Why do councils issue fire hazard notices?
All councils in Tasmania are required by law to issue a Hazard Abatement Notice when an inspection shows there is, or is likely to be, a direct fire hazard on private property that presents an immediate risk to life or property on adjoining land within their council area. This legislation, the Local Government Act 1993, also assigns councils with the responsibility to clear a hazard at the owner’s expense if the owner does not do so inside a specified time.
It’s my property, why can’t I decide what is a fire risk and what isn’t?
Property owners may determine for themselves how to manage their properties up to the point where it becomes a clear risk to their neighbours. The Huon Valley Council’s Inspectors are trained to recognise fire hazards and determine the most practical way to manage the hazard.
So how do they work?
If a fire hazard is located, a Hazard Abatement Notice will be sent to the property owner. This notice describes the hazard and sets the deadline for clearing it. If the hazard has not been properly cleared by the due date, a ‘Failure to Comply’ letter is sent. This gives the property owner notice that the deadline has passed and that the Huon Valley Council will now arrange a contractor to clear the hazard on the owner’s behalf. An invoice for the cost of the work will then be sent to the property owner.
I think there’s a fire hazard on someone else’s property – what do I do?
I received a Notice and I’m not sure what it requires me to do?
Can Council recommend anyone to do the work for me?
Council can put you in touch with a suitable private contractor for hazard clearing works.
I’m not going to be able to fix my hazard in time – what do I do?
You will need to contact Council’s Compliance Unit before the deadline to clear the hazard has passed. Each case will be assessed according to the circumstances.
What is it going to cost me if the Council clears the hazard on my property?
The costs vary depending on the size and type of hazard, the time required to clear the hazard and the equipment required.