Hills couple ordered to pay $10,000 for failing to keep fuel load down

A well-managed firebreak at Lake Leschenaultia.
A well-managed firebreak at Lake Leschenaultia.

A Hills couple will have to fork out more than $10,000 in costs after failing to maintain fuel loads on their property.

The Shire of Mundaring has issued a reminder to residents to maintain firebreaks on their properties to help keep the community safe from bushfires.

It follows the recent prosecution of Stoneville residents who, under the Bush Fires Act failed to address firebreak, fuel load and building/asset protection zone issues at their property.

A Shire spokeswoman said in late 2017, the resident was issued with a notice requesting they undertake work to ensure the firebreaks, fuel loads and building/asset protection zone were adequate.

“Unfortunately this did not occur and an infringement notice was subsequently issued by the shire,” she said.

“The persons concerned elected to have the matter heard in court and a directions hearing was held in June 2018 in which a not guilty plea was entered.

“The case went to trial earlier this year and they were convicted.

“The court imposed a financial penalty and costs of approximately $10,000 were awarded to the shire.”

The spokeswoman said fire protection measures throughout the Shire must be maintained between November 1 until March 31 each year.

“The maintenances of firebreaks can be critical in an emergency situation as firefighting personnel may need to use the firebreaks to access fires,” she said.

“Also they need to be able to get their equipment to the affected area.

“Residents are also required to also clear any flammable material or obstructions (such as overhanging branches of trees) which may impede the travel of firefighters.”