Development in bushfire prone areas

This information sheet provides an overview of development in bushfire prone areas. Both the planning and
building systems regulate the construction of habitable buildings in areas at risk of bushfire. The Building
Regulations 2004 provide the following definition of a bushfire-prone area

bushfire-prone area means-

  1. land that is within the boundary of a bushfire·-prone area shown on an overlay on a planning scheme map;
    and
  2. where there is no overlay on a planning scheme map, or where the land is outside the boundary of a
    bushfire-prone area shown on an overlay on such a map, land that is within 100 metres of an area of bushfire·
    prone vegetation equal to or greater than one hectare;H

Council’s planning schemes do not provide an overlay on a planning scheme map and therefore it is clause (1)
that is relevant.

If you are within a bushfire-prone area and are proposing to construct or extend a habitable buildings you will:

  • be subject to minimum construction standards imposed by the Building Code of Australia; and
  • have to satisfy the relevant provisions of the planning scheme.

To do so it will be necessary to engage an ‘accredited person’ who has the appropriate qualifications and indemnity insurance to assess your level of bushfire risk and what management measures need to be put in place.

‘Accredited persons’ are accredited by the Tasmanian Fire Service.

The 100m distance is derived from reviews of the 1967 Tasmanian brushfires and other events which showed that 85% of destroyed dwellings were within 100m of bush.

If your development is not in a bushfire-prone area you may still wish to consider bushfire risk as a bushfire may still pose a significant risk to life and property.

The Tasmanian Fire Service provide a range of information including Guidelines for Development in Bushfire Prone Areas of Tasmania which can be found at vvwvv.fire.tas.gov.au or by calling 1800 000 699.

Please Note: The information provided in this guide is only intended to be a summary. All applications are considered on their individual merits and therefore situations may vary. It is recommended that you seek independent professional advice if you have any queries.

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Development in Bushfire Prone Areas