Council is likely to adopt a new local law next week, after receiving almost 120 submissions outlining resident's concerns.
Hepburn Shire councillors will consider approving the draft Local Law No. 2 at Tuesday night's council meeting.
Residents have raised concerns about elements of the law that would prevent them from collecting materials from the local tips to re-purpose, growing plants on their nature strip and collecting firewood from public land.
This is the second draft officers have put before council, revised following an extensive 10 month community consultation period.
While on the surface, the revised draft does not feature wholesale changes, we are committed to working closely with the community on the policies and guidelines that underpin the Local Law No.2.Cr Licia Kokocinski, Hepburn Shire Mayor
Hepburn Shire Council chief executive officer Evan King said council had listened to and read community concerns and some changes had been made.
Mayor Cr Licia Kokocinski said council had tried to strike a balance between local sentiment, safety, compliance and amenity.
"We have incorporated changes that reflect community feedback, including changes to the use of the term public place, foraging, riding horses and vehicle repair," she said,
"We acknowledge the community's desire to improve environmental outcomes, and we maintain our commitment to sustainability."
The most submissions were received on a law regarding firewood collection and foraging, objecting to restrictions on fruit picking on public land and restrictions on firewood collection.
Council responded by removing the restriction on fruit picking, but maintained the collection of firewood would require a permit.
Mr King said council would work with community after the local law was passed to determine the conditions required for a permit.
"We understand firewood is an important part of our community, particularly our low socio-economic community that uses it for heating, and we are not blind to that," he said.
"But without this local law we become liable for their actions, including if they are hurt, because it is council land."
More than 40 submissions were made raising concerns about the need for a permit to plant on nature strips.
Council's response, as detailed in the report, said policy guidelines would be developed to ensure appropriate vegetation is planted to manage risks to traffic, powerlines and pedestrians.
"If there is no control and inappropriate plantings are left until they become an issue to powerlines or traffic / pedestrian hazards, the community will bear the cost, through rates or utility prices or litigation," the report said.
Residents made 48 submissions raising objections to a law restricting scavenging from transfer stations, saying council should support goods being re-purposed and recycled.
In the report, council said transfer stations needed to be safe work sites, and council could be liable for people injured while scavenging if it was removed from the local law.
Mr King said council would work to create policies to support the continuation of re-purposing and re-using items from the transfer stations in a safe manner.
"That might be tip shops or putting scrap metals into piles that are safe to collect from. We could even have a process in place where if someone sees something that has some purpose, a staff member could go out and collect it," he said.
Cr Kokocinski said while on the surface, the revised draft did not feature wholesale changes, council was committing to working with community on policies and guidelines that underpin Local Law No.2.
"It's these policies and guidelines that provide flexibility to better address some of the concerns of community members," she said.
Local laws last for 10 years. Hepburn Shire's previous local law ceased in November 2019.
The review of the local law began in February 2019 with councillor workshops, community input, forums and targeted stakeholder engagement.
The full revised draft of Local Law No.2 can be viewed on the Hepburn Shire Council website.
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