Wellington Shire Council is urging property owners to take advantage of No Fee Green Waste disposal this November, particularly when cleaning up properties to prepare for this summer’s high bushfire risk.
This year, authorities are warning a higher-than-normal potential for bushfire is likely across Gippsland, because of dry conditions, - especially where vegetation was unburnt during the 2019-20 fires.
The is also a high likelihood that the bushfire season will begin earlier, compared to the past two years, with above average temperatures and below average rainfall expected for almost the entire country for this coming season.
To assist residents with property clean-up, Council is offering No Fee Green Waste disposal at waste facilities in Kilmany, Maffra, Loch Sport, Seaspray, Heyfield, Stratford and Yarram between 1-30 November 2023. The Dargo Transfer Station does not accept green waste.
Wellington Shire Council Mayor, Cr Ian Bye urged residents to take advantage of No Fee Green Waste to ensure local communities are bushfire-ready this summer.
“It’s important we recognise this year’s elevated risk and respond accordingly by cleaning up properties and No Fee Green Waste during the month of November is a great incentive to do so” Cr Bye said.
Because of this year’s increased bushfire risk, Council officers will begin inspecting some 17,000 private properties as early as October for bushfire hazard reduction compliance. 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. Residents will have time to take advantage of No Fee Green Waste to help clean up properties ahead of summer.
Council reminds residents that Fire Prevention Notices are not a reminder, as fire risk reduction is a year-round responsibility belonging to every property owner.
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.
Truckloads of green waste will not be accepted at transfer stations. The fine for dumping green waste is currently $370, and court action may incur much more severe penalties.
Cleaned up properties must be maintained for the entirety of the Fire Danger Period. Penalties of $1,923 (10 Penalty units as set by the Department of Justice) can apply for failure to comply.
Property owners must apply for a permit to burn off during the Fire Danger Period via the Country Fire Authority (CFA). Outside this time, property owners may apply for a permit to burn through Council’s website. Permits will only be issued where there is no alternative to burning.
Victoria 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.
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.
To learn more about green waste disposal and accepted items visit www.wellington.vic.gov.au/environment/green-waste-disposal