Posted on October 1, 2014 by Carlo Zoppo

Rural Fire Service announces changes to 10/50 Vegetation Clearing Entitlement Areas

The Commissioner of the NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS), Shane Fitzsimmons, yesterday announced changes to the controversial 10/50 scheme for vegetation clearing.

The changes are an attempt to address significant community concern following reports of opportunistic clearing since the clearing entitlement commenced in August 2014. Follow the link to our previous blog on the 10/50 scheme for vegetation clearing [here].

The changes as announced by the RFS are:

  • the 10/50 vegetation clearing entitlement area for Category 2 Bush Fire Prone Land is now set at 150 metres, reduced from 350 metres;
  • Councils will have the ability to reclassify smaller parcels of vegetation from Category 1 to Category 2 therefore reducing the entitlement area.

It appears that the changes to the 10/50 vegetation clearing entitlement area will be reflected in the map that is to be published by the RFS under section 100P of the Rural Fires Act.

In announcing the changes, Commissioner Fitzsimmons stated that ‘the 150 metre reduction is reflective of the fire potential and behaviour linked with category 2 vegetation and particularly the smaller pockets of category 2 vegetation that, while still bushfire prone, may not reach the same sort of potential as fire behaviour in the category 2 area vegetation’.

The RFS has also brought forward the formal review of the 10/50 scheme that was to occur after August 2016. The RFS will accept submissions for the formal review until 14 November 2014.  Submissions can be made [here].