Reducing the risk of fire

Friday, 24 January 2020

The City of Greater Geelong has a clear role in the shared task of bushfire prevention and emergency management.

To support the Victorian Government and emergency services, we have extensive measures and initiatives to help prevent and prepare for fire.

While state agencies assume control during emergency responses, we take a strategic, proactive approach to reduce risks and protect our community. 

Some of this annual work includes:

Fire prevention notices:

As of mid-January, we have issued 1505 Fire Prevention Notices on land that is deemed a fire risk.

If the owner fails to respond, we hire a contractor to carry out the work.

The City’s annual property inspection program begins early November.

Starting in the municipality’s northern areas, our team aims to ensure as much of the grass is removed before the total curing of grasses.

Every three years, additional resources are used to visually inspect every property in Greater Geelong.

Permits to burn:

Outside of the fire season, we issue permits to burn for rural and peri-urban properties.

This allows residents to burn accumulated branches and tree limbs prior to the fire season, removing fuel from the environment.

We issued 1723 permits to burn in 2019.

Roadside management:

The City is responsible for maintaining roadsides along council-owned roads.

We work to reduce the volume of roadside material without negatively impacting on our native plants and animals that rely on these areas for habitat.

Slashing on more than 1100 kilometres of roadside begins in late Spring and is finished before Christmas.

We carry out inspections in January and re-slash as needed.

Work includes mowing exotic grasses, removing woody weed in protected native vegetation and pruning.

This is done to maintain clear sight lines for motorists and to reduce the fire risk.

Residents can report long grass or highlight fire risks via a service request at or 5272 5272.

Nature Reserves:

We manage about 1300 hectares of land across more than 100 nature reserves.

This include waterways and wetlands, bushlands and grasslands, and coastal reserves and foreshore.

Ranging in size from less than one hectare to 300 ha, the reserves provide vital habitat for vegetation and wildlife, including some that are threatened and extremely significant.

Our teams use multiple fire management techniques, depending on the location.

These include:

Grass mowing: Waterway reserves, such as the Barwon River, Waurn Ponds Creek and Armstrong Creek, have large areas of grass that are regularly mowed to provide a buffer.

Cleared and slashed breaks: In reserves such as Moonah Park in Barwon Heads, Bluff Road Reserve in St Leonards and Corio Grassland, a cleared break is maintained between the residential areas and the native vegetation, or a new break is slashed early summer.

Planned burns: We aim to complete at least two planned burns this fire season. In recent years, burns have been completed on the Old Melbourne Road and at Ripley Reserve in Balliang. Planned burns are led by the CFA.

Annual inspection and community information: Carried out with the CFA, the annual fire risk inspection at Kingston Park in Ocean Grove led to branches being pruned along a track, to ensure easy access for fire trucks. The outcome of the inspection was communicated to residents.

Biomass reduction: Extensive fuel reduction works are undertaken across many reserves, removing the biomass from woody weeds and exotic grasses such as phalaris. A $14,000 grant from the CFA was used to remove woody weeds from the Indented Head Woodland Reserve.

Greater Geelong Mayor Stephanie Asher

Our staff carry out a comprehensive range of fire prevention works on council assets and lead extensive measures on residential properties each year. To ensure our region is best prepared, everyone in the community must play their role. That includes adhering to total fire bans, using the Vic Emergency website or app and preparing your property and loved ones for a fire.

Page last updated: Friday, 24 January 2020