Bushfire prone areas – approval requirements

A bushfire prone area is an area identified as being at risk of bushfire as designated by the State Government.

These areas can be seen on the Department of Fire and Emergency Services website.

Requirement for a bushfire attack (BAL) assessment

If you are proposing to build or start a business in a bushfire prone area you will need to undertake a bushfire attack level (BAL) assessment before commencing any works. These assessments are undertaken by a qualified Bushfire Practitioner. Depending on the outcome of the BAL assessment additional construction measures may be required to provide additional protection against bushfires.

The additional requirements for developing in a bushfire prone area applies to new works only and are not applied retrospectively.

Building a house in a bushfire prone area

A BAL assessment is required to be submitted with your building permit application if you are building a house in a bushfire prone area.

For grouped or multiple dwelling developments, a BAL assessment is required to be submitted with your development (planning) application.

If you are proposing a single house or ancillary dwelling in an area of extreme bushfire risk (i.e. BAL-40 or BAL-FZ) you will also need to obtain development (planning) approval if the lot is greater than 1,100 square metres. This is irrespective whether or not all other planning requirements have been met.

Other development in a bushfire prone area

If you are proposing any other new development in a bushfire prone area, you will need to undertake a BAL assessment and this must be submitted with a development (planning) application.

Further information

It is strongly recommended that you view the information on the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage website. This provides a series of fact sheets that will provide more detailed information on the reforms and how they may affect any development you may be considering.

Relevant contacts in relation to each element of the reform work being undertaken are listed below should you wish to seek further information.

Planning Policy Framework and LPS Amendment Regulations

Department of Planning
Ph: (08) 6551 9000

Map of Bush Fire Prone Areas

Office of Bushfire Risk Management
Ph: (08) 9395 9538

Building Regulations and application of AS 3959 building construction standards

Department of Mines, Industry, Regulation and Safety
Ph: 1300 489 099