The State Government requires people intending to build in designated bushfire prone areas to assess a property’s bushfire risk.
Those areas designated as bushfire prone have been indicated by the State Government Department of Fire and Emergency Services and can be viewed on the Department's website(open in new window).
The reforms include the need to undertake a bushfire attack level (BAL) assessment before commencing development in these bushfire prone areas. Depending on the outcome of the BAL assessment, additional construction measures may be required to limit the impact of bushfires on property.
The bushfire reforms only apply to new building and development in bushfire prone areas.
They are not retrospective so will not affect existing buildings or approved development. The bushfire planning reforms include State Planning Policy 3.7: Planning in Bushfire Prone Areas(open in new window) and the Guidelines for Planning in Bushfire Prone Areas(open in new window).
To determine if you are in a bushfire prone area, check Department of Fire and Emergency Services' Map of Bushfire Prone Areas(open in new window).
You will need to get an independent assessment to determine its vulnerability to fire.
The bushfire attack level assessment must be carried out by an accredited Bushfire Planning Practitioner to undertake a Bushfire Hazard Level assessment which will classify a property’s vulnerability according to several levels of risk. Depending on the level of risk determined, you may have to meet progressively higher building standards.
If you are proposing a single house or ancillary dwelling in an area of extreme bushfire risk (i.e. BAL-40 or BAL-FZ) you will also need to obtain Development Approval if the lot is greater than 1,100m2. If the lot is under 1,100m2, you will only need a Building Permit.
We strongly recommend you view the information on the Department of Planning website(open in new window), which includes a series of fact sheets that will provide more detailed information on the reforms and how they may affect any development you may be considering.