In Albury and Wodonga different rules exist around how residents can reduce the risks posed by bushfire to their property.
A key action of the AlburyCity Biodiversity Strategy adopted in 2012 is to develop and implement a Fire Management Plan for the Albury area. This is still in process. Meanwhile, the council has developed a bushfire prone areas map based on vegetation type and density.
In addition, the NSW government has recently adopted a 10/50 Vegetation Clearing Scheme, which allows people in a designated area to clear trees on their property within 10 metres of a home, without seeking approval. People can also clear underlying vegetation such as shrubs (but not trees) on their property within 50 metres of a home, without seeking approval. You can find out if your property is in a 10/50 Vegetation Clearing Entitlement Area using an online tool.
In Victoria, 10/30 and 10/50 rules were brought in following the 2009 bushfires. These rules only apply to buildings already existing in 2009; newer dwellings have all been built to higher standards. The rules enable Victorian residents to manage vegetation around their existing dwellings for bushfire protection, without the need for a planning permit.
The ‘10/30 rule’ applies within Wodonga and allows residents to clear any vegetation on their property (including trees) within 10 metres of a house, and any vegetation except for trees within 30 metres for bushfire protection. The 10/30 rule only applies for vegetation on your own land.
The ‘10/50 rule’ applies to all areas covered by the Wodonga Bushfire Management Overlay to clear any vegetation on their property (including trees), within 10 metres of a house, and any vegetation except for trees within 50 metres for bushfire protection.
Throughout Wodonga, the ‘fenceline vegetation rule’ also applies to fencelines constructed prior to 2009. Provided you have the permission of your neighbour, you may remove or lop any vegetation for a combined width of four metres either side of a fence between your property and a neighbouring property.
Both the RFS (NSW) and CFA (VIC) have useful guidelines on how to prepare and maintain your property. Find them at http://www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/plan-and-prepare http://www.cfa.vic.gov.au/plan-prepare/prepare-and-maintain-your-property/