Bushfire reporting | Brisbane City Council

Bushfire reporting

Overlays are provided in Council’s planning scheme (City Plan 2014) to indicate areas that are subject to a natural hazard such as bushfire, flooding or landslide, a value such as biodiversity or heritage or a constraint such as proximity to high impact industry or an airport.

The bushfire overlay mapping aims to identify high and medium bushfire hazard and buffer areas within the Brisbane City Council Local Government Area. This mapping acts as a trigger for assessment against the Bushfire Overlay Code within City Plan 2014.

If your property is identified as having high or medium bushfire hazard or buffer areas and an assessable development is proposed, a Bushfire Hazard Assessment will be required. If the Bushfire Hazard Assessment returns a hazard score of low no further assessment against the code is required. If a hazard score of medium or high is determined, an assessment against relevant sections of the code is required.

Find out more about:

Bushfire Hazard Assessment requirements     

The following table identifies the acceptable methodologies for Bushfire Hazard Assessment and notes on use of each methodology. Only one methodology can be used for an assessment.  

Methodologies Use notes

Bushfire Planning Scheme Policy (PSP) – City Plan 2014

  • AS3959-2009 2.2.3.2 Exclusions are permissible to identify patches of vegetation as ‘low threat vegetation’
  • SPP1/03 vegetation communities cannot be substituted into this assessment to replace vegetation communities in Bushfire PSP.

Former State Planning Policy (SPP) 1/03 Guideline

  • AS3959-2009 2.2.3.2 Exclusions are permissible to identify patches of vegetation as ‘low threat vegetation’
  • SPP1/03 Errata admissible, FAQ’s not admissible.

AS3959-2009

  • Bushfire prone areas are triggered in 1.6 and 1.7 of the planning scheme

State ‘Fit for purpose’ guidelines

SPP Technical Manual April 2016

  • Data and inputs must accompany submission of ‘Fit for Purpose’ Bushfire Hazard assessment report
  • May be used in its entirety as a Performance Outcome
  • Ground truthing is necessary where this methodology is used, please provide evidence
  • Cannot be used to modify hazard scores in AS3959, or former SPP1/03. 

Bushfire Management Plan requirements  

A bushfire management plan identifies the strategies for mitigating the impacts of bushfire on life, property and the environment. A bushfire management plan is to include the following information:

  1. A site specific bushfire hazard assessment using an acceptable methodology.
  2. An assessment of other site-specific factors that are important in devising suitable bushfire mitigation strategies, such as likely direction of bushfire attack, environmental values that may limit mitigation options, location of evacuation routes and safety zones and identification of the risks on site and from nearby sites.
  3. An assessment of the specific risk factors associated with the development (e.g. number of people living/visiting the site; traffic, nature of activities, storage of hazardous materials, evacuation requirements, revegetation requirements).
  4. Mitigation measures identified for the development that address major factors in bushfire attack, including embers and burning debris, radiant heat, direct flame contact and wind. Smoke should also be addressed where it is relevant to mitigation measures for vulnerable uses, such as hospitals, and facilities in which aged or disabled persons reside, or where resident populations are susceptible to respiratory disorders.
  5. A plan for mitigating the bushfire risk identified in the bushfire hazard assessment. The plan is to recommend specific mitigation actions for the development including:
    • appropriate land uses
    • access, including road layout, accessways, driveways, evacuation routes, including an easement on site and on adjoining lands, access routes for two-wheel drive vehicles and fire-fighting appliances; and evacuation requirements
    • lot layout and orientation
    • site layout including identification of proposed locations of buildings or bushfire protection zones/setbacks from hazardous vegetation
    • the location and construction standards for fire maintenance trails (if required)
    • access requirements and access routes for two-wheel drive vehicles and fire- fighting appliances
    • evacuation routes including capacity of public roads especially perimeter roads and traffic management treatments, and responsibility for their maintenance
    • fire-fighting requirements including infrastructure and water supply
    • landscaping, including details of new vegetation or landscape treatments/restrictions to be used on site, particularly in the bushfire  protection zone
    • ongoing purchaser or resident education and awareness programs
    • ongoing maintenance and management  responsibilities for actions required in the bushfire management plan.

Who can complete a Bushfire Management Plan?

A bushfire management plan is to be prepared by a professional who is suitably qualified and experienced with technical expertise in the field of bushfire hazard identification and mitigation, including protection of biodiversity values, and is to:

  • have knowledge of and experience in applying relevant legislation, plans, policies, standards and guidelines relating to bushfire hazard and fire ecology relating to Queensland requirements and South East Queensland conditions; or
  • have knowledge of and experience in developing bushfire management plans in accordance with the methodology set out in section 5 of the Bushfire Planning Scheme Policy within City Plan 2014; or
  • be an accredited practitioner (BPAD Level 2/3) under the Bushfire Planning and Design Accreditation Scheme from the Fire Protection Association of Australia; or
  • have qualifications and experience in the field of ecology, environmental management or similar to assess and protect site-based and strategic biodiversity values, preferably relating to South East Queensland.

More information

Council offers a free advisory service to assist applicants with the requirements for bushfire reporting, bushfire hazard assessments and bushfire management plans. To access this service, email the project team.

To assist Council in providing quality advice, it is essential to provide the following information:

  • existing site plan
  • proposed development plan
  • description and photographs of vegetation within the site and within 100 metres of the site
  • a preliminary bushfire assessment.

For general enquiries about the Bushfire Overlay or Bushfire Management Plans, contact Council.

01 November 2016