You can apply for temporary access to fire trails and Council reserves if you need to carry out work on adjoining private land. Approval is decided on a case-by-case basis. Council will only approve requests for access across sealed roads or fire trails. We will not approve access across grassed areas or via public thoroughfares.

You must have permission from Council to cross community land to:

  • gain access to private property
  • access a sewerage connection
  • gain access with an excavator
  • remove dead trees
  • complete fence maintenance or building work.

Please do not engage a contractor until Council approval is granted. Before lodging your application, you are welcome to Contact us and speak to a member of the Open Space Assets team.

Please allow two weeks for the application process. We may approve temporary access where:

  • there is an existing road or fire trail across the public open space
  • you have provided evidence of the contractor's public liability insurance for $20 million with a Certificate of Currency
  • you have obtained permission from the land owner if the access route is not on Council land
  • you have paid the application and licence fees
  • a refundable bond of a value we have determined has been paid to Council
  • you have entered into a Community Land Short Term Licence Agreement with Sutherland Shire Council

Apply for temporary access across fire trails or reserves

Before applying

Before submitting your application, please ensure the access route is on Council land. You can do this by checking Shire Maps.

  1. select the Property Register layer
  2. then, select 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 Council doesn't own the land, you will need to seek permission from the relevant landowner. This may be the NSW Government or Local Land Council. If the access route is on Crown Land, you will need permission from the NSW Department of Planning and Environment. Approval may take several months.


Details of applicable fees and charges are available online. The 2023/24 charges are:

  • Application fee for our time to investigate your application:  $195
  • Licence fee: 1-5 days access - $228; 5-90 days access $780
  • Security bond (individually assessed and refunded following a post-site inspection) between $300 and $5,000.

Public utility works

For public utility works in parks and reserves, go to access for public utility works.

Private works across fire trails and reserves

For private works across our fire trails and reserves, such as tree removal or access with an excavator, to adjoining private land, go to temporary access across our fire trails and reserves.


Our Temporary Access across Fire Trails and Policy provides guidelines for the community.