Access across Fire Trails and Reserves

This page provides information on how to apply for temporary access across our fire trails and reserves.

We do not automatically grant approval for access across fire trails or reserves.  Applications will not be approved where there is not an existing road or fire trail.  We will not approve requests for access across grassed areas or public thoroughfares.

You will need permission from us in the form of a licence for any of the following activities if you wish to cross community land:  Gaining access to private property, sewerage connection, access for excavator, removal of dead trees, fence maintenance or building works. 

Each request is considered on an individual basis. Please do not engage contractors until approval has been given. 

Before lodging an online application, you are welcome to contact us and ask to speak to a member of the Open Space Assets Unit.  

Public Utility and Public Domain Works

If you require access for public utility works, please contact the Open Space Unit to discuss these. You may not need to enter into a Licence Agreement but we may put conditions around access.

Works in public places, such as driveways, frontage works or access across nature strips, footpaths and laneways, are the responsibility of the Public Domain Services Unit.  More information can be found on the Public Domain Services webpage.

Application Process

Apply - Temporary Access across Fire Trail or Reserve

Council will only approve temporary access over fire trails or reserves where:

  1. There is an existing road or fire trail across the public open space;
  2. You have provided evidence of sufficient public liability insurance of contractors for $20 million (Certificate of Currency);
  3. If the access route is not on our land, you must have already obtained permission from the land owner (see Is it on Council land? below);
  4. You have paid the application fee and licence fee (see Fees below);
  5. A refundable bond has been paid to Council by the Applicant of a value determined by us;
  6. You have entered into a Community Land Short Term Licence Agreement with Sutherland Shire Council

Please allow two weeks for the application process.

Is it on Council land?

Before applying, please check the access route is on Sutherland Shire Council land.

You can do this by checking Shire Maps and selecting the Property Register layer and the RFS Fire Trails layer.  The access route must be on red or blue hatched land (Council land) and on a red line (fire trail).

If we don’t own the land, you need to first seek permission from the relevant landowner (i.e. State Government, Local Land Council).  If the access route is on Crown Land, you will need permission from the NSW Department of Planning and Environment.  This may take several months, if approved.

2022/23 Fees

Application Fee - $180 (a non-refundable fee for our time to investigate your application). 

Licence Fee (non-refundable).  Either a 1-5 day access licence - $231 or a 5-90 day access licence - $770.

Security Bond - $300 to $5,000 (individually assessed).  Your Security Bond will be refunded following a post-site inspection.




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More information

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Enquiries can be directed to Open Space Assets Unit on 9710-0333 or

Access to Fire Trail or Reserve

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