Firebreak and Fuel Management Notice

Local Governments produce an annual Firebreak and Fuel Management Notice which is distributed to all ratepayers ahead of bushfire season to inform owners and occupiers of land within the district of their legal responsibilities under the Bushfires Act 1954.

On this page:


Current Firebreak and Fuel Management Notice

You MUST maintain your property to the requirements of the notice for the entirety of the maintenance period (1 December to 30 April).

Read the current Firebreak and Fuel Management Notice here


Understanding Your Responsibilities

There are several good reasons why it's important we all understand and comply with our responsibilities under the Firebreak and Fuel Management Notice:

  • Reducing the risk of bushfire on our properties and neighbouring properties
  • Reducing the risk of harm to our bushfire volunteers in the event of a bushfire
  • It's against the law to fail to comply with the notice
  • Non-compliance can lead to fines

There are many requirements in the Firebreak and Fuel Management Notice. If you need help understanding any aspect of the notice, it's your responsibility to take the necessary steps to educate yourself so your property can be compliant in time for the maintenance period.

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How to Find Help Understanding Your Notice

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Apply for a Variation

If you would like to apply for a variation to the Notice, you must do so before 1 October.

In some instances, land owners or occupiers may not be able to meet all of the fire management measures listed in the Firebreak & Fuel Management Notice. To avoid non-compliance, a Variation to Firebreak & Fuel Management Notice is required.

A Variation may be considered for the following reasons:
  • Property is steep and inaccessible and the installation of a low fuel boundary access or other fire mitigation measures would be dangerous or impractical.
  • Areas of rocky outcrops or cap stone naturally reduce the fire risk or prevents a low fuel boundary access from being installed.
  • Parts of the property are permanently water logged. 
  • Low Fuel Boundary Access (LFBA) can't be installed as close as practicable to the boundary.
  • Clearing of vegetation is likely to impact upon areas of declared rare flora or environmentally sensitive areas as defined under the Environmental Protection (Clearing of Native Vegetation) Regulations 2004.
  • Building positioning on block prevents the installation of an Asset Protection Zone (APZ) of the required size.
  • Properties that have an alternative Fire Management Plan developed by an accredited Bushfire Planning and Design (BPAD) practitioner
  • For rural properties that are bona fide agricultural operations:
    • actively managed pastures, forming part of an agricultural pursuit, may exceed a 100mm height, if seasonal cropping results in a low fuel boundary being maintained;
    • if livestock grazing occurs as part of a managed agricultural pursuit at commercial stocking rates as per the Department of Agriculture & Food guidelines, pastures may exceed 100mm; and
    • heavy machinery available on the property to prevent the spread of fire (e.g. bulldozer, grader, plough, scarifier or front end loader).

    If a Variation is approved, any special conditions placed on the Variation must be complied with. Any requirements stipulated in the Notice for which a variation has not been granted must meet the specifications of the current Firebreak and Fuel Management Notice. 

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    Compliance Inspections

    Each year, Authorised Officers conduct property compliance inspections. These inspections are to ensure we are all doing our bit to reduce the risk of bushfire in our community.

    Important information about inspections:

    • Authorised Officers are legally allowed to enter your property to conduct their inspections
    • You may receive an infringement if your property is deemed non-compliant
    • Your property may be inspected more than once during the maintenance period
    • If you would like to apply for a variation to the Notice, you must do this before the deadline.

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    Your Asset Protection Zone

    One of the most important concepts in the annual Firebreak and Fuel Management Notice is the Asset Protection Zone (APZ).

    This is the idea of ensuring there is an area around your home that is designed and maintained to reduce the risk of bushfire attacking and destroying your home. A good APZ will significantly reduce the risk and ensure firefighters are as safe as possible if they need to defend your home from bushfire.

    More tips and explanations on how to keep your property safe are available below.

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    Tips on Fire Compliance

    Authorised Fire Inspection Officer Murray Brooker shares some short explanations on what is and isn't acceptable at your property during the maintenance period (1 December to 30 April).

    More short videos will be uploaded here soon.

    How much leaf litter is too much leaf litter?

    How close can I have leaf litter next to my house?

    How clear should the ground be around large trees near my home?

    What is an acceptable length for my lawn or grass near my home?

    What sorts of materials are safe around a water tank?

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    Infringement Notice Frequently Asked Questions

    I’ve never received an infringement before. Why did I get one this year?

    In response to the growing seriousness of the bushfire risk in our Shire, we have strengthened our approach to compliance.

    I never received a copy of the Firebreak and Fuel Management Notice. Can I get some leniency?

    No.

    Infringements are designed to point out the importance of your responsibilities under the Notice and the seriousness of your failure to act. A copy of the Notice was distributed with rates notices, clearly marked as the ‘First and Final Notice’. It is also widely publicized in local media, published in the Western Australian Government Gazette, the Shire website, eNewsletter and social media, and hardcopies are available at the Shire Administration Building.

    I’ve fixed the issue at my property now. Can I have my infringement rescinded?

    No.

    Your property is required to be maintained at the appropriate standard from 1 December to 30 April. If, at any time during the maintenance period, your property is found to be non-compliant, you can expect to receive an infringement. Remember, we may visit more than once, so you must continue maintaining your property to avoid additional penalties.

    Why do I need to comply with the Notice?

    It’s your responsibility under section 33 of the Bushfires Act 1954.

    How do I get assistance to understand what I need to do to bring my property into compliance?

    Get started with the information on this page! There are tips, videos, graphics and more available to help you.

    I want to appeal my infringement. How do I go about that?

    To successfully appeal your infringement, you will require evidence that our Authorised Officer has made a mistake. Click here to get started on your appeal.

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