Know About 10/50 Vegetation Clearing Code NSW

04-Sep-2014

NSW Rural Fire Service along with the participation of NSW OEH introduced the 10/50 vegetation clearing code of practice for landowners last month to reduce the bush-fire near high-risk facilities or residential properties. This new 10/50 VCCP is a commitment of NSW Government to protect the lives of people by eliminating bush fires impact.

This code applies to vegetation next to building external walls that are part of residential accommodations and not apply to building constructed without Development Consent or other lawful authority under EPA Act 1979.

This latest law has remarkable significant associations linking to tree removal appeals on the NSW.

Currently, tree removal requires written Council permission for valuable trees and foundation species. Approval is also needed for trees more than a certain distance from the established structure - Well not required anymore!

The current laws permit landowners in a decided 10/50 Vegetation Clearing Entitlement Area (VCEA) to:

  • Eliminate trees from your property without seeking any council approval that are within 10m of a home.
  • Clear shrubs or any underlying vegetation ( not trees) without seeking council approval within 50m of a home.

10/50 Vegetation Clearing Code of Practice

To know whether your land is mapped as 10/50 VCEA or complies with 10/50 code requirements, you can check it through NSW RFS online assessment tool available at rfs.nsw.gov.au.

The following frequently asked questions below will provide you additional information about the law:

Download the 10/50 Vegetation Clearing Code of Practice PDF here:

1050-Vegetation Clearing Code of Practice 1050-Vegetation Clearing Code of Practice (439 KB)

Frequently Asked Questions:

What does the 10/50 rule allow me to do?

If your property comes in a designated 10/50 VCE area, then you are entitled to:

  • Eliminate trees from your property without seeking any council approval that are within 10m of a home.
  • Clear shrubs or any underlying vegetation ( not trees) without seeking council approval within 50m of a home.

Other conditions may also apply such as Aboriginal significance in the area, or your property on a slope.

Who do the new rules apply to?

The new rules apply only to those public or private properties that are in a designated 10/50 VCE area. However, clearing can only be done on landowner approval. How Do I find that my property is in 10/50 VCE area?

The online tool at rfs.nsw.gov.au will help you to search your property whether it comes in a VCE area and are there any waterways or cultural significance restrictions.

Do I have to remove vegetation if I'm in a VCE area?

It is not a requirement to clear vegetation rather it is an entitlement. You can obtain additional information and guidance from your local NSW RFS District Office. What if the vegetation is on a neighbouring block?

You are only entitled to clear your property not the neighbouring property. However, you can remove the vegetation if their property is within 10-50 meters of your property.

You can make a hazard complain to local NSW RFS District Office if you believe that your neighbour is not clearing hazard bush fire surround your or on their land.

You may prune the hanging or decaying branches of a tree from neighbour's property that are within 10m of your building; however you need to follow certain regulations.

What sort of buildings does the 10/50 rule cover?

10/50 rules cover the building that contain habitable rooms such as homes, manufactured homes, caravans, and visitor or tourist accommodation. You can even remove the vegetation from the external walls of facilities including schools, hospitals, and child care centres, but not from the institutions such as TAFE or universities.

You can’t clear the vegetation unless your building/house is fully constructed, no matter you have development consent.

Where do I mark the 10m or 50m from?

You can measure the 10 or 50 meters from the external walls of the permanent fixed structures of a building such as sheds, garages attached to the building.

Can I burn vegetation under the 10/50 rule?

It’s against the law, and you can’t get approval for vegetation burning by using 10/50 Code as an exemption. Contact local NSW RFS District for further information burning approval.

Are there any conditions when pruning trees?

Under the law, you can prune any vegetation trees within the 10m of your property, and 50m of the property for any vegetation other than trees.

Pruning must be in accordance with the Australian Standard 4373-2007 that ensure the safety of trees after branches are completely pruned.

You can prune the branches within the 10 m of the building to balance the tree, but required council approved in case the pruning is greater than 10 m. You should confirm from the council first before commencing any those tree pruning.

Should I seek the services of reputable tree professional?

It’s totally on you to take care of trees health at the time of pruning or removal. Always get the services of reliable tree management professional that is trained and experienced in removing trees efficiently. You should assure that the professional you are going to use is appropriately qualified and hold certificates (AQF levels 3 or above) from the TAFE NSW.

In addition, you can also verify whether the tree service provider has appropriate insurances such as personal and public liability insurance or workers compensation.

Can I clear vegetation near waterways?

You are not allowed to the clear the vegetation within 10 m of the a Prescribed Stream.

What if I need more information or something not listed here?

For an instantaneous response, you can contact us directly on our help number 1300 077 233 or you can also mail us here.