Important Changes to the BMO

On Wednesday 28 May the Planning Minister outlined a number of changes to the Bushfire Management Overlay (BMO) that aims to provide a fairer system.

Key features of the reforms include:

  • Allowing private bushfire bunkers as an alternative safety measure, where there may be increased bushfire safety risks that need additional consideration;
  • Allowing vegetation clearance to achieve defendable space. The cleared area around a home is vital to protecting the home’s occupants. Vegetation clearance obligations (‘defendable space’) would be limited to the title boundary of the relevant property;
  • Ensuring the assessment of bushfire risk is consistent with the Australian Standard;
  • Allowing more sensible bushfire safety measures in new master-planned estates; and
  • Allowing homes to be built on ‘infill’ lots surrounded by other dwellings. Where a dwelling is allowed, it will be able to be built with a fair and equitable bushfire response.

For further details see the press release from the Minister.

We understand that details of the changes are expected to be gazetted state-wide in early July.

Date: 4 June 2014