Severe bushfire events in Victoria have been the triggers for major changes to government policy and strategies to support community resilience.  This includes reforms to planning and building systems where there is risk to life, property and community infrastructure.

Past bushfire inquiries and initiatives and their key planning and building responses include:

  • The Royal Commission into the 1939 bushfires recommended that sawmills be directed away from extreme forested environments and into settlements, a recommendation that was implemented.
  • The 1983 Ash Wednesday Bushfires initiated research which informed the introduction of Victoria's first bushfire-specific planning tool, the Wildfire Management Overlay.
  • In 2002 the Council of Australian Governments concluded that land use planning which considers natural hazard risks is the single most important mitigation measure in preventing future disaster losses in areas of new development.
  • The Royal Commission into the 2009 Black Saturday Bushfires resulted in comprehensive bushfire hazard mapping in both the planning and building system, improvement in the way the planning and building systems work together to manage bushfire risk and introduced the Bushfire Management Overlay.

Page last updated: 07/11/22