Bass Coast,

Residents Asked To Be Fire Ready

Bass Coast Shire residents are being asked to clean up their properties to reduce the risk of bushfires this summer.

Council’s Acting Community and Economic Development Director, Antoinette Mitchell, said Council’s Emergency Management Team had begun fire inspections in identified high fire risk areas at the start of November.

“Council has issued 70 Fire Prevention Notices to land owners or occupiers to reduce fire hazards where a potential threat to life and property has been identified,” Ms Mitchell said.

“Each Fire Prevention Notice is accompanied by a detailed letter explaining the implications of non-compliance and the costs passed on if Council completes the compulsory works.

“The letter also provides Council officer contact details so the property owner or occupier can query the requirements of the notice or request an extension of time to complete the works.”

Ms Mitchell said a number of blocks had also been cleared of potential hazards through on-site meetings and discussions between property owners or occupiers during November and December without the need to issue notices or fines.

“Council has an ongoing communications plan supporting CFA messages around preparing for the fire season and believe property owners are taking personal responsibility to complete work to reduce hazards without the need to issue a notice,” Ms Mitchell said.

A Local Law Notice to Comply issued by Community Safety Rangers handles matters such as long grass in built-up areas.

“Inspections by Community Safety Rangers happen year round; not only during the fire season, with hundreds of Notices issued,” Ms Mitchell said.

“Property owners are urged to maintain their property in line with Local Law at all times.”

The process for Notices to Comply includes allowing fourteen days to complete task. A Council Ranger will then inspects and, if the task is not completed, an infringement is sent along with a letter advising Council will engage a contractor in seven days to complete task at the owners expense.

These two processes work together during the summer to improve amenities and reduce the risk of fire across Bass Coast.