Bushfire Planning made clearer: Options for Victoria’s Planning System
The Victorian Farmers Federation is the peak body representing Victorian agriculture. VFF is concerned that although the Victorian Planning System applies to all land in Victoria the administration of the planning system has become increasingly urban, despite the rural suite of zones being the predominant land use type by area in Victoria.
Our emergency management system is built around the concept of protection of life and property. Property includes four aspects: principal residences; means of earning and income; key infrastructure; and the environment. The objectives of Planning in Victoria (s4 of the Act) include providing a safe living and working environment. Farms are workplaces places of residence. It is perplexing that specific planning provisions regarding bushfire safety not only focus on dwellings, but often exclude farm dwellings.
This may be due to Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning’s (DELWP) fire models using a dwelling for both calculating risk to life and to property. The need to simplify for modelling should not then mean that non modelled risks are ignore when primacy of life is a stated objective.
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