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Under the Country Fire Authority Act 1958 and Metropolitan Fire Brigades Act 1958, we have a legal obligation to ensure the community's risk associated with bushfire and grassfire is reduced.

Why does Council issue Fire Prevention Notices?

Fire hazards on private property can include any of the following

  • dead or long dry grass
  • fuel such as dead branches, piles of cuttings etc
  • wood piles placed too close to houses or fence lines
  • other combustible material

Our Fire Prevention Officers have the authority to enter properties to undertake inspections and to issue directional Fire Prevention Notices.

If the property owner/occupier doesn't undertake the required works on time, we also have the legal right to enter and carry out required works on private land and recoup the costs.

What is a Fire Prevention Notice?

A Fire Prevention Notice is issued when the Municipal Fire Prevention Officer deems it necessary to protect life and property from threat of fire.

The notice may be served to an owner or occupier of a property.

Fire Prevention Notices may specify:

  • parts of the land or property that need to be treated
  • treatment methods for particular vegetation or material
  • construction of Mineral Earth Breaks

We will charge a $100 administration fee per fire prevention notice for each non-compliant property.

What do I have to do?

You are required to comply with the instructions in the Fire Prevention Notice.

The works must be carried out by the due date.

The notice does not authorise you to remove shrubs and trees unless directed to.

What happens if you don't comply with a Fire Prevention Notice?

Follow up inspections are carried out on properties that have been issued a Fire Prevention Notice.

If the prescribed works have not been carried out to the satisfaction of the Municipal Fire Prevention Officer by the due date:

  • we will appoint a contractor to carry out the works specified in the Fire Prevention Notice
  • the owner or occupier will have to pay all associated costs in carrying out the works specified in the notice, plus an administration fee. For properties where owners have not complied, a $100 administration fee and hazard removal costs will also be charged according to Council's Schedule of Rates
  • we may issue a Penalty Infringement Notice which carries a fine of $1586 for failure to comply with a Fire Prevention Notice

I own a vacant block of land and don't visit it regularly enough to see how long the grass is

As a property owner, it's your responsibility to maintain your property and ensure that grass is no more than 10cm for the duration of the fire season.

I have moved house and didn't receive the Fire Prevention Notice before the due date

As a property owner, it's your responsibility to advise us of your correct mailing address for the property you own.

I'm planning to cut my paddock for hay

Give our Municipal Fire Prevention Officer a call and inform us of your plans before the due date of your notice.

This applies to rural farmland only.

When is the Fire Danger Period?

The Country Fire Authority (CFA) introduces Fire Restrictions - the Fire Danger Period - for all private land in the City of Whittlesea over the summer period each year.

The Fire Danger Period can range from mid November to May, depending on the risk level predicted for the season.

I want to complain about my neighbour's fire hazard

If you are concerned about a property near you:

We will inspect the property and, if required, will issue the owner with a Fire Prevention Notice.

Please note that the Municipal Fire Prevention Officer works to a program and all properties in the municipality will be inspected at least twice during the declared fire danger period.

I am having difficulty getting the work completed by the deadline - can I have an extension?

Contact our Municipal Fire Prevention Officer to discuss your situation.

In most cases, an additional week may be considered, however we must hear from you before - and not on/after - the completion date on your notice.

Any extension longer than one week must be addressed in writing to:

  • Municipal Fire Prevention Officer
    City of Whittlesea
    Locked Bag 1
    Bundoora MDC 3083

What about Crown Land or parks near my property?

If you notice a park near you has overgrown grass:

We do not have the authority to issue Fire Prevention Notices to state or federal government agencies.

We recommend you contact them directly:

  • Department of Environment Land Water or Planning - 136 186
  • VicTrack - 9619 1111
  • VicRoads - 131170
  • Parks Victoria - 13 19 63

I need more information about preparing my property for a fire

Roaside slashing

Fire readiness is a high priority for us.

Roadside slashing forms part of a range of fire prevention activities that we undertake.

Learn more about roadside slashing.