Thursday, August 14, 2014

Submission on 10/50 Clearing Code of Practice

On 1 August 2014, NSW Government passed legislation that allows landowners to clear all trees on their property within 10 m and vegetation within 50m of a house or habitable building if it is in a bushfire prone area. The definition and extent of bushfire prone properties is so wide that it includes most of Beecroft and Cheltenham including properties which have no likelihood of ever being affected by bushfires. It will impact on 85% of Hornsby Shire, 90% of Beecroft.  It will allow widespread clearing of trees and vegetation while doing little to reduce the actual risk from bushfire.

All who value our trees and greenery are asked to protest to the authorities about this, perhaps using the following submission:
I am opposed to this legislation because:
·         It allows widespread clearing of trees and vegetation in large suburban areas which in reality are extremely unlikely to be affected by bushfire risk. This could result in developers and land owners clearing trees and vegetation simply to allow subdivision and development which bears no relevance to bushfire prevention.

·         Trees are an integral part of our environment and heritage. They offer shade, improve our streetscape, scenery and living amenity. They reduce heat radiation and carbon dioxide so important in combatting climate change. They are so important for wildlife habitats and wildlife corridors.

·         The hard fought protection offered by Council’s Tree Protection Order (TPO) and the Beecroft Cheltenham Conservation area will be lost.

·         Our suburbs have critically endangered Blue Gum High Forest and Sydney Turpentine Ironbark Forest which will be threatened. No distinction is made for threatened or endangered species.

·         Biodiversity will be reduced. Soil erosion will increase and water quality reduced.

·         It fails to consider measures already in in place to ensure fire mitigation in houses and buildings adjoining bushland and bushfire prevention measures such as controlled burning, community fire pumps and training.

·         It applies statewide so all suburbs and regions with bushland will be able to undertake clearing.

For these reasons, I ask that an immediate halt be placed on this legislation so that its impacts and effectiveness can be assessed. Realistic boundaries for bushfire prone areas need to be drawn. Special consideration should be given to suburbs and regions where trees are an integral part of their character, environment and heritage.

Other comments: ________________________________________________________________________



Address ________________________________________________________________________________

Stuart Ayres, Minister for Emergency Services:

Greg Smith MP,SC:

Steve Russell, Mayor Hornsby Shire Council:

Michael Hutchence, C ward Councillor:

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