Fire Control

Fire Permits

Permits to burn are required for the whole of the Restricted Periods and can be obtained from the Shire of Harvey. For more information please contact the Administrator of Law and Safety Services on the number below.

Solid fuel barbecues can be used, but not on days when the Bureau of Meteorology has issued a fire danger forecast of catastrophic; extreme; or very high; or when the State Minister issues a total fire ban. Gas and electric barbeques are permitted at any time under certain conditions. Check before lighting up.

Fire permits are free, however you must apply at least 48 hours prior by contacting your Local Fire Control Officer, and be in attendance at the fire at all times.

Fire Control Officers

Contact Fire Control Officer between the hours of 9a.m. and 5p.m. Monday to Friday only and 48 hours notice is required prior to burning.
P.Simpson Leschenault 0419 989 660
M.Adams Binningup 0447 000 834
D.Swadling Myalup 0409 201 160
D.Wilson Yarloop 0409 406 393
P.Penny Yarloop West 0447 980 790
K.Prowse Uduc 0418 921 811
R.George Brunswick Town, Roelands and Olive Hill 08 9726 1132 

0417 173 553

V.Byrd Harvey Hills 0404 800 302
M.Hooper Cookernup 0435 224 912
V.Byrd Benger Only 0404 800 302
Council Staff Harvey Town 08 9729 0350
Council Staff Australind Town 08 9729 0350

Council Officers

Administrator Law and Safety Services 08 9729 0350

Permit Issuing Only

Scott Frater (Ranger) 0419 047 528
B.Steers (Ranger) 0438 944 259
J.Scotland (Ranger) 0418 934 942
Contact Person: Administrator Law and Safety Services
Contact Phone: 9729 0350
Contact Email: shire@harvey.wa.gov.au

2016/17 Fire Season Burning Periods

Below is an extract of from the Shire of Harvey’s Fire Break Brochure with pre-set prohibited and restricted burning period dates which are subject to extension depending on weather conditions.


Fire Control

Firebreaks and fire prevention measures

Fire prevention measures must be completed and all properties (including residential, commercial, industrial and vacant land) cleared of fire hazards on or before 30th November 2016 to reduce the risk of fires during the bushfire season. Properties must remain free of hazard until the 26th April 2017. Properties with a land area of less than 2024m2 are required to remove all flammable material (except living trees). Properties with land area greater than 2024m2 are required to install and maintain a 2m wide mineral earth firebreak. Fire breaks shall be cleared by means of ploughing or cultivating so that the fire break is totally clear of all flammable material (living or dead). More information can be found in the Shire of Harvey Fire Break Order.

Shire of Harvey advises property owners each year by way of advertising in the local newspaper, website and mailing of the Fire Break Order either with the annual rate notices or separately. Property owners who do not comply may be fined a minimum of $250.00 and required to meet Council’s cost to ensure the property is fire safe.
Shire of Harvey Rangers commence property inspections on the 1st of December each year to ensure they comply.

Advice on how to protect your home and when, what and how to burn is available from the Shire of Harvey’s Administrator of Law and Safety Services.

Attachments (click to download)

Message from the Water Corporation

The Water Corporation is prepared for bushfire season however we cannot guarantee that water pressure or water supply will be maintained in the event of a bushfire. We will always do all that we can to maintain supply however fire damaged infrastructure or a cut to power can result in a total loss of water. If scheme water is available during a bushfire it is a bonus for property protection efforts, but it is not something that can be relied upon. People who plan to stay and defend their property during a bushfire need to have their own independent water supply and pumping capability, and must not rely on the public water supply. Full details about how to prepare for the bushfire season can be found on the DFES website: dfes.wa.gov.au


Emergency WA Website

On Sunday, 23rd October 2016, the Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) launched the Emergency WA website www.emergency.wa.gov.au.

Emergency WA is the product of the DFES Critical Messaging Project. It will publish warnings from DFES and Parks and Wildlife for all hazards, as well as a ‘live feed’ of incidents reported to triple zero.

The site has a map-based display with the best available emergency information from across the State where you can access information about fires, floods, storms, earthquakes, tsunamis, hazardous material incidents and traffic crashes.

This easy-to-use site will provide better access to emergency information with its feature-rich, map-based format. It will also host a suite of resources to help the community prepare for emergencies including bushfire, which were previously available from areyouready.wa.gov.au.


SUBMISSION TO THE ECONOMIC REGULATION AUTHORITY

REVIEW OF THE EMERGENCY SERVICES LEVY

The Shire of Harvey appreciates the opportunity to comment on the current review of the Emergency Services Levy being conducted by the Economic Regulation Authority.

The Shire is generally supportive of the retention of the ESL in its present form, however offers the following comments, in particular in respect of its distribution and the proposed introduction of a Rural Fire Service.

