Bushfire risk sparks petition from locals

Bushfire risk sparks petition from locals

West Busselton residents whose properties back onto a reserve in Peppermint Park have submitted a petition to the City of Busselton Council to remove fuel load from the nature strip.

Jane Cummins said there was so much dead scrub, trees and stumps in the reserve it posed a bushfire risk and if there was a fire, there was no gate to access the area.

Ms Cummins said when she built her house she had to pay extra money to fireproof the property, however the reserve was only 7.5 metres away from her home.

She said there were many tall trees in the reserve that if a fire did break out the trees could potentially fall on her house.

"I have a petition from residents to remove trees to reduce the fire risk, it is too dangerous especially since all the fires there has been around Australia," she said.

"If a fire was lit we would all get burnt."

City of Busselton director of planning and development services Paul Needham said the reserve was identified as a high risk area on the bushfire risk management plan.

However, Mr Needham said the reserve also had to be kept as habitat for wildlife and they were restrained by state and federal regulations, and that the city needed to manage the area within its management plan.

Another resident Helen Stronach said if the undergrowth was not removed and there was a fire incident at the reserve wildlife would lose their habitat similar to what happened on the East Coast.

Ms Stronach said dead logs and scrub had been lying in the reserve for a long time which needed to be removed before a bushfire did spark.

"More than 100 houses back onto the reserve everyone is in the same boat, and we have all seen what has happened on the East Coast," she said.

"I would like council to know this is a serious issue which needs to be addressed.

"There has been a fire there which was lit by kids.

"The fire brigade came but the fire spread very quickly, we won't have enough fire trucks to control it.

"There are orchids in the area as well, we don't want them to burn, the reserve needs to be cleared out," she said.

Councillor Paul Carter said while he agreed with the residents, the city faced many obstacles in terms of environmental regulations to remove the fuel load.