Since 1 August this year new legislation has been in place that allows property owners to remove trees and vegetation from around their homes without consent to protect them from bushfire risk. Known as the 10/50 Rule this entitlement has resulted in the loss of many significant trees in Mosman. Of the more than 100 trees that have been removed that council is aware of, none have been removed for reasons of bushfire protection.
Removal is driven by development potential and the perceived nuisance of a tree, such as leaf litter. The cumulative impact of such action will gave a devastating impact on the scenic foreshores of Mosman and the amenity Mosman residents collectively enjoy.
The NSW Rural Fire Service which is responsible for the 10/50 Rule is undertaking a review. Council will consider a report and draft submission at its meeting on 11 November. Council strongly opposes the use of the 10/50 Rule in Mosman and is seeking exemption to ensure that tree removal requires a permit.
Submissions will be accepted by the RFS until 14 November. You can find out more at http://www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/plan-and-prepare/1050-vegetation-clearing