This submission was endorsed by Council at its meeting of 21st February 2017.

ESL Expenditure Allocation Priorities

Council is of the view that front line services, which include both mitigation and response, should be the primary areas of ESL allocation. To see more than half of the ESL collected allocated to “Employment Expenses”, in the main of DFES, was not what the ESL was originally set up for.  Similarly, an amount of $8 million in 2015/16 (2% of the total pool of funds) was allocated to “Accommodation”.

DFES employment costs should be allocated from Consolidated Revenue. This includes the operations of the Office of Emergency Management and Office of Bushfire Management.

Of the $376.8 million of expenditure of the ESL in 2015/16 only $35.6m (9.4%) was returned via grants. Again this is not what the ESL was set up for.

ESL Expenditure Allocation South West

The below table represents the South West region in 2015/16 where $57.78 million was collected and only $2.26 million (1.18%) was returned.

Shire Total ESL collected ESL Grant % less Capital Op less capital op %
Bunbury $33,174,991 $195,872 0.59% $130,817 $65,055 0.20%
Capel $3,783,117 $689,215 18.22% $618,500 $70,715 1.87%
Collie $3,019,257 $93,990 3.11% $18,055 $75,935 2.52%
Dardanup $3,595,301 $401,760 11.17% $0 $401,760 11.17%
Harvey $7,494,512 $287,300 3.83% $96,000 $191,300 2.55%
Murray $5,083,222 $417,260 8.21% $198,830 $218,430 4.30%
Waroona $1,637,905 $176,130 10.75% $151,100 $25,030 1.53%
Total $57,788,305 $2,261,527 3.91% $1,213,302 $1,048,225 1.81%

Proposed Rural Fire Service

Council has already stated its position that it supports a Rural Fire Service, as a separate entity to DFES, and that the new entity should be adequately resourced. Should a Rural Fire Service be established an equitable funding source will need to be put in place.  It is noted that the ESL was not set up for, or contemplated funding a Rural Fire Service.

Fire Mitigation Works on Government Land

There needs to be a clear link from ESL funding to Bushfire Mitigation for State Government Land and the agencies that control such land. These include Main Roads WA, Railway Reserves, Water Corporation, Department of Lands among others.  This also includes a strategy for fire mitigation works on Federal Government Land such as defence reserves and airports.

Government agencies who own the risk are reluctant to fund mitigation and subsequent on ground applications which is understandable as it is not part of their core business. Unless there is legislative change these agencies should be included in the ESL categories and levied to fund mitigation programs.

Transparency and Accountability

  1. The process of both collecting and distributing ESL funds should be completely public with statistical data produced indicating where funds are sourced from and where funds are allocated. The entire process should be open to scrutiny for all stakeholders including local governments and members of the community.
  2. Having a fully transparent process would identify any leakages from the ESL and highlight exactly what services are funded through the ESL. For example Marine Rescue would be better funded through a levy on boat registrations giving a more user pays system rather than the ESL paying for a service which is generally only applicable to boat activity.
  3. Contributions from Government property, Government Trading Agencies collected directly by Treasury should be accounted for and reported to ensure full transparency in the process.
  4. When the ESL was introduced in 2003/04 the State Government gave an understanding that the subsidy payment being made to top-up funds for the Fire and Rescue Service of the day would continue. In 2003/04 this was approximately $40 Million injected into the ESL pool. Over time this has been reduced or offset on expenditure by the State on emergency management. In 2015/16 the subsidy is approximately $5 Million. This should be examined both from a transparency and leakage of revenue perspective.

Local Governments as the ESL Collection Agency

  1. It is recommended that as part of this review that the State takes steps to publicise the fact that the ESL is NOT part of local government rates. This perception remains because local governments collect the ESL on behalf of the State Government.
  2. The Administration fee paid to local governments for the collection of the ESL should at least meet the cost associated with the collection process and be indexed up as costs increase. The Administration fee has progressively decreased, and is around 30% less than what it was in 2004/05 despite the quantum of ESL significantly increasing over this time. Please refer to the below table.
  3. Local governments should not be left with accounts outstanding and associated costs where the ESL has not been paid by the ratepayer, but has already been remitted to the State Government (DFES). The way the system is set up throughout the State (Option B) sees any default on ESL payments being met by funds from the local government. This is fundamentally wrong as the local government is the collection agency only and should have no exposure to bad ESL debts. Option A is a time consuming and prohibitive method of collecting and administering the ESL.

Growth of the ESL

The ESL should be able to grow in funding take as subdivisions and a greater land bank eventuates through natural growth. This growth should meet increased front line demand for services required by greater area and population.  Any growth in ESL revenue should not be siphoned off to administration or non-front line areas.

Adopted at Council Meeting 21st February 2017