Burning off provisions proposed to be amended in bushfire prone areas

Community assets director Cohen Van der Velde said that without a rate rise, a million dollars in revenue would be lost in the budget.

Community assets director Cohen Van der Velde said that without a rate rise, a million dollars in revenue would be lost in the budget.

Open air burning provisions in Baw Baw Shire’s local laws are proposed to be amended to allow “genuine fuel reduction” in bushfire prone areas.
However, some councillors are concerned the draft Community Local Laws currently on public exhibition, will mean farmers and rural landowners will have to obtain a permit every time they light an open air fire.
Land zonings have been removed as the basis for open air burning rationale.
Burning off provision will now apply to all land, not just in residential area, with the exemption of cooking and heating purposes.
For all land not in a designated bushfire prone area, the owner or occupier must obtain a permit to light a fire.
In bush prone areas, land owners and occupiers can light an open air fire if no more than two cubic metres of vegetation will be burnt on land less than 4000 square metres; or five cubic metres of vegetation on properties more than 4000 square metres.
The restrictions also prevent open air burning on a road or road reserve, council land and reserve, Crown land or any public place.
Cr Darren Wallace said he had some real concerns about the draft local laws in its current form.
He said the way the document reads, a farmer in a bushfire management overlay area can burn off whenever they want.


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