A record number of responses have been sent in to the City of Busselton amid backlash surrounding plans to change bushfire notices. The City’s review attracted significant community interest, with more than 1500 survey responses and 170 written submissions sent in by the community during its consultation period. The change, which was put to community consultation in May, proposed new requirements to remove or trim vegetation near houses, as well as increased requirements for firebreaks from 2022-23. At the time, the City was met with a big backlash amid fears the changes would cause the idyllic bush town to be bulldozed and possum habitats to be lost. Mayor Grant Henley said many concerns were unfounded, but conceded the City could have worded the aims better. He assured the community the City was aiming to find a sweet spot between bushfire safety and protection of the Busselton environment, “There were some elements in there we were able to better inform those affected communities and we certainly are aware we could have eliminated those concerns had we worded things differently,” he said. “So we’ve been able to address those concerns, and with regards to the rest of it we will be doing those workshops with the rural residential community and more consultation will be undertaken in the months prior to any council decision.” Initial analysis of the feedback indicated objections to the extent of vegetation clearing and management associated with changes to the asset protection zone. Concerns were also raised over the amount of clearing and costs associated with boundary firebreaks and general concerns regarding the impact on amenity, environment and financial implications. City of Busselton officers will now recommend that the council not introduce additional boundary firebreak requirements or proceed with the APZ requirements in the proposed notice. A report would be brought to a council meeting in July or August, with a revised proposal to be drafted later this year and further community consultation in early 2022.