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Story & photo by Cllr Mick Gallagher of Mt Colah
Many locals from Hornsby Shire, especially in the Beecroft-Cheltenham area, protested outside
NSW Parliament House on Tuesday 14 October 2014 against the Government’s 10/50 Vegetation
Clearing Code. This code allows the clearing in certain areas of all trees within 10 metres of a dwelling, and scrub/bush within 50 metres. I’m sure the intent of the code was to protect dwellings directly bordering bushland/bushfire prone areas, especially in rural areas. The code’s wording however has allowed vegetation removal in many of our suburbs where many residents consider the Code inappropriate for our ‘Bushland Shire’.
The code over-rides tree protection orders and heritage listings for trees. It is being used by some to remove
trees to enhance views and development potential, in areas where there is no impact on bushfire safety. Comments made to The Bush Telegraph Weekly by a tree lopper working in the Hornsby Shire confirmed that some residents were taking advantage of the 10/50 Code to remove trees for reasons other than fire mitigation, for example removal of trees obstructing scenic views. The Code was rushed through the NSW parliament with the support of the Liberal, Labor, & Shooters parties. Now due to public pressure the NSW Government is reviewing the code
but for many the damage has already been done and will continue until the Government repeals/amends the Code.
The issue was raised at the recent 2014 NSW Local Government
Conference in Coffs Harbour. Whilst we await a positive outcome for our Bushland Shire, keep in contact
with your Premier and local State MP on this issue. In the meantime, Hornsby Shire Council invites residents to attend a PUBLIC MEETING where Senior Rural Fire Service Officers will present an overview on the 10/50 Vegetation Clearing Code and its current review on Monday 3 November at 7pm in the Pennant Hills Bowling Club
Photo: Protesters against the 10/50 Vegetation Code @ NSW Government House, Tues 14 Oct 2014. L-R: Karin Olah (Paddington), Dane Pickering (Wyee Pt), & Geoff Dowsett (Pennant Hills). 




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