STEPincLogo A

Thursday, 18 February 2021 23:55

Bushfire-prone Land Clearing Rules

In the November 2020 newsletter we explained concerns about the proposed change to land clearing regulations that would allow landowners to clear within 25 metres of boundary fences without obtaining consent. This could lead to large areas of peri-urban rural land on smaller blocks being cleared. This was not a recommendation of the bushfire enquiry.

After lobbying by concerned residents Hornsby Council passed a resolution to write to the government requesting an exemption for rural-zoned land in the council area. Mayor Philip Ruddock said that the rural boundary clearing code could potentially result in the clearing of 1035 hectares, or half the vegetation on rural-zoned lands within the local government area.

In response, the NSW government agreed to exclude Sydney's councils from new land-clearing rules that would have given residents much greater freedom to cut down trees on their properties.

The final details of the code are being discussed. It is understood that Matt Kean and Planning Minister Stokes are pushing for curbs to avoid the destruction of endangered ecosystems, including koala habitat. We don’t want to see the indiscriminate clearing that is still occurring under the 10/50 code.