Changes to Victoria's bushfire planning provisions - Amendment VC109

Changes to Victoria's bushfire planning provisions - Amendment VC109

The Minister for Planning introduced Amendment VC109 to the Victorian Planning Provisions and all planning schemes on 31 July 2014. This amendment introduces several exemptions, and provides greater flexibility to landowners preparing a planning application for a new home, extension to an existing home, a subdivision, or a shed or other outbuilding under the Bushfire Management Overlay (BMO).

Under the amendment, where a planning permit has been issued under the BMO, further planning permission is not required by landowners in the General Residential Zone, Residential Growth Zone, Neighbourhood Residential Zone, Urban Growth Zone, Low Density Residential Zone, Township Zone, Rural Living Zone, Farming Zone or Rural Activity Zone to remove, destroy or lop vegetation associated with the creation of defendable space. In cases where the exemption applies, a vegetation offset is no longer required.

See below: Previous photos of wildfires and examples of the assessment of defendable space which includes consideration of off-site features such as golf courses, adjoining road and neighbouring properties (bushland areas).

Key considerations of Amendment VC109 include:

  • A Bushfire Management Statement (BMS) is still required under the BMO, even if the above exemption applies; 
  • Changes to the assessment and reporting standards required for the BMS, including the provision of ‘Alternative Measures’ to meet some bushfire protection objectives; 
  • Defendable space distances have been reduced to ‘inner zone requirements only
  • A permit is still required to subdivide land under the BMO; 
  • A permit is still required to remove native vegetation impacted by the footprint of any proposed infrastructure (i.e. dwelling, shed, driveway etc.); 
  • There are no transitional arrangements, therefore the new bushfire provisions will apply to all applications yet to be approved under the BMO;
  • The Country Fire Authority (CFA) is now a 'Recommending Referral Authority' for dwellings and subdivisions in the BMO, with Council having the responsibility to make decisions on planning permit applications relating to the BMP; and, 
  • The 10/50 rule and 10/30 rule still apply.

We continue to work with our Victorian clients under the recent changes to the BMO, and our experienced team of professional consultants take an active role in asssiting industry across Australia in the following areas:

  • Bushfire Ecology
  • Bushfire Protection and Assessment
  • Hazard Assessments and Mapping
  • Post Fire Research and Analysis
  • Strategic Bushfire Planning and Management 

For further information on our Bushfire Risk Assessment and Management Services contact us on 9377 0100 or email

For specific information relating to Amendment VC109 and how the changes are likely to affect you and your project, contact one of our specialist bushfire consultants in our Melbourne office on (03) 9377 0100.

Relevant link:
Amendment VC109

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