Bushfire Assessment

Do I need a Bush Fire Assessment Report or a Bushfire Attack Level Certificate?

It can be quite daunting when you are new to developing and then find you need a Bushfire report or Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) Certificate, especially if you haven’t heard these terms before. How can you tell which document you need? We are happy to discuss your needs with you and explain the differences and the advantages or disadvantages.

Most people initially try to gain approval for their development via the Complying Development route. This is commonly referred to as a CDC, which stands for Complying Development Certificate (CDC). In plain English, a Complying Development is development that meets the specific standards in the State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008. Applications can be determined by the Council or a Registered Certifier without the need for a full development application. Complying development is a combined planning and construction approval for straightforward development that can be determined through a fast-track assessment by a council or a registered certifier. Approach your local Council, or to find a list of Registered Certifiers in your area, go to the Department of Fair Trading website here, where you can carry out a search.

A BAL Certificate must be issued by an Accredited Bushfire Consultant or the Council for a CDC on bushfire prone land. There are a whole range of reasons though, why a CDC might not be able to be issued for the development, and one of those is because the bushfire risk is too high. If this happens, you’ll need to apply for your development via a Development Application to the local Council. A Bush Fire Assessment Report is the document you’ll need. It’s important to note that a granny flat or dual occupancy is unlikely to be supported if the Bushfire Attack Level exceeds BAL 29.

A BAL Certificate is a statement that confirms your development is not in Bushfire Attack Level Flame Zone or 40, and also tells you what the bushfire risk is for your development, and how that risk was worked out. We use Planning For Bushfire Protection 2019 to make this determination. A Bush Fire Assessment Report includes a BAL Certificate and also assesses the development against criteria contained within the Rural Fire Service document, Planning For Bush Fire Protection 2019. If you’d like to read it, you can find it here.

The requirements for building in each Bushfire Attack Level are set out in Australian Standard 3959-2018 Construction of Buildings in Bushfire Prone Areas. You can purchase a copy from SAI Global.

If this still sounds confusing, why not get in touch?

You can give us a ring on 0425 833 893 or 02 4744 5800 and speak to our friendly team!