Firebreaks

All vacant land and bushland in the City must have a firebreak installed by 31 October each year and be maintained until 31 May the following year.

Firebreaks can:

  • Allow safe access for firefighting vehicles
  • Minimise the spread of fire
  • Be used to isolate hazards and protect assets

Under the provisions of the Bush Fires Act 1954, section 33, the City sets out the following specifications:

Vacant land with an area of less than 2,000m²/0.2ha

  • A firebreak, not less than 2m wide, must be cleared immediately inside and around all external boundaries of the land.
  • All tree branches and shrubs that over-hang a firebreak must be trimmed back to a minimum height of 3m above ground level.
  • After mowing or slashing is carried out, the height of the vegetation must not exceed 50mm over the entire area of the firebreak.

All land with an area of 2,000m²/0.2ha or more

  • A firebreak, not less than 3m wide, must be cleared immediately inside and around all external boundaries of the land.
  • All tree branches and shrubs that over-hang a firebreak must be trimmed back to a minimum height of 4m above ground level.
  • After mowing or slashing is carried out, the height of the vegetation must not exceed 50mm over the entire area of the firebreak.

Land with buildings and with an area of 2000m²/0.2ha or more

  • A firebreak, not less than 3m wide, must be cleared around all structures and immediately inside and around all external boundaries of the land.
  • All tree branches and shrubs that over-hang a firebreak must be trimmed back to a minimum height of 4m above ground level.
  • After mowing or slashing is carried out, the height of the vegetation must not exceed 50mm over the entire area of the firebreak.
  • All buildings, including roofs, gutters and walls on the land must be free of flammable material.

Alternative firebreaks

If a firebreak is impractical along your boundary for environmental or other reasons, property owners should notify the City in writing by 15 October to obtain permission for firebreaks in alternative positions or of a different nature. The above firebreak requirements will continue to apply to your property until and unless the City approves alternative firebreaks in writing.

Additional works to reduce hazards

Regardless of land size and location, the City may require a property owner to undertake additional works on their property to improve access and/or undertake further works where in the opinion of the City, these works would be conducive to preventing the outbreak and/or spread or extension of a bushfire.