Practice and advisory notes
The department's planning practice and advisory notes provide advice about the bushfire planning provisions:
- Practice note 64: Local planning for bushfire protection, (PDF, 479.2 KB) or (DOC, 630.5 KB)
An overview of the considerations that can support local planning for bushfire protection, information to assist councils to tailor the Local Planning Policy Framework in response to bushfire matters, and guidance on how to prepare schedules to the Bushfire Management Overlay.
- Advisory note 46: Bushfire Management Overlay mapping methodology and criteria, August 2013 (PDF, 157.1 KB) or (DOC, 150.5 KB)
An outline of the mapping methodology and criteria used to determine where the Bushfire Management Overlay (BMO) will apply.
- Advisory note 39: Amendment VC83 – Bushfire protection: Vegetation exemptions, November 2011 (PDF, 775.1 KB) or (DOC, 72.0 KB)
Information about planning scheme provision, Clause 52.48 Bushfire protection: Exemptions, which provides vegetation removal permit exemptions around buildings used for accommodation and along fence lines.
- Advisory note 33: Amendment VC83 – Bushfire protection: Community fire refuge and private bushfire shelter exemptions, November 2011 (PDF, 663.2 KB) or (DOC, 72.0 KB)
Detail about the new planning permit exemptions for buildings and works associated with a community fire refuge and a private bushfire shelter.
- Technical Guide: Planning Permit Applications in the Bushfire Management Overlay (PDF, 2.0 MB) or (DOC, 7.1 MB)
Advice on preparing and assessing an application under Clause 44.06 Bushfire Management Overlay
Fact sheets and guidelines
- Planning and building for bushfire protection, November 2011 (PDF, 353.4 KB) or (DOCX, 31.0 KB)
This fact sheet sets out the key elements of the Integrated Planning and Building Framework and provides useful information for those about to apply for a planning or building permit.
- Information about some of the terms associated with bushfire and relevant agencies is explained in
A guide to bushfire tools and products, January 2013 (PDF, 351.9 KB) or (DOC, 64.0 KB)
Agencies and authorities
Other useful information about bushfire preparedness can be found on these websites:
- 2009 Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission
The 2009 Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission investigated the causes and responses to the bushfires which swept through parts of Victoria in 2009. The Commission delivered its Final Report on 31 July 2010 and it is available on their website.
- Victorian Building Authority
The Victorian Building Authority is a statutory authority that oversees the building control system in Victoria. For those who currently live, or plan to build, in a Bushfire Prone Area they provide information on the many precautions you can take to help protect your home and maximise your safety.
- Country Fire Authority
The CFA provides a range of risk reduction, fire suppression and incident management services to minimise the impact of fires and other emergencies on Victorian communities.
- Department of Justice
Further information on the government's approach to fire safety can be found at the Department of Justice web site. This includes the government's buy-back scheme for bushfire affected properties.
- Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning
The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning is Victoria's lead government agency for sustainable management of water resources, climate change, bushfires, public land, forests and ecosystems. It's emergency planning and recovery programs assist Victoria's rural landholders to prepare for natural disasters and support during and after an incident with pest and animal control, erosion protection and other issues.
- Emergency Management Victoria
Emergency Management Victoria coordinates integration between the fire services, emergency management partners and the community.
- Metropolitan Fire Brigade
The MFB provides fire and rescue services, undertakes building inspections and fire investigation, and contributes to development of regulation, codes and standards, fire prevention and risk management and increasing community education and awareness.
- Insurance Council of Australia
The Insurance Council of Australia is the representative body of the general insurance industry in Australia. See their Bushfire preparation web page.
Bushfire planning training is being offered in 2018 to support people with a role in the design or regulation of development in bushfire prone areas.
The 2009 Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission recognised that land-use planning can play a role in strengthening community resilience to bushfire. The Commission recommended that bushfire is considered at different stages of the planning process and that the planning and building systems are better integrated. Protection of human life is to be the overriding objective of planning for bushfires.
2018 Bushfire Planning and Management
University of Melbourne
Now is the time to update your planning qualifications with the University of Melbourne's Graduate Certificate in Bushfire Planning and Management.
The program has been developed in collaboration with the Victorian Building Authority, Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, Country Fire Authority and Fire Protection Association Australia.
Specifically designed for those with a role in the design or regulation of development in bushfire prone areas. The certificate course delivers the knowledge and skills required to undertake bushfire assessments under the requirements of Australian Standard 3959-2009 and planning permit applications within the Bushfire Management Overlay.
On completion of the Graduate Certificate in Bushfire Planning and Management students may be eligible to progress to accreditation through the Fire Protection Association Australia.
The Planning Institute of Australia awarded the program a commendation in the Cutting Edge Research and Teaching Award of 2014.
Subsidies are available for eligible students undertaking the Graduate Certificate course.
Fire Protection Association Australia is the peak technical and educational fire safety organisation who also provide training and accreditation.
Visit University of Melbourne's course webpage to learn more.
Regional bushfire planning assessments (RBPAs) map where a significant bushfire hazard may affect land use planning, and identify features such as settlements, urban interfaces and single access roads. They are a resource to assist councils to support community resilience to bushfire with their strategic planning such as preparing a planning scheme amendment.
Preparation of the RBPAs addresses Recommendation 38 of the Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission report.
Note: these maps were developed in 2012 and are intended as a guide only. Refer to the Bushfire Prone Area (BPA) and Bushfire Management Overlay (BMO) maps for the latest information.
An accessible Word version of each RBPA containing the introduction, municipal overviews and locality descriptions is provided below however, mapping is a significant feature of the RBPAs. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you require assistance with accessing the RBPAs.
RBPA: Barwon South-West RegionThe Barwon South-West Region RBPA covers the municipalities of: Colac-Otway, Corangamite, Glenelg, Greater Geelong, Moyne, Queenscliffe, Southern Grampians, Surf Coast and Warrnambool.
RBPA: Gippsland RegionThe Gippsland Region RBPA covers the municipalities of: Bass Coast, Baw Baw, East Gippsland, Latrobe, South Gippsland and Wellington and French Island.
RBPA: Grampians RegionThe Grampians Region RBPA covers the municipalities of: Ararat, Ballarat, Golden Plains, Hepburn, Hindmarsh, Horsham, Moorabool, Northern Grampians, Pyrenees, West Wimmera and Yarriambiack.
RBPA: Hume RegionThe Hume Region RBPA covers the municipalities of: Alpine, Benalla, Greater Shepparton, Indigo, Mansfield, Mitchell Moira, Murrindindi, Strathbogie, Towong, Wangaratta and Wodonga.
RBPA: Loddon Mallee RegionThe Loddon Mallee Region RBPA covers the municipalities of: Buloke, Campaspe, Central Goldfields, Gannawarra, Greater Bendigo, Loddon, Macedon Ranges, Mildura, Mount Alexander and Swan Hill.
RBPA: Melbourne Metropolitan RegionThe Melbourne Metropolitan Region RBPA covers the municipalities of: Banyule, Brimbank, Cardinia, Casey, Frankston, Hume, Knox, Manningham, Maroondah, Melton, Mornington Peninsula, Nillumbik, Whittlesea, Wyndham and Yarra Ranges.