Tree and vegetation management - 10-30/50 Rule

The 10/30 and 10/50 exemptions

Following recommendations from the Victorian Bushfire Royal Commission, the Victorian Government has made a number of changes to the Victoria Planning Provisions regarding vegetation removal, which came into effect in November 2011.

These changes apply to:

  • the previous Wildfire Management Overlay, now the Bushfire Management Overlay
  • the amount of vegetation that can be removed from around a property
  • building regulations
  • bushfire shelters

For further information see state planning department web-sitewww.dtpli.vic.gov.au/planning/planning-and-building-for-bushfire-protection

Bushfire Management Overlay

Areas that were within the Wildfire Management Overlay are now subject to the Bushfire Management Overlay (BMO).

The BMO overlay has an impact on new developments such as the siting of a building, providing defendable space, on-site water availability and emergency vehicle access.

The BMO also ensures that any future developments in areas affected by significant bushfire hazard only take place after full consideration of bushfire issues.

If risk to life and property from bushfire cannot be reduced to an acceptable level the development will not proceed.

For information on whether your property is subject to the BMO, contact Council's Planning Section on 9433 3343 or the CFA on 9262 8444.

Vegetation and bushfire

We urge residents to think about their personal safety and those around them if they decide to remove trees. You should also consider how you intend to dispose of unwanted vegetation.

While tree and vegetation removal may help reduce fire risk in certain circumstances, it is important that people are not complacent in believing it is all they need to do to be safe during a bushfire.

Everyone should have a comprehensive bushfire survival plan – a well thought out plan about how you will prepare and respond to a fire in your area.

For information on preparing a bushfire survival plan, see the CFA's web-sitewww.cfa.vic.gov.au/plan-prepare/

Vegetation removal

The temporary 10/30 exemption introduced to the Victoria Planning Provisions in 2009 has now been made permanent with the following changes.

The 10/30 exemption applies if there is no Bushfire Management Overlay on the property.

This means permits are no longer needed to:

  • remove trees for up to 10 metres around an existing building (that is used for accommodation)
  • clear any vegetation except trees for up to 30 metres from that building on your own land

The building must have existed before September 2009.

The 10/50 exemption applies if there is a Bushfire Management Overlay on the property.

This means permits are no longer needed to:

  • remove trees for up to 10 metres around an existing building (that is used for accommodation)
  • clear any vegetation except trees for up to 50 metres from that building on your own land

The building must have existed before September 2009.

The exemption applies to all buildings used for accommodation regardless of whether there are any overlays. However, landowners need to ensure that they have checked their Land Title particulars to ensure that there are no covenants or other legal agreements which are not covered by the exemptions.

To check title particulars, residents need to obtain a copy of title. See Council's obtaining a current certificate of title - planning advice 4

Finding the balance

Some residents have utilised the provisions for vegetation removal, but in general, most have kept trees and vegetation around their property.

Council continues to encourage residents to think carefully about tree and vegetation removal and to contact the Planning Services Section on 9433 3343 before doing so.

Nillumbik, as the Green Wedge Shire, is known as the ‘lungs’ of Melbourne. Our beautiful open spaces and natural treed environment, together with our friendly villages, add to the lifestyle of the Shire.

While we like the environment surrounding us, bushfire safety is of paramount importance. Striking the right balance is essential.

Before removing trees and vegetation, people need to think about their value – do they provide shading or screening; what, if anything, will need to be replanted, and will their removal cause problems with land slip or erosion.

Research shows that fine fuels enhance fire intensity so it is worthwhile concentrating on cleaning up things such as long, dry grass, fallen leaves and twigs and then decide whether to remove trees or vegetation.

If you feel you need technical advice, you can employ a Land Management Consultant.

Updated 11 February 2015