Bushfire Management Overlay Reform: removing the need for referral requirements

Overview


Red tape issue

Currently the Country Fire Authority (CFA) is required to assess relatively simple Bushfire Management Overlay (BMO) applications that are referred to it by local government. Where applicants are already engaging Bushfire Planning and Design (BPAD) accredited practitioners to maximise the amenity and safety of their proposed development this requirement leads to unnecessary duplication and delays.

The proposal is to allow appropriately accredited practitioners to provide advice and certify that BMO requirements have been satisfied, and to allow decision makers (local government) to make their decision based upon BPAD practitioner advice without referral to the Country Fire Authority (CFA). The CFA would still receive referrals where an appropriately accredited BPAD practitioner is not engaged, or for more complex applications.

Current status

This proposal for implementation would need further detailed investigation and discussion, led by fire service agencies in partnership with local councils and the development industry over the next 12 months. Key issues to be explored may include:

  • The number and availability of BPAD accredited practitioners operating in Victoria
  • The potential costs of such a service to planning permit applicants.
  • The Governance framework for policy and accreditation oversight.

Ongoing monitoring, reporting and compliance.