10/50 Code Changes

Press Release from NSW Rural Fire Service – 26th November 2014

1050 to Arborists 26112014

As you are aware, the NSW Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS), in partnership with the Department of Planning and Environment, has commenced a formal review of the 10/50 Vegetation Clearing Entitlement.

To date more than 1,800 submissions have been received, detailing a wide range of issues including the 10/50 Code, legislation, planning, mapping and environmental matters.

The issues raised in the many submissions are complex and deserving of careful consideration before a final position is adopted.

It is clear from some submissions and feedback that while the scheme is designed to reduce bush fire risk, there has been some abuse of the fuel reduction provisions for other purposes.

While the review is underway, the entitlement area will be reduced, effective immediately. 

The area will be reduced to 100 metres for Category One and 30 metres for Category Two vegetation. This is a reduction from 350 metres and 150 metres respectively.

This change will help ensure that those who are most at risk from bush fires can still protect their properties, while minimising those who are abusing the scheme for their own purposes.

The online mapping tool on the NSW RFS website has been updated with this change.

The review is expected to be completed sometime in the first half of 2015.

People wishing to clear vegetation on their property under the 10/50 Scheme must check their eligibility using the online tool at www.rfs.nsw.gov.au before they start work. This is because the entitlement area for their property may have changed and they may no longer be able to lawfully clear vegetation under the 10/50 rule. 

There are heavy penalties for people who clear vegetation without authorisation.

Yours sincerely

Rob Rogers AFSM 

Deputy Commissioner

Executive Director Operations

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