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The most effective way to strengthen community resilience to bushfire is to direct settlement growth to locations with a lower bushfire risk.
The planning system encourages Council’s and permit applicants to engage early with CFA to ensure that new growth appropriately responds to bushfire risk.
Strategic and settlement planning - general principles
Primacy of human life is at the core of all strategic planning decisions. CFA encourages the following general principles to guide the development of strategic planning proposals:
- Direct development to locations of lower bushfire risk.
- Carefully consider development in locations where there is significant bushfire risk that cannot be avoided.
- Avoid development in locations of extreme bushfire risk.
- Avoid development in areas where planned bushfire protection measures may be incompatible with other environmental objectives.
- Design out risk and for reduction, resilience and response.
What are strategic planning proposals?
Strategic planning proposals can include:
- Settlement, structure and land-use framework plans.
- Planning scheme amendments that alter policies, zones and overlays in bushfire areas, including the Bushfire Prone Area (BPA) and Bushfire Management Overlay (BMO).
- The development of strategies and land use planning reviews
- Policy updates and creation
Key planning considerations
This clause requires planning and responsible authorities to prioritise the protection of human life over all other policy considerations in bushfire affected areas.
This clause provides the overarching policy that aims to strengthen the resilience of settlements and communities to bushfire through risk-based planning that prioritises the protection of human life.
Central policies that need to be addressed in various strategic planning proposals, including planning scheme amendments, structure plans, development plans and various strategies broadly relate to the following themes:
- Landscape bushfire considerations
- Alternative locations for development
- Availability of safer areas
- Access and egress options
- Site based exposure
- Areas of high biodiversity conservation value
- Risk increase
Any strategic planning proposal should address these policy areas. A good bushfire response incorporates appropriate design, policy and bushfire protection measures to reduce and manage risks associated with bushfire.
More information on planning schemes and relevant planning policy can be found on the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning website.