire risk mitigation and property access, taking into account site-specific constraints and advantages and not all properties will be able to accommodate Variations. Applications must be completed on the approved form, which is available upon request or can be downloaded via the Shire’s website. Applications for a Variation have a $30 fee unless they are submitted before 1 November 2022 in which case, they are processed free of charge.


A. REQUIREMENTS APPLYING TO ALL PROPERTIES IN THE DISTRICT OF AUGUSTA MARGARET RIVER

1. Asset Protection Zone (APZ)
Means the area of land within 20 metres from the external walls of any habitable building. The fuel loading (flammable material) in the APZ is to be reduced and maintained to less than 2 tonnes per hectare. Trees must not be closer than 2 metres to a building, and trees must not overhang a building within 4 metres of the external roof. APZ requirements apply to all properties (excluding vacant lots), regardless of size, and must be maintained all year round.

2. Bushfire Management Plan

Means a plan prepared in satisfaction of a development approval or subdivision condition. Properties subject to an approved Bushfire Management Plan must comply with the requirements of their plan in addition to the requirements of the Notice. Please note – At the Shire of Augusta Margaret River’s discretion, Variations may recognise alternate methods and requirements for compliance in an approved Bushfire Management Plan.

3. Driveway/Access way
Means the access route from the road to your main dwelling. This should be a minimum of 4 metres wide with a minimum 4 metre vertical clearance to allow emergency vehicles to access your property.

4. Firebreak
Means an area of land that has been cleared of all trees, bushes, grasses, and any other object or thing which may be flammable, leaving a bare surface to a width specified under the requirements in Parts A, B, C or D with a 4 metre high vertical clearance. Where a Firebreak is required to be ‘trafficable’ under this Notice, it must be a firm, stable surface capable of allowing a 4WD fire appliance to enter, exit and turn any corner (10m radius) without reversing. 2 metre wide firebreaks are required around all piles of garden refuse and/or wood stacks, fuel and fodder.

5. Gutters and rooftops
Gutters and rooftops are to be kept free of excessive twigs, leaves and plant material. FIREBREAK NOTICE 2022-2023


B. ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS APPLYING TO RESIDENTIAL/RURAL RESIDENTIAL LOTS 4001M2
AND OVER:

1. Firebreak Requirements
• 3 metre wide trafficable firebreaks within 10 metres of all boundaries.

2. Grasses slashed/mowed to less than 10cm
• Vacant/cleared land that is not being actively grazed.


C. ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS APPLYING TO RURAL LOTS (EXCLUDING PLANTATIONS, VINEYARDS, ORCHARDS AND OLIVE GROVES):

1. Firebreak Requirements
• 3 metre wide trafficable firebreak required within 100 metres of a boundary that abuts a road reserve.
• Where land is actively grazed or maintained to less than 10cm, the firebreak within 100 metres of a boundary that abuts a road reserve may be reduced to 2 metres.

2. Grasses slashed/mowed to less than 10cm
• Vacant/cleared land that is not being actively grazed.


D. ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS APPLYING TO PLANTATIONS:

1. Firebreak Requirements
• 10 metre wide mineral earth firebreak around each cell or block – 3 metres must be trafficable.

2. Grasses slashed/mowed to less than 10cm


E. ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS APPLYING TO VINEYARDS, ORCHARDS AND OLIVE GROVES:

1. Firebreak Requirements

• 5 metre wide mineral earth firebreak around each cell or block – 3 metres must be trafficable.

2. Grasses slashed/mowed to less than 10cm

Please note - Rangers may exercise discretion where owners and occupiers have engaged with the Shire and can demonstrate that they have taken active steps to comply with this Notice.

For more information, visit Firebreak Notice and Requirements

27 Sep 2022 Topic Type
Public Notice
Place
Augusta, Cowaramup, Gracetown, Karridale and Kurdardup, Margaret River, Prevelly and Gnarabup, Scott River, Witchcliffe
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