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Amendment GC13 – Bushfire Management Overlay (BMO) Mapping Update to Improve Community Resilience to Bushfires

The Victorian Government is acting to make new homes, our communities and the environment safer from bushfires. The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) has reviewed and updated bushfire hazard mapping in the planning scheme. This mapping updates the Bushfire Management Overlay (BMO) and has been done in partnership with the Country Fire Authority and Council.

The update was a key recommendation of the 2009 Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission, and ensures consistent bushfire mapping and planning policies apply across the state. These mapping changes apply criteria developed by the Victorian Government, the CFA and CSIRO.

The updated mapping was introduced into the Mount Alexander Planning Scheme by Planning Scheme Amendment GC13 which came into effect on 3 October 2017. The amendment also applied to 63 other councils in Victoria.

What is the BMO and what does it aim to achieve?

The BMO is a planning control applied to land with the potential to be affected by extreme bushfires.

The BMO helps make new homes, our communities, and the environment safer and more resilient by establishing specific requirements for new land uses and developments.

These requirements ensure that bushfire hazards, such as vegetation, slope and site access, are assessed and bushfire protection measures are implemented to manage risk.

How did the BMO mapping change in our Shire?

The BMO does not affect all land in our Shire. The changes to the mapping have occurred in the following ways:

• Some properties that were previously included in the BMO area have been deleted.
• Some properties that were previously outside the BMO area have been added.
• Some properties remain in the BMO, with no change to the area affected.
• Some properties remain in the BMO but the area affected may have changed.

This map provides an overview of how the BMO has changed.

While existing homes and approved developments are not required to make changes, in future a planning permit may be required to subdivide land, build a new house or significantly extend an existing house on land affected by the BMO. The planning permit will ensure that bushfire hazards such as vegetation, slope and site access are assessed, and that safety measures are in place to manage bushfire risk. This is in addition to any other relevant planning controls that may already apply to the property.

If your land is in an area identified with the potential to be affected by extreme bushfires, it is strongly recommended that you have a bushfire survival plan in place, obtain advice on appropriate building insurance, and prepare your home and property to manage bushfire risk.

Even if your land is no longer included in the BMO, it may still be in a Bushfire Prone Area. Future building works must be built to the appropriate bushfire construction standard as required by the Building Act and regulations. It is strongly recommended that you still have a bushfire survival plan in place, obtain advice on appropriate building insurance required in a Bushfire Prone Area, and prepare your home and property to manage bushfire risk.

How do I check if my property is affected?

You can check if your land is covered by the BMO using one of the State Government’s mapping tools:

VicPlan
Planning Maps Online

More Information

For information on mapping criteria, planning permit requirements and general enquiries, please visit this website.

Information for Landowners
Frequently Asked Questions

If you have specific questions about the BMO, contact the Planning Department on 5471 1700 or send a online request.

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