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Building in a bush fire area

Bush fire is a major challenge for the community. It has been a natural part of our landscape for thousands of years and remains an ever-present threat. All developments on land that is designated as bush fire prone has a legal obligation to consider bush fire and meet the requirements of Planning for Bush Fire Protection and AS3959.

This part of the website contains information that provides information on bush fire protection, assessment and the legal framework that governs the planning process for proposed developments on bush fire prone land in NSW. Information in this section is relevant to home owners, developers, planners, councils and other government organisations.

Planning for Bush Fire Protection

After the 2001 Christmas fires in Sydney, which destroyed 109 homes and burnt more than 750,000 hectares, a Joint Parliamentary Inquiry was established. The resulting report endorsed the release of a document which contained specifications for building on land identified as bush fire prone. This document was titled Planning for Bush Fire Protection (PBP) and the current legislated version that is adopted is PBP 2019.

Previous editions of PBP were published in 2001 and 2006, and an Addendum Appendix 3 to PBP 2006 was published in 2010. The Pre-Release version of PBP 2018 was published in August of 2018 which was available for use until PBP 2019 was made available in December 2019. Copies of the previous versions of PBP can be found on the NSW RFS Publications page for building in a bush fire prone area here.

PBP 2019 was legislatively adopted in the Environmental Planning & Assessment Regulations on 1 March 2020.

PBP 2019 is available here.

In order to determine if you are located on bush fire prone land click here.

Additional guidance material is available at https://www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/resources/publications/building-in-a-bush-fire-area

AS3959-2018

AS3959-2018 was adopted on 1 March 2020 to coincide with the adoption of PBP 2019.

Complying development certificates and construction certificates issued for building works from 1 March 2020 must comply with AS3959-2018 and the NCC.

If you have any questions about PBP or AS3959, please email PBP@rfs.nsw.gov.au

Where can I find out more?

If you are a resident looking to build or renovate, you work in a business, you work in Council or are an industry professional who wants guidance, you can use the process by pressing the Get Started button below to find out more about PBP and the development process.