Fire prevention is a community responsibility. The Fire Rescue Victoria Act (1958) requires property owners and tenants to maintain their properties so that they do not become a fire hazard. From spring each year, Council officers inspect properties in the City of Whitehorse to ensure that long grass and any materials that may pose a fire hazard are removed.
Apart from the fire hazard, overgrown properties look unsightly and may attract snakes and vermin and detract from the amenity of the municipality.
If a Council officer thinks a property is a fire hazard a fire prevention notice will be sent to the landowner giving them a direction to remove the fire hazard from their land. If the fire hazard is not removed within the time frame on the notice, an infringement may be issued either under the Fire Rescue Victoria Act (1958) or the Whitehorse Community Local Law 2014 ( PDF 280.06KB).
You should also be aware that if a direction notice is not complied with, the land may be compulsorily cleared with all costs being passed onto the property owner, in addition to any fines issued.
Under the Fire Rescue Victoria Act (1958) you can be fined up to 500 penalty points if you allow their property to become a fire hazard. You should also be aware that if a notice is not complied with, the land may be compulsorily cleared with all costs being passed onto the property owner, in addition to any fines issued.
Maintaining your Property
Property owners are encouraged to implement a regular maintenance program on their property to ensure all long grass is cleared and other potential fire hazards are identified and removed without the need for Council intervention.
Grass should be cut and maintained to a height of 10 cm or less. Other potential fire hazards are stored dry grass, dry tree branches and dry or dead vegetation.
Council officers are happy to discuss suitable maintenance programs with property owners or any fire prevention issues.
Land owners can find contractors who can assist them in through an online search, local newspapers or the Yellow Pages. Council recommends that you ensure that any operator you engage has their own public liability insurance covering both personal injury and property.
Council does not accept any liability arising from work done by the operator engaged by any land owner. Council recommends that you ensure that any operator you engage has their own public liability insurance covering both personal injury and property.
You can find more information on how to prepare your property for emergencies such as fires, floods and storms from the Preparing for Emergencies page.
Reporting a Fire Hazard to Council
If you see a potential fire hazard, record the location, date, time and other important details and report it to Council so we can investigate and resolve the situation.
You can report the hazard three ways: