The Safety on Public Land Act 2004 (SPLA) addresses public safety in state forests by providing for the establishment and enforcement of public safety zones.

The SPLA (Section 4(1)) creates a provision to declare public safety zones.

The intent of public safety zones is to:

  • protect flora and fauna — for example, to allow rehabilitation of a site in a heavily used area or, to allow for forest regeneration following a bushfire or other disturbance
  • protect water, soil, natural, cultural or historical values such as: restricting access to water supply infrastructure; to minimise soil erosion following heavy rainfalls; or to temporarily restrict vehicle traffic to a historic mine or other place of significance
  • better manage public recreational activities such as restricting access to allow for preparation for public events such as car rallies, music festivals or orienteering events
  • protect sites where scientific or research investigations or educational activities are being conducted
  • allow the orderly and safe management of fuel reduction and fire suppression activities
  • maintain public safety in events such as landslips, floods and at times of Code Red, fire danger rating forecast

Public Safety Zones for declared Code Red Fire Danger days

We are responsible for the declaration of Code Red public safety zones. Overview maps and gazette notices of the current state forest public safety zones in the Bureau of Meteorology Weather Forecast Districts for Code Red fire danger-rated days are located on the Closures of parks and forests page

Public Safety Zones for Planned Burning and other fuel reduction activities

DELWP is responsible for the declaration of public safety zones for planned burning and fuel reduction related actives. Overview maps and gazette notices of the current state forest public safety zones are located on the Closures of parks and forests page

Timber harvesting safety zones

Active timber harvesting coupes are hazardous work sites that must be carefully managed to ensure safety. Significant public safety risks occur when unauthorised persons enter timber harvesting areas. Everyone has the right to work in safety and the government has introduced new measures designed to deter unauthorised entry into timber harvesting areas.

On 28 May 2014, amendments to the Sustainable Forests (Timber) Act 2004 (SFTA) became effective. The SFTA now provides for the establishment of timber harvesting safety zones