The BMO mapping was updated in planning schemes across Victoria on
3 October 2017, via amendment GC13.

These important changes are about making new homes, our communities and the environment safer and more resilient to bushfire.

The mapping criteria were developed in partnership with the CFA and CSIRO as part of the Victorian Government’s commitment to implement all recommendations of the 2009 Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission. The updated criteria were applied in consultation with local councils.

Drawing showing a house with driveway and shed in a rural setting with some trees and hills behind

View the following to learn more about what the BMO means for you:

BMO mapping reviews

The BMO is reviewed twice a year on an ongoing basis.  The department has committed to working with local councils, emergency services and other key stakeholders to ensure the map is accurate and as up to date as possible. The first six-monthly BMO mapping review was undertaken following gazettal of Amendment GC13 in October 2017.

If a property owner believes that the bushfire hazard to the property no longer exists, they can request a review. An example is if a plantation has been harvested and returned permanently to pasture.

A request to remove the BMO from land can be made at any time by the property owner or local government. There is no fee for lodging a request to review the mapping.

A request to remove the BMO should be discussed with your local council before you lodge a formal request. Your council will give you general advice and may also consult with the CFA and the department. 

Providing the contact details of the relevant council officer with your request will streamline the process. It will allow the department officers to discuss your application directly with the council in a timely manner.

If the council supports your request, this can be added as a note or an attachment. This isn’t mandatory. A landowner can still submit a request without council support, however the department officers will consult with council.

The request can be submitted by council or the landowner directly to the department by emailing planning.systems@delwp.vic.gov.au.

The form below should be used to ensure all relevant information is supplied (including property address and photographic evidence showing the vegetation is no longer present).

A request to remove the BMO will be assessed against the mapping criteria set out in Fact sheet: Bushfire Mapping Methodology and Criteria (PDF, 332.5 KB) or (DOCX, 322.5 KB)

BMO criteriaDetail
Criteria 1 - Vegetation type and size
  • Forest, woodland, scrub, shrubland, mallee and rainforest vegetation that is 4 ha or more in size.
Criteria 2 - Ember buffer
  • A 150m buffer is applied from the edge of vegetation identified in Criteria 1.
  • This buffer ensures buildings are protected from ember attack from surrounding vegetation.
Criteria 3 - Extreme risk inclusions
  • Area that fire authorities have advised may be subject to extreme landscape bushfires. 
  • Factors such as slope, bushfire history and poor access may warrant inclusion.

The department will first visit the site for an initial assessment based on the agreed criteria, and then consult with fire and emergency services and council.

Requests for review that are approved by the department will be consolidated into a single planning scheme amendment. Regular amendments at six monthly intervals will be prepared by the department to update the BMO at no cost to local government or the public.

You will be notified by email of the outcome of the review for your property.

Page last updated: 07/08/20