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Draft Open Air Burning Local Law

Submissions close at 04:00PM on Monday, 07 May 2018

New rules for burning off, including no longer requiring permits and adding exemptions for firepits and chimneas are being proposed by Council in its new Draft Open Air Burning Local Law.

Residents will be able to make submissions until 4pm, Monday, 7 May. Submissions will be assessed at a public hearing in May before the final law is recommended to Council for approval in June.

How will this proposed law affect me?

Make a formal submission

View our burning off page

Yarra Ranges Mayor, Cr Len Cox, said the draft law was a result of feedback from the community last year, through pop-up sessions, online advertising and a survey.

“Throughout 2017, we held 14 public pop-ups where residents could comment on what they liked and what they would like changed in our laws around burning off,” Cr Cox said.

“This draft law attempts to balance the need to burn for fire prevention purposes with the need to protect the health of our community by minimising smoke hazards.

“We’ve tried to simplify the process of burning off for residents by no longer requiring permits, which will make it easier for residents to burn off.

“We are also proposing new offences around creating offensive smoke or smoke hazards to help protect residents.

“Now we’re asking for the community to have their say again and let us know if they think this draft law strikes the right balance for them.”

A survey was released to residents during the consultation, which received 162 responses. Of the responses, 44 respondents wanted less open air burning or a complete ban; 63 respondents wanted the laws to remain the same, while 55 expressed interest in fewer restrictions on burning.

This feedback, including comments from the community at pop-up sessions, has helped to shape the draft law.

The current Open Air Burning Local Law 2007 is set to expire in July. The current law cannot be extended, so must be reviewed and replaced before the end of the financial year.

A number of features of the current law are proposed to remain, such as a total ban on open air burning in Urban areas.

Residents can view the draft Open Air Burning Local Law and make a submission at yarraranges.vic.gov.au/haveyoursay.

Submissions can also be made in writing to PO Box 105, Lilydale or by emailing mail@yarraranges.vic.gov.au until 4pm on Monday, 7 May.

Frequently Asked Questions

12 result(s) found

  • Why change the laws around open air burning/burning off?

    Why change the laws around open air burning/burning off?

    The Open Air Burning Local Law 2007 expires in July 2018, This gives us the opportunity to review the law. We asked the community what they wanted to see remain or change in the law.

    Wehave used that feedback, state guidelines, internal reviews of our processes and CFA recommendations to propose a new Open Air Burning Local Law. 

  • What would change?

    What would change?

    Most of the fire restrictions under the old Open Air Burning Local Law remain the same in this draft, however there are small changes.

    - Permits for open air burning would be abolished. New exemptions in the law and self-regulation for larger rural properties will put the onus on residents to follow CFA guidelines

    - Burning would not be allowed on days where the wind speed is more than 10km/h, as opposed to 15km/h under the last version of the law. This would bring Yarra Ranges in line with CFA recommendations for safely burning off.

    - The open air burning exemption for barbecues would be extended to include manufactured fireplaces, such as chimneas and firepits for heating and personal comfort, provided no offensive smoke or smoke hazard is caused, and no unacceptable materials (such as plastics) are burnt.

    - Rural open air burning of windrows, large fires and multiple fires would be allowed without a permit, but with enforceable performance standards.

    - Open air burning time would be allowed until 7pm during Daylight Savings on permitted days

    - Open air burning would be permitted for seven days prior to the CFA’s declared Fire Danger Period, to allow for last-minute preparation works

    - New offences for Causing Offensive Smoke and open air burning on Council land and roadways (including nature strips and gutters) would be created.

  • What would stay the same?

    What would stay the same?

    Many components of the Open Air Burning Local Law would remain the same, such as:

    - Keeping the three Open Air Burning Property Categories: Urban, Residential Bushland, Rural

    - No open air burning allowed in Urban areas

    - Open air burning remains permitted in bushland areas on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Mondays

     

  • Why remove the need for permits?

    Why remove the need for permits?

    Out of the 54,000 households in Yarra Ranges, only nine permits were issued in 2017. The new system proposed would rely on residents adhering to the CFA’s standards for open air burning, such as clearing three metres around the fire, having the fire attended by an adult at all times and having water to extinguish the fire on hand at all times.

  • How can I have my say?

    How can I have my say?

