City of Greater Bendigo's proposed changes to local open air burning laws

OPEN AIR BURNING: City of Greater Bendigo proposes changes to local laws that will require a permit to conduct burn offs outside of the fire danger period. Picture: CONTRIBUTED
OPEN AIR BURNING: City of Greater Bendigo proposes changes to local laws that will require a permit to conduct burn offs outside of the fire danger period. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

The City of Greater Bendigo Council has drafted proposed changes to its local laws that will require a permit to conduct any open air burning all year round on properties with land size greater than 1 hectare.

The proposed changes would require a permit outside of the fire danger period for any open air burning that exceeds the dimensions of 3 metres width, 3 metres length and 3 metres height, unless authorised by a written permit.

COGB manager safe and healthy environments Caroline Grylls said the drafted local laws would require a permit for open air burning outside of the fire danger period.

“Once the fire danger period is in place any open air burning relates back to the CFA to approve it,” Mrs Grylls said.

Applications for open air burning outside of the fire danger period would have to be sent to the council for approval.

Part of the application process would include the applicant specifying when the burn will take place.

“While the local draft law is out for exhibition, there has been no fee set for the application,” Mrs Grylls said.

A farmer from Hunter, David Johnson has questioned the proposed changes.

“The whole idea of burn offs at anytime is for the farmer or the person doing the burning off to be responsible,” Mr Johnson said.

“It is getting harder and harder to burn off, they bring fire restrictions in far too early so we don’t get a chance to do a clean up of rubbish or hazardous fire material prior to the summer season.”

“No one in council or the CFA has the courage to make a call and say ‘restrictions are lifted it will be fine’ and quite frankly even if restrictions are lifted, your burn off is still your responsibility, regardless of restrictions or not.”

“The restrictions are left far too late into Autumn and the permit system is crazy and so is the requirement to have a permit to burn throughout anytime of the year, good luck enforcing it.”

Residents are invited to submit comments as part of the release of the new proposed local laws.

There will also be a physical copy that can be inspected or obtained from City of Greater Bendigo offices at 195-229 Lyttleton Terrace, Bendigo and 125 High Street, Heathcote.

All submissions should be addressed to Caroline Grylls, Manager Safe and Healthy Environments, City of Greater Bendigo, PO Box 733 Bendigo 3552.

The closing date for submissions is 5pm Monday February 26 2018.