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FAQs about Vegetation Management

FAQ’s About Vegetation Management

Why are Council involved?

The Local Government Act 1993 provides for Councils to abate public nuisances, including the risk of fire.  If an inspection shows there is, or is likely to be, a direct fire risk on private property that presents an immediate risk to life or property on adjoining land then the Local Government Act 1993, assigns councils with the responsibility to clear a hazard at the owner's expense if the owner does not do so inside a specified time.

It's my property, why can't I decide what is a fire risk and what isn't?

Property owners may determine for themselves how to manage their properties up to the point where it becomes a clear risk to their neighbours or the public in general.  It is recognised that there is no perfect system for determining the exact point of if and when a fire risk is present.  Council operates under the guidance of Tasmanian Fire Service, and needs to consider the broader fire risks in an area, not just limited to an individual property when taking into account whether or not the property constitutes a fire risk.

What happens?

If after assessment of the property, a fire risk is determined, an Abatement Notice is sent by registered mail to the property owner.  Property owners are encouraged to take immediate steps to abate the fire risk, and communicate with Council about what they are doing.  If a notice is not complied with or the owner of land not able to be found, then Council is then compelled to clear the fire risk on the owner's behalf.  Where this occurs the property owner will be billed for this work.

I received a Notice - where do I go for advice?

Contact Council 6452 4800.

Can you recommend anyone to do the work for me?

Gardening and slashing and agricultural contractors are likely to have the equipment needed for the job.

I'm not going to be able clear vegetation in time - what do I do?

Contact Council before the deadline. Only in extreme circumstances will an extension be considered. All requests for extensions must be made in writing to the General Manager at the Circular Head Council, PO Box 348, Smithton 7330.

I think there's overgrown vegetation on my neighbours block?

It is always best to try and resolve these concerns with your neighbour first.  If this is not working, report this to Council.  Properties reported in this way will be added to inspection lists.  An inspection will  be made to see if a fire abatement notice should be issued.  If action is required it may take some weeks from the notice being issued and the work being complete.

What is it going to cost me if the Council clears the hazard on my property?

The costs vary depending on the size and type of hazard, the time required to clear the hazard and the equipment required.

I worked to clear the vegetation, and Council is still not satisfied, why?

It is necessary to continue to control the vegetation throughout the bushfire season, so work done in late spring, may be required to be done again at intervals through until April.

Can I burn off garden waste in my backyard to help reduce the hazard?

Smoke from burning off in built-up areas has long been recognised as a public nuisance, particularly for sufferers of illness such as Asthma. Backyard burning is controlled by the state-wide Environment Management and Control (Smoke) Regulations 2019. For more information and guidance in relation to backyard burning, please click on the link below.