Fi­re ha­zards in Wil­der­ness ad­dres­sed

George Herald - - NEWS - Pau­li­ne Lou­rens

A joint i­ni­ti­a­ti­ve has been laun­ched be­t­ween the Ge­or­ge Mu­ni­ci­pa­li­ty and the Wil­der­ness Ra­te­pay­ers and Re­si­dents As­so­ci­a­ti­on (WRRA) to cle­ar o­ver­gro­wn pro­per­ties in on­going ef­forts to re­du­ce fi­re risk and main­tain the se­a­si­de vil­la­ge's a­est­he­tic beau­ty. The Wil­der­ness Heig­hts a­rea was al­so cle­a­ned last week and ton­nes of hou­se­hold was­te we­re re­mo­ved.

Ge­or­ge Mu­ni­ci­pa­li­ty Di­rec­tor of Com­mu­ni­ty Ser­vi­ces Wal­ter Hen­dricks said of­fi­ci­als from the fi­re de­part­ment, en­vi­ron­men­tal he­alth and parks and re­cre­a­ti­on, to­get­her with Com­mu­ni­ty Ser­vi­ces Port­fo­lio Coun­cil­lor Mar­le­ne Bar­nardt (al­so ward coun­cil­lor for Wil­der­ness) met with the WRRA to dis­cuss fi­re ris­ks and re­la­ted com­mu­ni­ty mat­ters. "The cle­a­ring of o­ver­gro­wn pri­va­te pro­per­ties, es­pe­ci­al­ly on er­ven w­he­re the o­w­ners ha­ve not yet built and are ab­sent, has been i­den­ti­fied as a mat­ter that can e­a­si­ly be ad­dres­sed with joint coope­ra­ti­on be­t­ween the mu­ni­ci­pa­li­ty and re­si­dents," said Hen­dricks.

He said the mu­ni­ci­pa­li­ty has an on­going pro­gram­me to ma­na­ge o­ver­gro­wn pro­per­ties, which could be en­han­ced by the help of re­si­dents. "W­hi­le of­fi­ci­als i­den­ti­fy o­ver­gro­wn pro­per­ties on an on­going ba­sis as they mo­ve through a­re­as in the cour­se of their work, they can­not be e­ver­y­w­he­re and the help of ci­ti­zens to i­den­ti­fy and re­port o­ver­gro­wn pro­per­ties is gre­at­ly ap­pre­ci­a­ted." WRRA chair­man Do­nald Gold­fain said the as­so­ci­a­ti­on will help rai­se a­wa­re­ness and en­coura­ge re­si­dents to re­port o­ver­gro­wn pro­per­ties, in­clu­ding the phy­si­cal ad­dress or lo­ca­ti­on of the plot. As stan­dard pro­ce­du­re the mu­ni­ci­pa­li­ty in­ves­ti­ga­tes and, if ap­pli­ca­ble, in­forms the pro­per­ty o­w­ners of their re­spon­si­bi­li­ty to cle­ar the pro­per­ty, gi­ving gui­de­li­nes to w­hat is ex­pected to be cle­a­red. In­for­ma­ti­on re­gar­ding the i­den­ti­fi­ca­ti­on of a­lien ve­ge­ta­ti­on is al­so in­clu­ded and the pro­per­ty o­w­ners are re­min­ded of their le­gal o­bli­ga­ti­on to ma­na­ge a­lien ve­ge­ta­ti­on.

The mu­ni­ci­pa­li­ty cle­a­red a pro­per­ty next to the Wil­der­ness Com­mon to ser­ve as an ex­am­ple of w­hat a suit­a­bly cle­a­red pro­per­ty s­hould look li­ke.

Ci­ti­zens of all a­re­as within the

Ge­or­ge mu­ni­ci­pal a­rea can re­port o­ver­gro­wn pro­per­ties on 044 802

2900.

An un­be­lie­va­ble a­mount of hou­se­hold was­te was cle­a­ned up re­cent­ly in Wil­der­ness Heig­hts.

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