By Julia Thermos

31 October 2017

With bushfires becoming more and more prevalent in the community, measures have been taken to reduce the devastating effects of this natural disaster.

Recently new Bushfire Management Overlay (“BMO”) mapping and schedules have been introduced to reduce the threat and effect of bushfires on properties. While you might think that these overlays will only affect properties in rural settings, you are mistaken! Many Melbourne suburbs have now also been designated as bushfire prone areas. Does this affect you?

We recommend that all landowners review the updated BMO maps to see if their property is affected.

The BMO mapping has been updated into 64 planning schemes. If your land is affected by the updated BMO, you will need to take note of the following:

1. If you plan to build or develop the property you will need to obtain a Bushfire Attack Level assessment (“BAL”) to determine which construction materials are appropriate for building on the property. Once determined, the BAL will affect your development costs as materials, design and insurance prices may be significantly increased for buildings in designated bushfire prone areas.

2. The new mapping and schedules may affect developments that already have a permit and/or building permit in place.

3. If you have a permit please review the updated schedules to see whether you are required to amend your existing permit or apply for a new permit.

4. There are certain limited transitional provisions available.

For more information on the new BMO please contact someone from our Property Law Team.

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