Rural Boundary Clearing Tool
The NSW Government has introduced a Rural Boundary Clearing Code to help landholders in identified areas remove vegetation from their property boundary to help prevent fire spreading.
The Code allows for clearing only in identified areas, such as areas which are zones as Rural, and which are considered bush fire prone.
There are environmental protections in place, and heavy penalties apply if you don’t follow these requirements.
The Boundary Clearing Tool will help you identify if the Code applies to your landholding.
The On-Line Assessment Tool ("Tool") is provided by the NSW Rural Fire Service ("the RFS") to help you to assess whether the Rural Boundary Clearing Code will allow you to clear vegetation on your property.
The New South Wales Government, the RFS and their employees and agents:
1. make no representations, express or implied, as to the accuracy, reliability or currency of the Tool or the information and data provided in connection with the Tool on this or any linked site; and
2. do not accept any responsibility or liability (including, without any limitation, liability for negligence) for any loss, damage, cost or expense you might incur whether directly or indirectly as a result of your use of or reliance on the Tool or the information and data provided in connection with the Tool on this or any linked site.
Use of the information provided by the Tool, including reliance on the Assessment Outcomes is at your sole risk. You should obtain further advice if you are uncertain about how any of the information provided by the Tool, including the Assessment Outcomes, applies to you or your property.
The Tool does not provide an assessment of the bush fire risk you may face on your property.
Find Your Landholding
You can check if the Rural Boundary Clearing Code applies to your landholding using the tool below. This tool works best on a desktop computer.
Your property is not in a Boundary clearing entitlement area. You cannot use the 10/50 exemption to clear vegetation on your property. Contact your local council or Local Land Services Office regarding any clearing authorisation required.
The address you have entered is located in a designated Boundary
vegetation entitlement clearing area. You must read the 10/50 Code of
Practice carefully to ensure that you are only clearing in accordance
with the Code.
However the following conditions apply:
Boundary clearing may be permissible/allowed under the Rural Boundary Clearing Code in these areas. You may only clear vegetation along your boundary in these areas in accordance with the Rural Boundary Clearing Code.
Clearing is not permissible/allowed under the Rural Boundary Clearing Code, as these areas are excluded from the Code.
Clearing is not permissible/allowed under the Rural Boundary Clearing Code in these areas, as the council has not opted in to the Rural Boundary Clearing Code.
The Rural Boundary Clearing Code is applicable to areas within your landholding marked as a Boundary Clearing Zone in the above map. Refer to the Boundary Clearing Fact Sheet for a summary of what is and isn't allowed within these regions. It is important to read the Rural Boundary Code carefully to ensure that you are operating in accordance with all the requirements.
Your Rural Boundary Clearing search result
You have conducted a search of the Rural Boundary Clearing online tool for the land identified in the map above. This search result is valid for the date the search was conducted.
Please retain a copy of this search result for your records as evidence the Rural Boundary Clearing rules were applicable to your clearing on the day you undertook the clearing.
You must read the Rural Boundary Clearing Code carefully to ensure that you are only clearing in accordance with the Rural Boundary Clearing Code. For more information see our frequently asked questions.
The Rural Boundary Clearing Code provides for landholders to clear any vegetation on applicable land within 25 metres of the boundary of their holding. The clearing must be on their own land. Applicable land is that land so mapped in this search result (as identified in purple shading).
The clearing may only be undertaken (where applicable) along the boundary of the landholding (as defined in the Rural Boundary Clearing Code). A holding includes a parcel of land or several parcels of land (whether held under the same title, different titles or different kinds of titles) that constitute or are worked as a single property and that are contiguous with one another or are separated from one another only by a road, river, creek or other watercourse.
The clearing of vegetation provided for under this scheme is for bush fire hazard reduction and clearing should only be done to the minimum extent necessary for that purpose. As such, a landholder is not required to clear the entire 25 metres in order for the clearing to be considered lawful.
You may only clear vegetation in accordance with the Rural Boundary Clearing Code, including (but not limited to the following conditions):
- You may not remove trees (or prune more than 25% of the original canopy) on slopes greater than 18 degrees except in accordance with conditions identified in a Geotechnical Engineer Assessment Report undertaken for that purpose.
- Mangroves and salt marsh may not be cleared. For more information refer to the Department of Primary Industries fact sheets on Mangroves and Coastal saltmarsh.
- Any areas mapped as protected riparian land in the online tool are excluded from the Code. In addition, clearing must not cause stream bank instability and any process that results in declining water quality for any lakes or rivers. Lake and river are as defined in the Code.
- Clearing under this Code cannot be inconsistent with any of the legal obligations such as land management agreements, conditions of development consent and Stop Work Orders) as identified under Clause 6.9 of the Code.
- Herbicides may only be used in accordance with the conditions under Clause 6.3 of the Code.
- Burning of standing or felled vegetation may only be undertaken in accordance with Clause 6.3 of the Code.
- Landowners have a duty of care to avoid cruelty and harm to native, introduced or domestic animals when clearing. Landowners who clear under the Code are not exempt from prosecution under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974 for harm to protected fauna, or for deliberate cruelty to animals under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1979. Operating in accordance with the Code does not absolve the landowner from their responsibility for avoiding harm to protected fauna or deliberate cruelty to animals. Note: ‘protected fauna’ is as defined in the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974.
Landowners have a duty of care in the appropriate management of soil
erosion and landslip risks when clearing under the Code and are not
exempt from liability. For example, action may be pursued by a party
that suffers as a result of a landslip due to actions taken on your
land. It is the responsibility of landowners to seek expert advice in
relation to these matters. The conditions below have been put in place
to assist landowners in the management of vegetation but operating in
accordance with these conditions does not absolve the landowner from
their responsibility for landslip and erosion issues. To manage soil
erosion and landslip risks:
- the clearing of native vegetation must be undertaken in a manner that minimises the risk of soil erosion and landslip, and
- the landscape profile may not be altered.
- Methods of clearing that are not allowable under this Code include the use of chains (such as those used between two separate machines).
- Landowners who are informed by the online tool that their land parcel may contain an Aboriginal scarred tree are required to determine if the tree/s they wish to clear meet the criteria of an Aboriginal scarred tree as described in the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment’s field manual for Aboriginal scarred trees in New South Wales. An Aboriginal scarred tree may not be cleared.
- Landowners have a duty of care to avoid harm to Aboriginal heritage when clearing vegetation in accordance with the Code. It is important that landowners are aware that use of machinery (particularly heavy plant) can result in harm to Aboriginal heritage. Landowners who clear under the Code are not exempt from prosecution under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974 for harm to Aboriginal heritage. Operating in accordance with the Code does not absolve the landowners from their responsibility for avoiding harm to Aboriginal heritage. Note: ‘Aboriginal heritage is as defined in the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974 . Landowners may avail themselves of relevant ‘defence’ provisions under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974.
The Rural Boundary Clearing Code was created to give land owners stronger protection against bush fires and was developed by the Government in response to community concerns after devastating bush fires in 2019/20.
It is recommended to select the Satellite view in the map above, and print in colour.