State Government’s BMO changes to affect 850 properties in Colac Otway Shire
October 6, 2017
About 850 properties in the Colac Otway Shire have been affected by State Government changes to the Victoria-wide bushfire planning provisions.
Under the State Government’s mapping updates, about 450 properties in Colac Otway have been added to the Bushfire Management Overlay. These properties are mainly located in Skenes Creek, Marengo, Gerangamete, Barwon Downs and Murroon.
Another 400 properties across the municipality have been removed from the overlay.
Mayor Chris Potter said the purpose of a BMO was to protect people, properties and assets by requiring buildings to be constructed to a standard that improves their resilience to bushfire attack.
“This is a State Government initiative and the changes were approved by the Minister for Planning, not by Council,” Cr Potter said.
“Changes to the BMO maps were implemented on October 3 and while Council is not in a position to influence the outcome of the mapping changes, we do want to ensure our community is informed.”
Now the State Government has approved the changes to the bushfire planning provisions and mapping overlay, Council will write to all affected landowners and occupiers explaining the changes and how they affect them.
There will also be community information sessions to provide opportunity for affected residents to discuss the changes with Council officers. Details of these sessions will be included in the letter to residents, and advertised in the local media and on Council’s Facebook page once dates and venues are confirmed.
However Cr Potter said landowners did not have to wait for a letter from Council, and could inspect the maps for themselves on the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning’s website. General information about the BMO is available at www.planning.vic.gov.au/bmo, while detailed maps for the Colac Otway Shire can be downloaded here.
Cr Potter said vegetation was constantly changing and the State Government’s updates to the BMO mapping were in response to recommendations made in the 2009 Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission.
“We live in one of the most bushfire-prone landscapes in the world and the primary aim of bushfire overlays is to protect life and property,” he said.
Across Victoria, a total of 229,000 properties have been included in the BMO. In addition to amending the maps, the State Planning Policy Framework has also been updated with a reference to the Bushfire Prone Area map designated under the Building Act and regulations. For more information contact Sean O’Keefe on (03) 5232 9400.