Black Saturday prompts new building rules

Black Saturday prompts new building rules

31 July 2009

published by

Australia —

The devastating Victorian bushfires earlier this year have prompted the Tasmanian Government to introduce new rules about where and how new homes are built.

The State Government’s draft report reviews construction and development control in bushfire prone areas.

The Chief Officer of the Tasmanian Fire Service John Gledhill says people do not often think of the impact fire could have on their homes when they are building them.

He says the biggest challenge for firefighters is a lack of defendable space.

“The most important factor is separation from the bush, what’s going to burn,” he said.

The Premier David Bartlett says there will be costs for householders involved with the new codes but he says they are justified.

“What costs are Victorian communities paying now for the tragic loss of life and property?”

The review is now open for public and industry consultation and the government expects the building codes to be in place before next summer.

Stuart Clues from the Housing Industry Association has criticised the Government for releasing the draft review, claiming there has been insufficient consultation to date.

“The HIA, the Tourism Council, the MBA, and a number of other associations all put on the table a range of concerns relating to the draft standards,” he said.

“Now, if they’re the same standards that are being presented today there’s going to be a real cost for Tasmanians, householders, developers and in our view it’s a sledge hammer approach.

“It’s over and above the standards that were introduced immediately after the Victorian bushfires.”

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