Redland City Mayor Karen Williams has called on the Queensland Government to review legislation relating to vegetation clearing for bushfire management, over concerns the current laws are too confusing.
Cr Williams has written to three Queensland Ministers calling for a review of the legislation, which has caused community concern.
“At the moment there is inconsistency about what landholders can and can’t clear due to an overlap between State and Local Government laws,” Cr Williams said.
“For some Councils, clearing for bushfire management is assessed against State Planning regulations, while in others it can be assessed against local planning laws, which is confusing for residents.
“I believe there needs to be a single clear and consistent rule that tells the community how they can protect their property.
“In the Redlands we have addressed this by ensuring our City Plan defers to State regulations for bushfire clearing where possible, but other Councils deal with the issue differently, so some clarity is needed.”
Redland Council wrote to the Department of State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning earlier this year requesting reform of laws, after local fires and court decisions relating to vegetation clearing laws, caused confusion about what can and can’t be cleared.
Cr Williams said the State Government performs an important role in ensuring residents are prepared for the impacts of fires and other potential disasters.
“An important part of this is ensuring the community understands how they can prepare their own properties and it’s vital the necessary work be done to give residents clarity.”
“We would also like to see State resources focused on providing advice to residents about how they can manage their properties to reduce fire risks.
“There is confusion and I believe there needs to not only be a clear position but this position also needs to be clearly communicated so the community understand how it applies to them.
“I hope the State Government can act quickly to review current laws and make the necessary changes to provide more clarity.”