Shoalhaven City Council values the contribution trees make to the natural and built environment of our City. Trees in our urban areas contribute to the look and feel of our city and provide a link between our built environment and our National Parks and Nature Reserves. This link benefits our community and the native wildlife that utilise our urban environment.
New Rural Fire Service 10/50 vegetation clearing laws
New laws are now in place that allows residents in certain areas to clear vegetation from around their home.
The new laws allow people in a designated 10/50 Vegetation Clearing Entitlement Area to:
- Clear trees on their property within 10 metres of a home, without seeking approval; and
- Clear underlying vegetation such as shrubs (but not trees) on their property within 50 metres of a home, without seeking approval.
The NSW Rural Fire Service (opens new window) has an online tool (opens new window) where you can find out if your property is in a 10/50 Vegetation Clearing Entitlement Area.
The new laws are supported by the 10/50 Vegetation Clearing Code of Practice (PDF, 450kb).
If you are concerned that vegetation on land near you may be placing your property at risk from bushfires, you can request an inspection by an officer from the NSW Rural Fire Service by lodging a Bushfire Hazard Complaint (opens new window).
If you are not comfortable using computers or do not have access to the internet you can contact the Shoalhaven District office of the NSW Rural Fire Service by phone on 4424 4424.
Tree removal / pruning
The Shoalhaven City Council Tree Preservation Order requires land owners to obtain approval before removing or pruning trees on their land. To make it easier for land owners to manage risks on their land some trees are exempt from the Order and can be removed without consent.
Trees and neighbours
Trees can unfortunately cause dispute between neighbours for a variety of reasons. Residents often contact Council to express their concerns about a neighbour’s tree in the hope that Council will mediate or resolve the matter by requiring their neighbour to carry out work.
Shoalhaven City Council’s Tree Management Policy does not give Council the authority to direct any resident to remove or prune a tree. Council is also unable to mediate between neighbours as it is a civil matter that should be resolved between neighbours or through the Land and Environment Court.