The Victorian Coalition Government today announced the introduction of new controls in the Victorian Planning Provisions to increase the protection of Victorians from bushfires.
“The new planning provisions give priority to the protection of human life and the safety of Victoria’s communities. This has been central to every response we have delivered, in line with the Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission recommendations,” Minister for Planning Matthew Guy said.
The bushfire protection measures provide clarity for development in bushfire areas including:
- Introducing new standards for siting a house to achieve better bushfire resilience.
- Replacing the Wildfire Management Overlay with a Bushfire Management Overlay ensuring bushfire protection measures for new development are better considered.
- Continuing the application of the 10/30 vegetation with the exception of the 21 metropolitan municipalities (not affected by bushfire controls) and in the areas of highest bushfire hazard.
- Areas with the highest bushfire hazard will have a new 10/50 vegetation rule introduced that enables landowners to create more defendable space without the need for a permit.
- Enabling a single bushfire site assessment for new buildings at the building or planning stage.
- Ensuring all newly created lots in bushfire areas are capable of being built upon.
Mr Guy also announced a time extension on permit exemptions for people living in temporary accommodation in bushfire affected communities until 30 April 2013. This will give those individuals and families extra time to resolve longer term building plans.
The government has allocated $2 million to support councils to deliver the new bushfire planning provisions and is conducting an ongoing training and education program for council officers which commenced this week.
“These new bushfire planning provisions will improve the preparedness of Victorian communities for the impacts of bushfire,” Mr Guy said.
The areas covered by the new Bushfire Management Overlay remain unchanged, and their integrity maintained through a verification process that will be completed at the local level after discussion with councils and the Country Fire Authority about local circumstances.
The new planning provisions come into force Friday 18 November 2011.