Australia — MORE than 10,000 properties in Greater Dandenong and Casey have been taken off the bushfire risk list after a State Government review.
About 9500 Greater Dandenong homes were struck from the list, but in Casey, about 2250 properties were removed.
But more than 3000 Casey homes were added to the list in a blow to some.
The move, announced last week by state Planning Minister Matthew Guy, is expected to cut thousands of dollars from the cost of home building for those affected.
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The Minister’s office was unable to give details of areas where the changed-status had occurred.
But spokesman Nicholas Martin said maps showing the newly-defined risk properties were at land.vic.gov.au.
Mr Guy said the changes were made after an extensive review endorsed by the CFA, Metropolitan Fire and Emergency Services Board, Department of Environment and Primary Industries and the Victorian Building Authority.
He said that owners of land taken out of the bushfire-prone area would save about $200 on a Bushfire Attack Level assessment and about $3000 when building a new home.
“It is important to make sure bushfire-prone areas are accurate, up-to-date and reflect conditions on the ground,” Mr Guy said. “This review does exactly that.”
Master Builders’ Association executive director Brian Welch put the savings at between $3000 and $10,000 for those homeowners removed from the fire zone.
“People building new homes in communities genuinely at risk of bushfire should be protected, but adding unnecessary costs to tens of thousands of properties with no risks hurts home ownership rates and hurts our industry,” Mr Welch said.
The study and mapping which resulted in the bushfire risk list changes was part of a statewide investigation developed in consultation with councils and fire agencies.
It was one of 67 recommendations made by the Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission.