Recent changes to the Rural Fire Service Vegetation Clearing Code leaves the tree cover and bushland of Hunters Hill vulnerable to destruction. We have been landed with a simplistic, destructive response to a complex problem.
Because of its interface with the Parramatta and Lane Cove Rivers, much of Hunters Hill’s unique character contributes to the wider character of Sydney harbour so it is recognised by the Sydney Regional Environmental Plan (Sydney Harbour Catchment) 2005. This aims to protect and rehabilitate watercourses, wetlands, riparian corridors, remnant native vegetation and ecological connectivity.
Of course we need to mitigate the potential impact of bushfires but this Code is not the way to do it
- The ‘fire prone lands’ have been vastly extended but there is no master plan or overall maps for people to view
- Indiscriminate and uncontrolled clearing will have a disastrous impact on heritage values and character.
- The impact on biodiversity, bird and animal habitat and wildlife corridors will be serious.
- Now that professional assessment and oversight has been removed, there will be more accidents, property damage, soil erosion and water pollution.
- Heritage items and significant trees now have no protection.
- The code undoes years of work to educate people of the importance of trees and vegetation in their gardens.
- Property owners can now pressure their neighbours to clear vegetation with the threat of a hazard complaint, leading to fights and disharmony.
- The code overrides Council’s tree and vegetation management controls.
Get more information and see if your house is included in the new zoning: Vegetation clearing tool