ECAG has long been concerned about the indiscriminate use of the 10/30 bushfire exemptions which has led to clear felling of many urban Eltham blocks by developers who took advantage of the exemptions to remove vast numbers of trees for purposes other than bushfire mitigation.
After lobbying for years, in June ECAG wrote to the Minister for Planning expressing our concerns and requesting that action be taken.
At the beginning of July we received a reply advising that the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning had prepared various options for the Minister for Planning’s consideration including aligning vegetation clearing exemptions to bushfire hazard, meaning that exemptions which applied to the whole of Nillumbik would only apply to those areas designated as Bushfire Prone.
We were delighted to see that this option was approved by the Minister and an amendment was gazetted on Wednesday 5 August.
This means that those areas not designated Bushfire Prone in Eltham, the removal of native trees within 10m of dwellings will no longer be allowed without a permit.
You can view the amendment here.