As opposed to a Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) Report, a Bushfire Management Plan (BMP) is a more complex report. A Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) assessment only takes into account vegetation present on site at time of assessment and cannot account for any clearing/management of vegetation in the future nor can it account for compliance with the State Planning Policy 3.7, the bushfire protection criteria or any mitigation with firefighting requirements on site in case of a bushfire. A Bushfire Management Plan (BMP) takes into account all of these factors making it a comprehensive document that shows the present and future conditions of site as well as the measures that are to be taken to safeguard the lives and property of the proponents.

The first element in bushfire protection criteria in the guidelines to planning in bushfire prone region is location. The intent of this element is to ensure that the development proposed is located in an area so the people and property are exposed to the least bushfire risk possible. A Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) above 29 is considered a high risk so the performance principle of this element states that any strategic planning proposal, subdivision or developmental application will only be accepted if accompanied by a bushfire management plan (BMP). This Bushfire Management Plan(BMP) must make recommendations in terms of location (and the other three elements) such that it achieves a Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) of 29 or less.

What this means in practice is that a development should not be proposed on a site that is in an area with a high bushfire risk and no measures can be taken to reduce the Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) rating. This also means that on a particular site, the building envelope must be placed such to achieve a maximum separation distance from unmanaged classified vegetation in all directions.

If there is a case in which a strategic planning proposal, subdivision or developmental application has a Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) rating of FZ or 40, and is regarded as a minor development or an unavoidable development, (as per the definition in the guidelines to planning in bushfire prone regions) then the application may be considered with the following requirements:

a) For minor developments, enough evidence is provided that the bushfire protection criteria have been met to the fullest (and justification is any of the criteria is not met) and that the bushfire hazard level of the site does not increase.

b) For unavoidable developments, proof should be given by the proponent as to why the proposal is an unavoidable development (this only refers to state infrastructure such as railways, power poles, police/fire stations etc.) and that no alternative location exists for this development.

Contact Green Start Consulting’s experienced team for expert advice on everything building industry related including Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) Reports, Bushfire Management Plan (BMP), Bushfire Management Statement (BMS) and Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) Contour Maps.

Due to constantly evolving legislation the information provided within this blog may no longer be valid. The advice given on this site is general in nature and does not take into account your specific circumstances. Please email one of our building surveyors to check what is right for you

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