Wellington Shire Council is urging property owners to prepare for the 2022/23 summer bushfire season with No Fee Green Waste disposal at landfills and transfer stations between 1 -30 November 2022.
Over two weeks from 2 November, Wellington Shire Council officers will begin inspecting 17,000 private properties for bushfire hazard reduction compliance, starting at high-risk areas such as Loch Sport, Paradise Beach, Golden Beach and Yarram, then moving onto the rest of the Shire.
Properties must be prepared before the annual inspections take place, and maintained for the entirety of the Fire Danger Period. Council will issue the owner of any property identified as posing a potential fire risk with a Fire Prevention Notice, with instructions to clean up. Set by the CFA, penalties of $1,849 can apply for failure to comply with these notices.
To assist residents with property clean-up, Council is offering No Fee Green Waste disposal at facilities in Kilmany, Maffra, Loch Sport, Seaspray, Heyfield, Stratford and Yarram during November. The Dargo Transfer Station does not accept green waste.
Wellington Shire Council Mayor Ian Bye urged residents to take advantage of No Fee Green Waste ahead of summer, particularly after a wet winter and spring has resulted in plenty of growth.
"This initiative is a great opportunity for people to take advantage of in order to ensure their properties are bushfire-ready this summer."
This year, preparing for the Fire Danger Period will also include familiarising yourself with the new Australian Fire Danger Rating System being rolled out across Australia, which now only includes four stages: moderate (plan and prepare), high (be ready to act), extreme (take action now to protect your life and property), and catastrophic (for your survival, leave bushfire risk areas early).
Residents should reduce fire hazards by slashing grass, bracken or weeds, especially around buildings and fences. Undergrowth, fallen branches, garden refuse and tree cuttings should be removed, while tree branches and shrubs should also be pruned.
Truck loads of green waste will not be accepted at our transfer stations.
The fine for dumping green waste is currently $370, and court action may incur much more severe penalties.
Police will actively investigate burning off in the fire danger period, and heavy fines may be imposed on any person burning off without a permit.
Property owners must have a written permit to burn off within a town area. Permits will only be issued where there is no alternative to burning.
Under no circumstances does a Fire Prevention Notice give direction or permission to remove whole trees or disturb soils.
For more information about fire preparedness visit www.wellington.vic.gov.au/fire and to learn more about green waste disposal and accepted items visit www.wellington.vic.gov.au/environment/green-waste-disposal