Monday, November 3, 2014

10/50 Briefing by RFS

The briefing by the Rural Fire Service on the 10/50 rule was attended by over 100 people including a good turnout of politicians and HSC Councillors. 

The RFS presenter did very well to explain the complexities of the issue, and summarising responses received from the public so far.  However all he could say was that the relevant authorities are conducting a review and will report in the new year.  A lively question and answer discussion followed.  The mood of the meeting was that an immediate moratorium was needed to halt urban tree fellings.  By the time this review completes, the trees will be gone! 

A lady from Lane Cove reported that over 200 trees had been felled around her area, and a survey revealed only two of the owners had cleared because of apprehended fire danger, and all the rest were simply removing unwanted trees.  Numerous Beecroft and Pennant Hills residents reported similar distressing news, with lovely tree-lined streets being scarred by individual properties being clear-felled.

There was a discussion about the research and science associated with bush fire protection of properties, and apparently there is some evidence that trees protect the property from much of the ember attack from an approaching fire.

Perhaps the rule should be changed so that trees can only be removed if the relevant property has been "Bush fire Proofed" to the satisfaction of the RFS.  If the owner isn't willing to fit aluminium shutters then clearly he is not removing the tree to reduce bush fire risk.

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