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10/50 vegetation clearing scheme

10/50 vegetation clearing scheme

To assist households and communities preparing for bushfires, a new vegetation clearing scheme was introduced for NSW in 2014. The Code of Practice for the scheme is in section 100Q of the Rural Fires Act 1997 (NSW). Following a process of community consultation, changes have been made to the scheme which come into effect on Friday 4 September 2015.

You must now consider how the following changes affect your clearing proposal:

  1. The definition of a tree has been amended to include multi-stemmed trees. This means you can no longer remove multi-stemmed trees beyond 10 metres.
  2. The distance at which a tree may be removed has been clarified. You may only remove a tree if any part of the trunk that measures more than 30 centimetres in circumference (around the trunk) at a height of 1.3 metres above the ground, is within 10 metres of the external wall of the building.
  3. If you are using the distance from a building on your neighbours land to use the 10/50 entitlement (and your buildings are not within 10 metres or 50 metres respectively), you must receive their written consent. Where the tree or vegetation is within 10 metres or 50 metres respectively of buildings on more than one adjoining parcel of land, you must receive written consent from each landowner who adjoins your land.

Be aware that although the amendments provide for clearing adjacent to farm sheds, that this clearing is not permitted under the 10/50 scheme until such time as the revised 10/50 Code of Practice commences.

All interim changes put into place on 11 August 2015 remain in force until the revised 10/50 Code of Practice comes into operation. It is intended that the revised 10/50 Code of Practice will be gazetted and commence on Friday 4 September 2015. A range of other changes to the 10/50 scheme will come into effect once the revised Code commences.

You can check the Rural Fire Service website for further updates.