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State-wide Bushfire Management Overlay changes
March 9, 2017

The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) are proposing to update Bushfire Management Overlay (BMO) policy and maps in the Wellington Planning Scheme, and other Planning Schemes across the State.

These state-wide reforms are expected to take place in April 2017 via a Ministerial Planning Scheme Amendment.

Wellington Shire Council Mayor Carolyn Crossley said: “The Victorian State Government is proposing to update the BMO mapping to ensure that all areas of extreme bushfire hazard in Victoria are covered and that bushfire risk is clearly identified and adequately considered in planning applications for any new development.”

The key affected areas in Wellington Shire include parts of Loch Sport; Golden Beach; Paradise Beach; Hollands Landing; Port Albert; Robertsons Beach; Yarram (Buckleys Island Road); Heyfield (near Golf Course Road and Broberg Close); Glenmaggie and Briagolong (abutting the Red Gum Reserve).

“Importantly, it is expected that new development will be approved in these areas, but it will be a matter of obtaining a planning permit under the BMO to ensure that the bushfire risk is appropriately managed,” says Mayor Crossley.  

As part of the upcoming changes, Council has been working closely with the Country Fire Authority (CFA) to develop BMO ‘schedules’ in as many of the affected areas as possible which will help streamline the planning permit application process.

This will be achieved by identifying standard BMO requirements ‘up front’ (e.g. amount of water supply to be made available, required construction standard for new development, etc) rather than each applicant having to identify these requirements from scratch.

Further information about the proposed state-wide reforms can be obtained at or by contacting the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning on 1300 366 356.

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