New laws to protect emergency services

Hazard ReductionNov. 18, 2013, 9:44 a.m.

I was pleased to see this week the NSW government will introduce laws to streamline hazard reduction processes, strengthen offences and protect emergency service workers.

The laws will encourage home owners to responsibly manage fire risks on their properties, allow the Rural Fire Service to direct a Bush Fire Management Committee to amend its risk management plan if it’s considered to be inadequate and give the RFS Commissioner the power to carry out hazard reduction on land without the consent of the owner, if reasonable attempts to contact the owner have failed.  Penalties will also be increased for anyone caught impersonating an emergency service worker, and new laws for littering involving cigarettes and matches.  Home owners adjacent to and those in close proximity to bushland will not need to get permission to clear trees within 10 metres of their homes, or their own land. They will also be able to clear undergrowth and shrubs within 50 metres of their homes, on their own land.  We’ve already seen massive bush fires this year which have caused damage on a huge scale across NSW and we need to ensure the community is as prepared as it possibly can be for future bush fires.

Read the full story here