BMO mapping likely to be updated in April 2017

Monday, 06 March 2017

State wide changes to the Bushfire Management Overlay (BMO) mapping and the State Planning Policy Framework - Bushfire are proposed to be introduced via a Ministerial amendment.

These long anticipated changes to the BMO mapping will be introduced following targeted consultation with local government which has been occurring since 2016. Some of the proposed changes are minor changes to BMO boundaries, while others are major changes to include new areas not previously covered.

Consultation process

Councils were invited to participate in mapping verification workshops between August and September 2016. Several Councils sought feedback from their community as part of this process.

Mapping criteria

The government has indicated that the purpose of the updates is to ensure that bushfire risk is clearly identified in the planning scheme.

The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning has indicated that the 2016 updates are similar to the draft BMO mapping prepared in 2013, although there are some differences.

Transitional arrangements

No transitional arrangements are proposed at this time.

BMO schedules proposed

The updated maps in most municipalities are associated with BMO schedules. The Department has indicated that where other BMO schedules have been developed, these would be introduced as soon as possible after any mapping updates.

The BMO schedules would specify a Bushfire Attack Levels (BAL) and other mitigation measures in various settlements and localities.

What the changes mean for Councils and landowners

Councils should:

  • review the mapping that is available on the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning's website here
  • consider the updated BMO mapping and how it affects land within the municipality and any areas where there may be competing policy objectives; and
  • attend a BMO training workshop which is proposed to be held between March and April 2017 and expressions of interest can be made on the form on the Department's website.

Landowners can review the updated BMO mapping and see whether their land would be affected.

If your land is affected by the BMO, landowners should note that:

  • a planning permit would be required for any works triggered by the BMO;
  • that there are no transitional arrangements so if you have a current permit application under consideration, this may need to be amended to address the BMO; and
  • you may require additional permissions for works which are subject to existing planning or building permits if they have not yet been acted upon.

Access to the updated maps and further information

To view a copy of the updated maps click here.

We are also able to provide advice in relation to the implications of the BMO mapping updates.

This article was written by Mark Bartley, Partner and Gabby McMillan, Solicitor who previously worked at the CFA and DELWP.

For further information please contact:

Partner | Melbourne
P +61 3 8644 3712
Partner | Melbourne
P +61 3 8644 3539
Special Counsel | Melbourne
P +61 3 8644 3414

For information on our Planning and Environment Group please click here.

Important disclaimer: The material contained in this publication is of a general nature only and is based on the law as at 6 March 2017. It is not, nor is intended to be, legal advice. If you wish to take any action based on the content of this publication we recommend that you seek professional advice.