The Bushfire Management Overlay (BMO) allows schedules to be prepared that modify the State-wide provisions to include local considerations into the planning scheme.
The Department of Land, Environment, Water and Planning (DELWP) is currently updating the BMO mapping across Victoria which will also implement schedules for many areas in the BMO. More information can be found on the DELWP website.
Many of the proposed schedules were developed through the Streamlined BMO Schedule Project, led by CFA. You can find out more information about the Streamlined BMO Schedule Project.
What is the purpose of a BMO schedule?
Schedules contain locally-specific bushfire protection measures that replace those set out in the Victoria Planning Provisions (Clause 44.06 Bushfire Management Overlay and Clause 52.47 Bushfire Protection: Planning Requirements).
Bushfire protection measures can be tailored to:
- Make them responsive to the local context.
- Provide more certainty for landowners on how the relevant bushfire standards apply to their land.
- Provide guidance on how responsible authorities and fire authorities will exercise discretion when considering a planning permit application.
Schedules streamline the process for applicants, council and CFA by:
- Removing the need to carry out individual bushfire site assessments
- Detailing simpler application requirements
- Removing mandatory referral of applications to CFA if all of the requirements specified in the schedule are met.
What can a BMO schedule do?
A schedule may:
- Specify modified application and permit requirements.
- Include mandatory permit conditions.
- Set out requirements for referral and notice.
- Include decision guidelines for exercising discretion under the BMO.
A schedule can be enabling or mandatory
With an enabling schedule, a landowner can choose to accept the modified requirements in a schedule or default back to the State-wide BMO referral and assessment process to determine bushfire protection requirements. There is no reduction in landowner entitlements.
With a mandatory schedule, the modified requirements in a schedule replace the State-wide BMO requirements and must be used.
A schedule must have strategic justification
A schedule requires clear justification and must be able to demonstrate that bushfire protection through modified requirements continues to give effect to the State planning policy (specifically Clause 13.05) and the objectives of the BMO.
A schedule should also help to implement local bushfire planning policy. A BMO schedule cannot be used to reduce the requirements for bushfire protection measures or avoid the need to address key bushfire considerations.