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Planning for Bush Fire Protection

Following the Sydney bush fires in 2001/2002 a Joint Parliamentary Inquiry was established and, in its 28 June 2002 report, endorsed the release of Planning for Bushfire Protection 2001. Planning for Bush Fire Protection 2006 is a revised NSW Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS) publication outlining the required bush fire protection measures for development applications located on land that has been designated as bush fire prone.

Planning law in NSW now requires new development on bush fire prone land to comply with the provisions of Planning for Bush Fire Protection 2006.

Planning for Bush Fire Protection 2006 is intended for use by councils, town planners, NSW fire authorities, developers, planning and bush fire consultants, surveyors, and building practitioners (including accredited certifiers).

Key features of the revised edition include a more user friendly document that incorporates clearer legislative provisions and performance criteria, together with more options for achieving compliance when building in a bush fire prone area. The document provides for a performance based approach to development through focusing on safer outcomes rather than simply meeting prescriptive requirements.

This approach to planning allows for considerable flexibility and innovation that links the bush fire hazard for a site with the implementation of appropriate bush fire protection measures. These bush fire protection measures must be addressed in any development applications located on bush fire prone land. Check if you live on Bush Fire Prone Land.

By incorporating bush fire protection measures into a development the six objectives of Planning for Bush Fire Protection 2006 are addressed:

  1. afford occupants of any building adequate protection from exposure to a bush fire
  2. provide for a defendable space to be located around buildings
  3. provide appropriate separation between a hazard and buildings which, in combination with other measures, prevent direct flame contact and material ignition
  4. ensure that safe operational access and egress for emergency service personnel and residents is available
  5. provide for ongoing management and maintenance of bush fire protection measures, including fuel loads in the asset protection zone (APZ)
  6. ensure that utility services are adequate to meet the needs of fire fighters (and others assisting in bush fire fighting).

For more information about Planning for Bush Fire Protection view the following:

Pre-Release Planning for Bush Fire Protection 2018

The NSW RFS has facilitated an extensive review of Planning for Bush Fire Protection 2006 (PBP). Following a period of targeted consultation in 2016, the draft PBP was revised and placed on public exhibition in 2017. Since that time, the NSW RFS has worked extensively with representatives from the Department of Planning and Environment (DPE) and stakeholders to prepare a pre-release version of the document. The NSW RFS anticipate that publication of Pre-Release PBP 2018 will occur before the end of July. The NSW RFS website will be updated and stakeholders will be notified when a date has been finalised for the publication. If you have any questions regarding the release, please email