Based on the state bushfire strategies and the Building Act 1993, Victoria’s planning and building systems apply specific requirements to certain new uses, development and subdivision. The following requirements apply:
Clause 44.06 Bushfire Management Overlay
The Bushfire Management Overlay (BMO) regulates development on land with the potential to be affected by extreme bushfires. All BMO areas fall within a Bushfire Prone Area.
The BMO includes a statutory provision in planning schemes and a map showing where the provisions apply to land. Most development in the BMO requires a planning permit. The following issues will need to be considered: bushfire hazards, fire behaviour, building siting, defendable space and vegetation management, on-site static water supply and emergency vehicle access. In some circumstances where the development is associated with vulnerable or large groups of people, emergency management planning will be important in decision making.
Local planning schemes can include BMO schedules. These specify development requirements tailored to suit the local bushfire risk. A schedule is labelled as BMO followed by a number (e.g. BMO2) on planning maps and in planning schemes.
Find a BMO schedule in a local planning scheme at planning schemes online.
Clause 53.02 Bushfire Planning
Clause 53.02 Bushfire Planning sets out the bushfire protection measures and other requirements for development in the BMO. The application of bushfire protection measures, such as building siting, design and defendable space, ensures it responds to the bushfire hazard and protects human life.
The Building Act 1993 and Building Regulations 2018 specify requirements for some new buildings in designated bushfire prone areas (BPA). It is used to ensure that bushfire protection is considered as part of the building permit.
Bushfire construction requirements apply, referred to as the Bushfire Attack Level (BAL), to sensitive land uses such as residential buildings, schools and hospitals in the BPA.
A site assessment will be required to determine the BAL.
Where the site assessment is done as part of the planning permit, a second assessment is not required at the building permit stage.
Page last updated: 07/11/22