Planning schemes across the State will include mandatory provisions for the construction of new homes in bushfire-prone areas, as identified in the Building Code of Australia and the Australian Standards AS3959.
Planning Minister John Day said the building standards would apply from May next year to new homes built in areas identified by the State or local government as bushfire-prone, or if the house was located within 100m of one hectare or more of bushland.
“If land intended for development is located on a bushfire map or close to a large area of bushland a bushfire hazard assessment will be required,” Mr Day said.
“The assessment will identify the bushfire risk level and the Australian Standards to be applied when the new home is constructed. These standards are used in many jurisdictions across Australia and include requirements such as the placement of ember screens over evaporative air-conditioner units, window screens and appropriate construction methods.
“These measures could make a difference to how severely a home is affected by a bushfire.”
Emergency Services Minister Joe Francis said land would be identified as bushfire-prone or not, through uniform, State-wide maps. The Fire and Emergency Services commissioner will lead the mapping and declaration process, recommended by the Keelty Report into the Perth Hills bushfires.
“Once complete, these maps will be made available to the public,” Mr Francis said.
“These measures are one way the State Government is sharing the responsibility to reduce the risk of damage from bushfire. I encourage everyone living in bushfire-prone areas to visit the ‘Are you Ready?’ website and continue to do their bit.”
Today the WA Planning Commission (WAPC) also released the new State Planning Policy, and Planning Guidelines on Bushfire Risk Management for public comment.
Mr Day said these documents would provide government and developers greater guidance when planning new developments in bushfire-prone areas.
“Through the Australian Standards, State mapping and the new State planning policy and guidelines, this Government is taking a holistic approach to limit the impact of bushfire on our communities,” Mr Day said.
Mandatory scheme provisions will be introduced through regulations and will not require local schemes to be individually amended
The regulations to take effect from May 1, 2015
This is an across government response implemented by the WAPC, Building Commission and the departments of Planning and Fire and Emergency Services
Public consultation for the State Planning Policy closes on July 4, 2014 with comment on the guidelines closing on August 1, 2014
Planning Minister’s office - 6552 6200
Emergency Services Minister’s office - 6552 6500