Firebreaks contribute to the protection of vegetation from bushfires in the dry season.

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What are firebreaks?

Firebreaks isolate separate areas by wide strips designed to reduce or halt the progression of fire in bush, pasture, forest or vacant land.

What am I required to do?

All owners or occupiers of land within the City of Melville are required, prior to 15 November of each year, to clear flammable matter from their land and maintain this until the 30 April of the following year.

Land which is 1,500 square metres or less in area OR which is zoned Residential is to be cleared of all flammable matter from the whole of the land except living trees, shrubs and plants under cultivation and lawns. 

Slashing and removal of long stnading grass on the entire block and verge to ground level would be considered an acceptable means of removing flammable material from the property.

Flammable matter includes:

  • longstanding grass,
  • weeds,
  • boxes,
  • cartons,
  • paper,
  • rubbish and
  • also any combustible matter. 

All other land in excess of 1,500 square metres is to have firebreak of a minimum width of three metres inside all external boundaries of the properties.

Please note that if you have an approved building licence that has been issued by the City of Melville and construction has not commenced by 15 November of the year, you are required to comply with the Bushfires Act and clear the land.

Please also note properties with houses are also required to comply with the Bush Fires Act 1954 by removing all flammable matter from the property and verge prior to 15 November each year.

What will the council do?

  • The City of Melville will send out a written notification to maintain the land in October each year. All Firebreaks on vacant land must be completed by 15 November each year and maintained until 30 April the following year and are not required or enforced at other times.
  • Rangers will inspect the properties during November/December to ensure compliance.
  • Should you fail to install the firebreak or clear land of flammable matter you will be liable for an infringement of $250 or a fine with a penalty of up to $5,000 as well as the cost of performing the work.

It is important to note that the burning of rubbish, refuse, vegetation or offensive matter is prohibited within the City of Melville except where written approval has been issued by Health Services for use of an approved incinerator unit.

See Local Law Relating to Firebreaks for more information on requirements.

If you have an enquiry please contact customer service on 1300 635 845 or 

Lodge an online request