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Legal Obligations

If you are proposing to develop land that has been dedicated as bush fire prone, current NSW legislation demands that the development meets the requirements of Planning for Bush Fire Protection 2006 and Australian Standard: 3959 Construction of buildings in bushfire-prone areas 1999 (AS3959). A full version of the Australia Standard  can be purchased from Standards Australia

You can find out if you live in a bush fire prone area by viewing the bush fire prone land map at your local council. This will also be noted on a Section 149 Certificate for the subject site, obtainable from Council. To find out more about bush fire prone land mapping go to the What is Bush Fire Prone Land? section under Planning For Bush Fire Protection.

If you want to construct a new dwelling, or do external renovations or additions to an existing dwelling in a bush fire prone area, you must meet the requirements of Planning for Bush Fire Protection 2006 in order for council to approve your development application. The Single Dwelling Application Kit or BAL Risk Assessment Application Kit (BAL-RAAK) may assist you in preparing a Bush Fire Assessment Report in support of your development application. 

If your development does not comply with Planning for Bush Fire Protection 2006 it cannot be considered Complying Development. For the purposes of a Development Application, when non-complying, council will refer your application to the local NSW Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS) Fire Control Centre under Section 79BA of the 'Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979' the NSW RFS will make recommendations about ways to improve bush fire protection for the dwelling. 

If you wish to subdivide bush fire prone land for residential purposes or build a special fire protection purpose development (e.g. school, childcare centre, nursing home, and hospital or tourist accommodation) the proposal is classified integrated development. As such, you are required to obtain a Bush Fire Safety Authority (BFSA) from the NSW RFS in accordance with Section 100B of the 'Rural Fires Act 1997'. This is to ensure that a suitable level of protection is provided especially where vulnerable people will be using the proposed facilities.

For all integrated development applications, it is recommended that applicants engage the services of a bush fire consultant to prepare a Bush Fire Assessment Report on their behalf. Failure to provide the information necessary to determine the application may result in the development being refused.