Understanding the 10/50 Vegetation Clearing Rule

Vegetation management is an essential aspect of bushfire readiness. The 10/50 Vegetation Clearing Scheme is a regulation that allows property owners in NSW to clear vegetation in a specific zone around their property without seeking approval to reduce the risk of bushfires.

If you live in an area that’s close to the bush, it’s important to take necessary precautions to ensure the safety of your home and family. One way to be better prepared for bushfires is to know if the 10/50 rule applies to your home and take necessary measures to mitigate all possible risks.

What is the 10/50 Rule?

The 10/50 rule enables property owners in fire-prone areas to:

  • Clear trees on property within 10 metres of a home without seeking approval. This means that if a tree is too close to your house and poses a potential fire risk, you can remove it without approval.
  • Clear underlying vegetation, such as shrubs, on your property within 50 metres of a home without seeking approval. It’s important to note that this only applies to shrubs, not trees.

Is my home in a 10/50 zone?

To find out if your property is in a 10/50 Vegetation Clearing Entitlement Area, you can use this tool. By inputting your address, you can determine if the 10/50 rule covers your home and take the necessary steps to protect your property and family from bushfires.

Who do the 10/50 rule apply to?

The 10/50 rule is only applicable to land parcels located in a designated 10/50 vegetation clearing entitlement area. You can use the 10/50 tool to check if your land is eligible.

However, it is important to note that clearing can only be carried out if you are the landowner or have the approval of the landowner. The term ‘landowner’ is defined under the 10/50 Code.

It is also important to understand that the 10/50 Code does not mandate landowners to clear trees or vegetation if they do not wish to do so. It is merely a tool that is available to help improve protection against bushfires, if landowners decide to take that action.

What types of buildings are subject to the 10/50 rule?

The 10/50 rule allows you to clear vegetation near the external walls of certain buildings that have been approved for habitable rooms. These buildings include homes, tourist accommodations, caravans in caravan parks, and manufactured homes installed in manufactured home estates. You can also clear vegetation near the external walls of high-risk facilities such as child care centers, hospitals, and schools (excluding tertiary institutions like Universities, Colleges, or TAFEs). Additionally, you may clear vegetation near the external walls of a building that comprises or is part of a farm shed (as defined under the 10/50 Code).

It’s important to note that the 10/50 Code doesn’t apply to buildings constructed without consent or lawful authority.

For more information on the types of buildings and the definitions of habitable rooms and external walls, please refer to the 10/50 Code of Practice.

From where should I measure the distance of 10 or 50 metres?

Please note that the distance referred to is measured from the external walls of the building, including any permanent fixed structures such as decks, verandahs, pergolas and garages that are attached to the building. However, it does not include any detached garages, sheds, water tanks or similar constructions such as paved or concreted areas.

If you have a farm shed, the external walls refer to the external walls of the shed or the line between two support posts in case the shed does not have a wall.

Please note that structures such as decks are excluded from the definition of external walls if they have been constructed according to the State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes 2008). This is because such structures are required to be made of non-combustible material.

Additionally, you can only take down a tree if any part of its trunk (at a height of 1.3 meters above the ground) has a circumference of more than 30 centimeters within a distance of 10 meters from the external wall of the structure.

Can I remove a native tree under the 10/50 rule?

Yes, since the 10/50 Rule is applicable to all types of vegetation, whether they are native or introduced species.

I'm outside the 10/50 area. What should I do?

For properties outside the 10/50 clearance area, proactive steps can still be taken to safeguard against bushfires. Suggestions include regular lawn maintenance, keeping the land tidy, cleaning gutters, and considering advanced protection like the Fire Halo™️ system. 

Ironclad Plumbing, an official distributor and installer of Fire Halo™️ systems in the Blue Mountains, provides expertise for those seeking additional fire protection measures. Learn more at Ironclad Plumbing – Fire Halo™️ or contact us directly for personalised assistance.

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