Council Defers Potential Changes to Bushfire Notice

Published on Friday, 30 April 2021 at 10:10:31 AM

At its last meeting City of Busselton Council considered the City of Busselton Bushfire Notice Review as a matter of urgent business. In response to community concern, Councillors resolved to support a recommendation not to instigate any changes to the Bushfire Notice in 2021/2022 as originally proposed.

The City is currently reviewing its Bushfire Notice and is seeking community feedback on potential changes. The proposals include changes to requirements to remove or trim vegetation near houses, as well as increased requirements for boundary firebreaks in some rural-residential areas.

Consultation commenced on 9 April 2021 and has met with significant community concern. Consultation to date has involved an online survey through the City’s YourSay platform. The survey was advertised in the local newspaper, on social media and on the City’s website. Emails were also sent to residents and ratepayers who have a registered email address with the City. In total nearly 11,000 emails were sent. To date, over 700 survey responses have been received. This is an excellent level of response and should provide a useful guide to the community’s views on the issues.

City of Busselton Mayor Grant Henley said: “The City of Busselton Bushfire Notice has not been reviewed for several years. Given changes to State level regulations, increased development and greater risk due to bushfire behaviour as a result of climate change, it is timely that it is reviewed.

Over the past decade, we’ve witnessed many serious bushfire incidents across the State and country. We need to balance environment and amenity with bushfire safety. There is no one solution to bushfire safety, it involves a range of different strategies, which together can help mitigate risk. To this end the Bushfire Notice is an important tool.”

Council has been liaising directly with community members since the survey opened. Council has decided to slow the consultation process down to allow the maximum number of people to have their say and to fully assess the feedback without the urgency of an impending 2021/2022 implementation date.

The Bushfire Notice survey has been extended for three weeks ending 31 May 2021. Council further requested that a report be brought back to them regarding the potential for change to the Notice in the 2022/2023 year. Further technical work and more community consultation, including a series of public information sessions, will occur before any final decisions are made.

People are invited to complete the Bushfire Notice Survey available on Yoursay Busselton https://yoursay.busselton.wa.gov.au/bushfire-notice-survey  

Noting the sheer volume of responses, one-on-one discussions are not practical.  Please register your expression of interest to attend a public information and discussion session by contacting angeline.dewson@busselton.wa.gov.au Information regarding dates, times and venues will be forthcoming.

Objectives outlined in this statement are aligned with Key Goal Area 3 in the City of Busselton’s Strategic Community Plan (Review 2019): Environment that is values, conserved and enjoyed and Key Goal Area 2 Places and Spaces that are vibrant, attractive and affordable.

 

Ends. Media enquiries can be directed to meredith.dixon@busselton.wa.gov.au

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