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Extreme Weather Conditions, Fire and Snake Risk

  • Contractors are reminded of their responsibilities in managing worksites to avoid the accidental ignition of a fire, as we head into potentially very dry and extreme weather conditions over the next 6 months.
  • Standard Specifications 09 Landscaping.
    Contractors are reminded as per the TCCS Standard Specification 09 Landscaping to ensure all grass areas are watered as necessary to keep it moist until germination and placement of grassing on Consolidation.
  • During consolidation
    Grassed areas shall have a healthy and vigorous grass sward appropriate to the area. Trees and shrubs shall show signs of healthy vigorous growth. Trees shall be appropriately staked and, in dryland grass areas, have a suitably sized watering basin intact and weed free.
  • Mowing
    The first mow and any subsequent mowing shall be carried out at intervals to maintain grass at a height in the range 40-75mm at all times during the Contract period. This will also assist in the spotting of snakes.
  • Staff should be advised through inductions and start up meetings about the possibility of snakes on site and to avoid them where possible and alert others if a snake is sighted.

Use of Plant and Equipment during the fire season

  1. Contract plant including but not limited to dozers, graders, backhoes, mulchers, slashers, front end loaders, chippers, utes must be equipped and maintained in order to minimise the risk of igniting a fire, and have the capacity to extinguish a fire either on or caused by the machine.
  2. Plant and equipment use that may cause accidental ignitions must be suspended when the local area Fire Danger Index (FDI) exceeds 25, except as permitted under conditions 6 to 8 below. The local area FDI may be based on weather data from nearby fire towers, weather stations or local observations. Fire towers will broadcast FDI on an hourly basis.
  3. Contractors are responsible for monitoring FDI and notifying operators working on their sites when the FDI exceeds 25.
  4. The Bureau of Meteorology Fire Weather Forecasts indicate the hours during which the FDI is expected to exceed 25. Machinery may operate from early morning until the time where the FOi is forecast to exceed 25.
  5. Where machinery has operated for part of a day and subsequently been closed down by the FDI exceeding 25, a machine operator must remain on site for a period of not less than 30 minutes after the close down of the machine to ensure no fires ignite from their operations.
  6. On days of Total Fire Ban (TOBAN), graders, asphalt pavers, dozers, front-end loaders, rollers, brooms and backhoes may continue to work on ACT roads in urban areas only (within the built up areas of Canberra, and not in rural areas).
  7. On days of TOBAN, bitumen spraying can continue in urban areas only (within the built up areas of Canberra, and not in rural areas) on ACT roads or worksites.
  8. Works involving welding and oxyacetylene cutting may only be carried out where a tanker is on site and has watered the site down first.

Your assistance in ensuring your company takes all care and responsibility under the contract to avoid the accidental igniting of a fire is greatly appreciated.

Yours sincerely


George Tomlins
Executive Director Infrastructure Finance and Capital Works
Chief Minister, Treasury and Economic Development
25 September 2018