Bushfire Management

Bushfire - NR LinksIf you are not using an accredited consultant odds on your BAL report rating is higher than it needs to be; costing you thousands in construction.

Bushfire is becoming more controversial with the push to make communities safer, even if CFA approves the report councils are starting to override this in reference to Clause 13.02 (Human safety). It is imperative that a conservative approach is undertaken in all aspects and high BAL levels avoided. It is moving to a landscape where some land will be undevelopable now and into the future.

Bushfire - NR LinksI am qualified to do Bushfire Management Reports having a degree- Post graduate Diploma of Bushfire Planning and Management (2013-2014) from Melbourne University.

Victoria has had a long history of catastrophic bushfires, the most recent of these, the Black Saturday bushfires of 2009 that claimed 173 lives. The state then asked for a Royal Commission into bushfires there were many recommendations. The planning scheme was amended as a result with new guidelines with human safety being a priority.

High risk and low risk areas have have requirements for Bushfire assessments. Low risk areas such as on the interface of urban areas or near grasslands are assessed at the Building stage. These reports (BAL reports) are less detailed and provide the Building Surveyor with the level of risk that the site is exposed too. Building Surveyors have discretionary powers under the Building Act in relation to the construction level on extensions below 25% of the existing house.

High risk areas are come under the Planning Scheme under the Bushfire Management Overlay (Bushfire Management Overlay). These are currently under review by the State Government and seem to be increasing in coverage. The changes are due out early in 2017. Bushfire Management Overlay require a detailed landscape assessment as to the level of risk posed by the landscape. This level of risk considers the risk of ember attack as the standard doesn't address this risk well and  it is important to have these reports undertaken by a qualified consultant, like myself. Properly assessing the landscape risk will ensure that the level of resilience your home has, is higher and more likely to be there when you come home. You can see in the picture below that this home owner came home to find her house destroyed note that the trees did not burn. This is most likely the affect of ember attack which has entered the home causing it to be destroyed. Currently 90% of homes in Victorian bushfires are lost solely from ember attack.


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So much can go wrong without the right urban and rural town planning advice and report preparation
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