Useful Information

Roadside Vegetation management

1. Tree Preservation Order

A Tree Preservation Order applies to all lands within the towns and villages within the Shire, and to all reserves vested in Council's control, including road and recreation areas.

This prohibits the ring-barking, cutting down, topping, lopping, removal, injury or wilful destruction of any tree over the height of 3.7 metres or a branch spread exceeding 2.4 metres in diameter except with written consent of the Council. There are severe penalties for any breach of this order.

What do I need to do if I want to lop or remove a tree on my property?

If the tree is not exempt in accordance with Council's Tree Preservation Order, you need to complete an application form and pay the required application fee to Council. An application form can be downloaded HERE or obtained from Council's Customer Service Counter.

What happens next?

A Council officer will carry out an inspection of the tree to determine if it is necessary and appropriate to remove or lop the tree. You will be advised of Council's decision in writing.

What if the tree is on a neighbour's land or on other private property?

If the tree is on a neighbour's land it is necessary to contact the owner and discuss the need to to have the tree removed or lopped. If the owner agrees to have the tree removed or lopped, it will still be necessary for the owner to obtain an approval from Council where required.

Would I be able to clear my block of land to prepare the site for building before I put plans into Council?

NO. You can not clear the site prior to the approval of a development application and construction certificate.

Contact details

Development Services

02 6972 2266 (ph)

02 6972 2145 (fax)

council@blandshire.nsw.gov.au

2. Overgrown Vegetation

What constitutes an overgrown property?

An overgrown property may be vacant, residential or commercial land which, in the opinion of an authorised Council Officer, may be: * Likely to be a breeding place or harbourage for vermin because of grass, weeds, plants or other vegetable growth in large quantities. * A fire hazard.

What do I do if I have a concern?

If you have a concern please contact Bland Shire Council on (02) 69722266 to lodge a customer service request.

What action does Council take?

A Council officer will conduct an inspection to determine if the property is overgrown. If the officer deems the property to be overgrown a Notice may be served on the owner or occupier. This notice will require the owner or occupier to carry out works to clear and remove the vegetation to Council's satisfaction.

What happens in the event of non-compliance?

If the owner or occupier does not clear the land within the time frame specified on the Notice, Council may issue a Penalty Infringement Notice.

What happens if I receive a Notice?

If you receive a Notice, you will be required to carry out all work within the time specified in the Notice. You can contact the officer who inspected your property and advise them on your proposed course of action.

For further information please contact Bland Shire Council on 69722266 or PO Box 21, West Wyalong NSW 2671.

3. Mosquito Advice

21 November 2016

NSW Health is urging people to safeguard against mosquito bites after a marked increase in detections of the mosquito-borne Ross River and Barmah Forest viruses compared with this time last year. Stephen Doggett, Senior Scientist at NSW Health Pathology, said recent flooding in Western and Far Western NSW had caused a proliferation in the number of mosquitoes. “With added swarms of mosquitoes we have detected Ross River Virus and Barmah Forest Virus in mosquitoes in Forbes, Griffith, Leeton, and Moama,” Mr Doggett said. “Ross River and Barmah Forest viruses are spread by bites from mosquitoes that have fed on animals that carry the virus. “These viruses are not fatal to humans but they can cause persistent and debilitating symptoms such as joint aches and pains, fever, chills, headache and sometimes a rash. “The rash usually disappears after seven to ten days, but some people may experience these symptoms for weeks or even months. “So far this season, NSW Health has seen 63 confirmed cases of people with Ross River and Barmah Forest virus and expects heightened activity in the coming months. “There is no specific treatment for these viruses. The best way to avoid infection is to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes.” Mr Doggett urged people to take simple precautions against mosquito bites, particularly in coming weeks with weather warming up and many people spending the upcoming Christmas holidays outdoors. “It is possible that these mosquitoes could be carrying even more serious viruses like Kunjin and Murray Valley Encephalitis, so people should take extra care to prevent bites.” Simple steps to avoid mosquito bites include: • Screening all windows and doors to prevent mosquitoes from coming inside. • Avoid being outside unprotected, particularly during dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active. When outside cover up as much as possible with light-coloured, loose-fitting clothing and covered footwear. • Apply mosquito repellent regularly to exposed areas (as directed on the container). Repellents containing Diethyl Toluamide (DEET) or Picaridin are best. Repellents containing oil of lemon eucalyptus or p-Menthane-3.8-diol (PMD) also provides adequate protection. • Don’t use repellents on the skin of children under the age of three months. Instead use physical barriers such as netting on prams, cots and play areas for babies. • Light mosquito coils or use vaporising mats indoors. Devices that use light to attract and electrocute insects are not effective. • When mosquitoes are present inside the room, use over the counter insecticide sprays, especially behind furniture and dark places. • When camping, use flyscreens, or sleep under mosquito nets. • Limit the number of places around your home for mosquitoes to breed by getting rid of items that hold water or by emptying the containers. For more information visit http://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/factsheets/Pages/mosquito.aspx

4. Bushfire Safety

The NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) has initiated the 'Prepare Act Survive' public awareness campaign, including the provision of a Bush Fire Survival Plan, which can be completed by residents in bushfire prone areas. The NSW RFS has also upgraded its public website and significantly enhanced the capacity of the NSW 1800 bush fire information line (1800 679 737) to ensure that bush fire warnings and information are as widely available as possible.For more information visit the RFS website

5. Burn Bright - Information on Wood Heaters

Wood heating is a great way to heat your home. However, smoke from wood heaters can also be a major source of pollution. It can also be a health hazard because wood smoke can contain fine particles and toxic compounds that can cause respiratory problems.

Wood only burns properly if your fire is getting enough air. If wood doesn't burn properly then it releases gases and particles that are carried into the atmosphere in the smoke. Your fire is burning well if the embers are glowing and there are bright swirling flames.

By following these simple tips your wood heater will generate heat more efficiently and produce less smoke, which has benefits for you as it saves on running costs, and benefits for the community as air quality will improve.

Quick Tips to Burn Bright

  • Use several small logs instead of one large one and stack them loosely so that air can circulate around them.
  • Use seasoned, untreated wood. Unseasoned wood contains moisture which causes smoke. Using the right wood will result in a cleaner, hotter more efficient fire.
  • Don't burn rubbish, driftwood, painted or treated wood.
  • Get a hot fire going quickly and use plenty of paper and small kindling to start. Place paper on top of the kindling as well, as this will heat the firebox faster.
  • Open air controls fully when lighting and loading and keep air controls open long enough to ensure your fire is burning brightly.
  • Increase the air supply if your see your chimney smoking.
  • Maintain a bright flame, never let your heater smoulder.
  • Check your chimney regularly, if there is a lot of smoke then increase the air supply to your fire.
  • Have your chimney cleaned regularly to prevent the build-up of creosote and soot.

6. Roadside Vegetation Guide

Please refer to related information below to access the Roadside Vegetation Guide.

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