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Special Fire Protection Purpose (Vulnerable Members of the Community)

Special Fire Protection Purpose (SFPP) developments are required to obtain a Bush Fire Safety Authority (BFSA) from the NSW Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS) under section 100B of the Rural Fires Act 1979. Such developments are also "integrated developments" under section 91 of the EP&A Act.  

The nature of SFPPs means that occupants may be more vulnerable to bush fire attack for one or more of the following reasons:  

  • they may be less educated in relation to bush fire impacts
  • they may have reduced capacity to evaluate risk and to respond adequately to the bush fire threat
  • they may present organisational difficulties for evacuation and or management
  • they may be more vulnerable through stress, anxiety and smoke impacts arising from bush fire threat
  • there may be significant communication barriers
  • supervision during a bush fire may be difficult
  • logistical arrangements for the numbers of residents may be complicated in terms of alternate accommodation, transport, healthcare and food supplies.  

In NSW, SFPPs have been identified as:  

  • a school,
  • a child care centre,
  • a hospital (including a hospital for the mentally ill or mentally disordered),
  • a hotel, motel or other tourist accommodation,
  • a building wholly or principally used as a home or other establishment for mentally incapacitated persons,
  • housing for older people or people with disabilities within the meaning of State Environmental Planning Policy No 5 - Housing for Older People or People with a Disability (now State Environmental Planning Policy (Seniors Living)).,
  • a group home within the meaning of State Environmental Planning Policy No 9 - Group Homes,
  • a retirement village,
  • any other purpose prescribed by the regulations. (Section 100B (6) of the RF Act).  

The performance criteria and acceptable solutions for Special Fire Protection Purpose can be found in Section 4.2.7 of Chapter 4 - Performance Based Controls.