NAIL Can Hill’s neighbours in Albury have welcomed moves to allow homeowners greater powers to remove trees and vegetation on their properties.
The NSW Parliament has passed legislation for a draft code of practice to allow residents in designated zones to clear trees within 10 metres and vegetation within 50 metres of homes.
The Rural Fire Service would identify areas most at risk for the designated bushfire areas.
Beth Simpson, whose Yambla Avenue home is threatened almost every fire season, welcomed the moves.
“The fires we’ve had have been scary, really,” she said yesterday.
“You see smoke coming over the back of the hill and fire has come on to our property before.
“If we could clear vegetation a bit further back from the property it would be good at the start of summer.”
Neighbour John Reid agreed.
“Anything that can make the environment safer for people is ideal, he said.
“I’ve lived here for 10 years and we’ve had fires on Nail Can Hill most years.
“A fire about a year ago came within two houses of our home.”
Shay Spencer, of Roper Street, said she praised the move.
“I was away all of January but it was pretty full-on here,” she said.
Member for Albury Greg Aplin said the changes were necessary given the impact of last October’s fires in NSW.
“Of course the law needs to change when you’ve had 200 homes lost, children who have lost possessions, and all the devastation and distress of those people,” Mr Aplin said.
“One of the common factors that came, though, was they were prevented from clearing around their houses by councils.
“This will allow people to clear trees within designated bushfire areas to be determined by the RFS.
“It would not require council permission.
“But I must stress this is only in designated areas.
“It’s not blanket approval.”
Public consultation over the laws is being sought until July 21.
The draft code of practice is available on the NSW Rural Fire Service website.