Bushfire Recovery Planning Program FAQs

How much does the Bushfire Recovery Planning Program cost?

The Bushfire Recovery Planning Program is a free program to help to Pyrenees Shire landowners affected by bushfires, who are seeking to rebuild on their property. Council-related planning fees associated with the rebuilding processes will be waived.

To ensure that we can help as many landowners as possible, the BRPP consultant will work with you and Council to develop a plan with the right amount of support for you.

Additional specialist advice or supporting documentation (such as designs, plans, elevations, etc.) are not included.

Why do I need a planning permit?

A planning permit is essential for rebuilding after a bushfire because it ensures that the new construction aligns with various regulations and standards. These regulations typically include zoning laws, which dictate how land can be used and developed within a specific area. Additionally, environmental regulations ensure that rebuilding activities do not harm sensitive ecosystems or exacerbate existing environmental issues.

Safety standards also play a crucial role in the planning permit process, especially in bushfire-prone areas. Rebuilding after a bushfire offers an opportunity to implement measures that enhance the resilience of structures to future fire events. This may include incorporating bushfire-resistant materials, creating defendable space around properties, and adhering to Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) assessments to minimise fire risk.

Overall, obtaining a planning permit for rebuilding after a bushfire helps make sure that the new construction meets legal obligations, promotes environmental sustainability, and most importantly, enhances community safety and resilience.

Learn more about how planning and building systems respond to fire by visiting the Department of Transport and Plannings Bushfire information page.

As mentioned above, the planning permit application process for a bushfire-affected property is different from a standard application. If you would like to understand more about planning exemptions please visit Planning Victoria’s website or talk with our planning team on 1300 797 363 or pyrenees@pyrenees.vic.gov.au.

Why do I need a Building Permit?

The private building surveyor's responsibility is to ensure compliance with current building regulations. This includes meeting your Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) rating, ensuring suitable foundations for your property's soil conditions, and achieving a 6-star energy efficiency rating for a house.

Once your private building surveyor verifies compliance with regulations, they will issue a building permit. This permit will outline mandatory inspections at different construction stages. Upon completion, the building surveyor leads a final inspection and issues an Occupancy Permit for dwellings.

What is BAL (Bushfire Attack Level)?

A Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) is a way of measuring the severity of a building's potential exposure to ember attack, radiant heat, and direct flame contact. In designated bushfire prone areas, a minimum construction standard applies to new buildings.

There are six bushfire attack levels that form part of the Australian Standard for Construction of Buildings in Bushfire Prone Areas (AS 3959). These are:

  • BAL-12.5
  • BAL-19
  • BAL-29
  • BAL-40
  • BAL-FZ (Flame Zone).

A bushfire assessment can help in finding the BAL level for your property.

Can Council help me understand where my property boundaries are?

A surveyor is needed to assess property boundaries. Unfortunately this is not a service Council provides. 

Find out more about property boundaries.

Find a surveyor.

Who can I talk to about the impact of the bushfires on my property and where I can go for more help?

Council’s Recovery team is the first point of contact for those affected by the Bayindeen bushfires. They can give essential guidance on the range of support services available during the recovery process regardless of whether you plan to rebuild.

We recommend contacting the Recovery team on 1300 797 363 or recovery@pyrenees.vic.gov.au and registering your details as soon as possible.