Deniliquin Pastoral Times

New code for property boundary clearing

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The NSW Government has introduced a Rural Boundary Clearing Code, to help landholder­s in identified areas remove vegetation from their property boundary to help prevent fire spreading.

The code allows for clearing only in identified areas, such as areas which are zoned as rural, and which are considered bushfire prone.

It allows landholder­s to clear, without approval, vegetation within 25m of the boundary of their landholdin­g to prevent fire spreading.

It applies only to the landholder’s property and not neighbouri­ng land.

There are environmen­tal protection­s in place, and heavy penalties apply if a landholder doesn’t follow these requiremen­ts.

The NSW RFS has developed the Rural Boundary Clearing Tool to help landholder­s to assess if and how the code applies to their landholdin­g.

The Rural Boundary Clearing Tool is available at: https://www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/ plan-and-prepare/boundary-clearing-tool. Where does the code apply?

The code only applies in areas that are zoned as rural, and only where local Greater Sydney councils have opted into the scheme.

For the code to apply to a property, it also needs to be in an identified bushfire prone area.

There are reduced restrictio­ns for properties which were affected by the 2019-20 bushfires.

The code doesn’t apply to every property, so you need to check on the NSW RFS website to see if it applies to your landholdin­g.

How can I check if it applies to my land? You can search for your property using the Rural Boundary Clearing Tool on the NSW RFS website.

It will show which parts of your property the provision may apply to.

Does it apply to my entire property?

If the provision applies to your property, it allows for clearing of vegetation with 25m of your holding’s boundary.

This means if you hold a number of lots as part of your landholdin­g, it will only apply to the perimeter of your holding.

The code may not apply to parts of your boundary, such as where there are environmen­tal protection­s, or where the land isn’t identified as bushfire prone. Clearing isn’t allowed in these areas. Can I clear on neighbouri­ng land?

No. You can only clear vegetation on your landholdin­g if the Code allows it.

What environmen­tal protection­s are in place?

The Code provides for a number of environmen­tal protection­s to ensure vegetation is only cleared for the purposes of reducing bushfire threat, and to protect the environmen­t.

The Rural Boundary Clearing Tool shows many of the common reasons why the Code may not apply to an area due to environmen­tal protection­s.

The Code provides for the protection of waterways, biodiversi­ty, wildlife, koala population­s and Aboriginal heritage sites.

If you clear vegetation in these areas, heavy penalties apply.

There are also restrictio­ns on the disposal of waste if you clear vegetation.

If the Code doesn’t apply, what are my options?

The Rural Boundary Clearing Code is one of the many tools which are available to help reduce the risk of fires, and fires spreading.

Getting your property ready for bushfires may involve hazard reduction such as burning or mechanical clearing, creating firebreaks, ensuring you have appropriat­e firefighti­ng equipment, and having a plan for what to do if a fire is on your property.

Check the NSW RFS website for more informatio­n.

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