    Residents will be able to make submissions until 4pm, Monday, 7 May. After this time, a public hearing will be held in early May, where the submissions will be assessed and responded to. In mid-June, Council will assess the draft law for approval. At this time, any proposed changes will be assessed, added or rejected. By 30 June, 2018, the final version of the Open Air Burning Local Law 2018 will be law.

    Public information forums will be held throughout the municipality.

  • Will there be public consultation on the draft?

    Will there be public consultation on the draft?

    Yes. Forums will be held at:

    - Healesville Memorial Hall from 6pm-7.30pm on Monday, 16 April

    - Monbulk Living and Learning Centre from 6pm-7.30pm on Wednesday, 18 April

    - Yarra Junction Community Link from 6pm-7.30pm on Thursday, 19 April

    Kimberley Place, Chirnside Park from 6pm-7.30pm on Monday, 23 April

    Residents are invited to attend these forums to hear more about the changes and to have their say on the draft local law.

  • When will this draft be finalised?

    When will this draft be finalised?

    We expect the draft law to return to Council in mid-June for approval. If there are any proposed changes to the law, they will be assessed here. If passed by Council, the law will come into effect by 30 June, 2018. 

  • How was this draft put together?

    How was this draft put together?

    Throughout 2017, we held 14 public pop-ups where people could comment on what they liked about current local laws, and what they would like changed – including restrictions on open air burning.

    We received 162 responses to an online survey, engaged residents on social media, placed advertisements in local papers and distributed handout materials promoting the consultation.

    As a result, 44 respondents wanted less open air burning or a complete ban; 63 respondents wanted the law to stay the same, while 55 expressed interest in fewer restrictions on open air burning.

    This feedback, including issues raised and potential solutions, helped to shape the proposed law.

     

  • I have a chiminea. Would I be allowed to use this?

    I have a chiminea. Would I be allowed to use this?

    Yes. Under the proposed Open Air Burning Local Law, the exemption for barbecues would be extended to include manufactured fireplaces, such as chimineas and firepits for heating and personal comfort, provided no offensive smoke or smoke hazard is caused, and no unacceptable materials (such as plastics) are burnt.

  • What can I burn off?

    What can I burn off?

    Open air burning is primarily for disposing of dry green waste, such as leaves and branches for fire prevention purposes in residential bushland and rural areas. Non-organic materials such as plastic, and wet green waste, are not permitted to be burnt as they pose an environmental risk from smoke or can cause offensive levels of smoke for nearby residents. Industries in the Yarra Ranges, such as wineries, can be severely impacted by smoke. One of the changes in the proposed law is creating a specific offence for Causing Offensive Smoke or a Smoke Hazard, which would allow our officers to respond to complaints about excessive smoke caused by inappropriate burning.

  • What are the proposed penalties?

    What are the proposed penalties?

    We’ve adjusted the penalties for breaching the Open Air Burning local law in the proposed draft. Under the proposal, penalties are reduced for low-risk offences, while repeat offences that result in a court hearing are still liable for the maximum penalties (fines of up to $2000).

  • How else can I get rid of green waste?

    How else can I get rid of green waste?

    Residents in some areas can dispose of green waste such as plants and weeds through fortnightly collection of a green waste wheelie bin. These bins are available for $79 for a 120L bin, or $85 for a 240L bin, which is added to the annual rates notice.

    Council also offers two bundled branches collections each year, before and during the fire danger period. With a 240L green waste bin and the two collections, residents are able to dispose of 12.24 cubic metres of vegetation every year without making a trip to the tip.

    Local waste transfer stations also accept green waste for a fee.

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Make a formal submission

In accordance with section 223 of the Act, any person wishing to make a submission on the proposal must do so in writing by 4.00pm on Monday, 7 May, 2018. All submissions should be addressed to the Chief Executive Officer, be clearly marked “draft Open Air Burning Local Law” and be submitted in one of the following ways: 

In person:

Civic Centre, 15 Anderson Street, Lilydale

By post:

PO Box 105, Lilydale VIC 3140.

By email:

mail@yarraranges.vic.gov.au

Or through the online form below.

If a person wishes to make a verbal presentation in support of their submission, or be represented by a person acting on their behalf, they should clearly state this in their submission and these persons will be heard at a meeting of the Special Committee of Council on a date to be determined by the Chief Executive Officer.

All submissions will be considered in accordance with section 223 of the Act. 

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