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Report of Operations 2007-08 - Land Use Planning

Consistent with the State Government's policy of cutting bureaucratic red tape, CFA has partnered with DPCD to amend the Victoria Planning Provisions of planning schemes and eliminate referral of straight-forward subdivisions.

CFA received a 'Cutting Red Tape' award from the Minister for Planning for its effort in streamlining the current land use planning process, a joint effort involving the Outer Metro Norwest Area and CFA Headquarters.

Four Wildfire Management Overlay (WMO) awareness sessions were conducted and two regional land use planning awareness sessions were held across the State to maximise awareness of structural and wildfire issues. The 'Building in a Wildfire Management Overlay' Applicants' Kit (2004) was updated and made more user-friendly.

As shown by the map at Figure 2, the process of mapping bushfire prone areas and introducing complementary WMOs into planning schemes is progressing State-wide. The number of WMOs to be gazetted increased from 17 in 2006-07 to 22 in 2007-08.

Figure 2. Status of Wildfire Management Overlays in Victoria

Status of Wildfire Management Overlays in Victoria

Property Bushfire Preparedness and Native Vegetation Management Project

In Victoria, vegetation management is a requirement of any new development in high wildfire risk areas. As such areas often have high conservation value, historically there has been conflict between the objectives for wildfire risk management and conservation. CFA initiated a project to address the community need for tools to reconcile the conflict.

Evaluation of the project pilot has been completed; this has informed CFA that a Whole of Government approach, at the local level, will maximise fire safety and environmental outcomes. This work formed the basis of a presentation, in Colorado in October 2007, to the 'Human Dimensions of Wildland Fire' conference of the International Association of Wildland Fire.

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