CFA has a role in several aspects of the planning process in Victoria.
In statutory planning processes, CFA acts as a referral authority under section 55 of the Planning and Environment Act 1987 for different types of applications. These include:
- Development and subdivisions in the Bushfire Management Overlay
- Subdivisions where emergency access and water supply need to be considered
CFA provides advice to Councils (Responsible Authorities) on permit applications so that informed decisions can be made. Council is responsible for liaising with permit applicants; however they may be able to facilitate discussions between the CFA and applicants. Ultimately the Council is responsible for making the decision on permit applications.
In some circumstances CFA also provide informal advice to Councils in relation to planning applications. This may occur where there is no formal trigger to refer the application to the CFA but the Council recognises the need for some additional advice on bushfire or emergency service requirements.
In strategic planning processes, CFA is often consulted as part of the preparation of planning scheme amendments to ensure bushfire risk is considered at a strategic level. CFA also provides advice in relation to land use strategies and structure plans.