Millbrook Estate residents update - January 2020

Published: Tuesday, 14 January 2020 at 12:00:00 AM

Following meetings with Millbrook Estate residents in November and December 2019, the Shire is pleased to provide the following update on its actions, as part of the shared responsibility to prepare and prevent fire:

Verge maintenance works

The Shire comprises over 830km of road, with verges along these roads varying in terms of size, function and assets.

While the Shire (and local governments) do not have the resources available to maintain verges in front of private properties, it does seek to support adjoining landowners in maintaining their verge areas to acceptable levels. This is through providing education materials to residents, through constructing well designed infrastructure, and promoting verge tree subsidy programs and the like.

The Shire will take action on a verge in front of private property if it constitutes a significant sight-line hazard when at road intersections, or the slashing of drains and footpath edges if growth is causing obstruction to this infrastructure. The Shire has maintenance schedules for such works, but also welcomes residents reporting such action requests given the varying nature of vegetation growth that can occur across the district.

Verge maintenance by landowners is a key action that can assist in our shared responsibility towards bushfire preparedness and prevention. The Shire has, in the case of Millbrook Estate, secured a once off resource from Karnet Prison to undertake verge maintenance works in this rural residential. The Shire held the start-up meeting on Monday 13 January, and can advise that the works will be focused on under-pruning of vegetation to 2m followed by whipper snipping and slashing the grasses in the verge. The resource is only available for one week, and as a once off, and accordingly the Shire has asked for the workers to focus their efforts on Medulla Road verge.

The Shire hopes this assists residents in maintaining their adjoining verge area going forward.

EOI to create a Friends of Reserve Group to help manage the reserve

The Shire will be seeking expressions of interest from local residents of Millbrook Estate to help in maintaining the reserve that runs through the estate. Korribinjal Brook reserve would benefit from a partnership with local residents, where we could work collaboratively throughout the year to help control weeds, re-establish native plants and overall manage fire loads. The Shire hopes to attract local residents to assist in this project and will provide further information about how residents can register their interest.

Tree maintenance works and Telstra infrastructure

The Shire has been liaising with Telstra regarding their current overhead telephone line infrastructure, which runs along:

  • Jarrahglen Rise
  • Bullara Ramble
  • Medulla Rd
  • Marsh Court
  • Millbrook Close

The Shire notes this has been established at the inception of the subdivision, and Telstra would be best placed to define asset management regimes for their infrastructure. The Shire continues discussion with Telstra in determining a way forward in this regard.

Second access

This subdivision was approved by the State Government prior to contemporary planning requirements that dictate how bushfire risk should be managed. The Shire notes that, the new State Government Planning Policy 3.7 (Planning in Bushfire Prone Areas) requires the planning framework to carefully deal with subdivision in areas of fire risk, placing responsibilities on the subdivider of land to only be able to subdivide if risks can be managed.

The Shire will be researching how a second fire escape access can be secured for the estate. This will take time, and will require discussion with Council to determine how this can be funded and maintained.

Volunteer Bush Fire Ready Group

The Shire encourages residents to consider the support offered by the Volunteer Bushfire Readiness Group in respect of fire preparedness, prevention, response and recovery education. For assistance, please contact the group’s facilitator Meg Cooper on sjbfrg@outlook.com.

Further information

In the meantime, if you have any further questions, please contact the Shire at info@sjshire.wa.gov.au or by contacting us on 9526 1111.

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