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Community to Have Its Say on Draft Bush Fire Management Policy

By Northern Beaches Council
Posted: 8 Nov 2020
Northern Beaches Council has developed a policy to manage the risk of bush fire across the Northern Beaches in conjunction with fire agencies and the community.

The draft policy provides a framework with a focus on four areas of risk management, fire management, community engagement and land use planning and development control.

Mayor Michael Regan said the draft policy represents an opportunity to apply a consistent guide to bush fire management across the whole Northern Beaches area.

“Last summer’s horrifying bush fires in Australia showed how critical good planning and preparation can be in the face of hotter and dryer conditions.

“We have significant exposure to bush fires on the Northern Beaches and this policy recognises the importance of a coordinated effort to reduce risk and manage emergencies when they happen.

“With climate change resulting in increasingly frequent and more severe bush fire conditions, this policy seeks to ensure we have the right mechanisms in place, and using best practice, to reduce the risk for our community.

“The threat of bush fires can never be completely eliminated, and our policy reiterates the need for Council, fire authorities and landowners to all play a part in the protection of life and property.

“With summer approaching, all landowners are encouraged to prepare their properties now and ensure they have a survival plan in place. The Rural Fire Service has some excellent resources available online to support residents in their preparations.”

In framing the draft policy, research into how other government agencies tackle bush fire management was considered, as well as taking into account best practice and relevant state and federal bush fire management frameworks and legislation, particularly the Rural Fires Act 1997.

The draft policy also considers the 76 recommendations of the NSW Bush Fire Inquiry and draft propositions from the Royal Commission into Natural Disaster Arrangements. Council is continuing to respond to these inquiries and working with our state partners as further changes develop.

The draft Policy will apply to all bushland managed by Council and to all private lands within the Northern Beaches Local Government Area (LGA).

The Policy is on public exhibition until Wednesday 2 December. The community is encouraged to provide feedback.

 
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