New rules for burning off, including no longer requiring permits and adding exemptions for firepits and chimneas are being proposed by Yarra Ranges Council in a new Draft Open Air Burning Local Law.
Residents will be able to make submissions until 4 p.m. Monday, May 7 Submissions will be assessed at a public hearing in May before the final law is recommended to Council for approval in June.
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 expires in July. The current law can’t 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, by emailing email@example.com until 4 p.m. on Monday, May 7.