200,000 houses spared red tape of bushfire-risk mapping

200,000 houses spared red tape of bushfire-risk mapping

01 August 2013

published by www.news.com.au

Australia — MORE than 200,000 homes and properties across Victoria will be exempted from red tape and extra building costs after a review of their bushfire risk.

The properties have been removed from maps of bushfire-prone areas that were drawn up in the wake of the Black Saturday fires.

But almost 120,000 properties that are considered susceptible to ember attack will be subject to the bushfire regulations for the first time.

Planning Minister Matthew Guy said the mapping review came after consultation and included input from the CFA, MFB and government departments.

“As towns grow, as our state evolves there will always be revisions of bushfire maps and there will always be bushfire planning regulation assessments,” he said.

Mr Guy said properties removed from maps of fire-prone areas would save about $3000 in home building costs and $200 on a bushfire attack-level assessment.

“It is important to make sure bushfire planning areas are accurate, up to date and reflect conditions on the ground,” he said.

The review has resulted in a net reduction of about 117,000 properties subjected to bushfire regulations.

This includes 11,700 in Frankston, 13,198 in Geelong, 9858 in Kingston, 6838 in Nillumbik, 10,755 in Ballarat and 7356 in Mildura.

Statewide mapping of fire-prone areas was undertaken following a recommendation of the 2009 Bushfires Royal Commission.

Urban Development Institute of Australia state executive director Tony De Domenico said his organisation had been lobbying for common-sense changes to ensure that those not at risk were removed from the maps.

But in a related issue, a stand-off between a council and other parties continues over the issuing of building permits for the Botanic Ridge estate in Cranbourne South.

Casey Council is yet to issue permits and is at loggerheads with the Government and developers over the monitoring of bushfire regulations for proposed new housing.

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