As part of the current planning reform, Bushfire Protection Areas (BPA) are changing. Our aim, to improve planning development and design standards, that minimize the threat and impact of bushfires. A co-operative effort across agencies, followed by consultation with LGAs and public. By combining new data and science, we are refreshing the BPA, adding Urban Interface and grassfire hazard, along with planning code updates. This extends towards Generation2, with climate change and likelihood.
As part of the current planning reform, Bushfire Protection Areas are changing.
Bushfires are a regular event in South Australia, with many significant bush and grass fires occurring since Ash Wednesday. Recently we had the Pinery, Sampson Flat and Wangary fires, with lives and asset loss. There have also been significant events interstate with impacts showing loss and damage (due to ember attack).
Our aim is to provide planning development and design standards that minimize the threat and impact of bushfires and grassfires on life and property.
Our project is a team and cross agency collaboration, with DEW, CFS, LGA along with planning services (PLUS) and other DPTI work units.
We have combined new data, expert knowledge and current science, to refresh the existing Bushfire Protection Areas and expand them state-wide, as well as updating the Bushfire Hazard policy, code and regulations, at the same time we are working towards the Generation 2 code where we will introduce likelihood, risk and climate change data and parameters.
Currently the (4) Hazards (Bushfire) Overlays (PDI Act 2016) for S.A. are out for public consultation.
We started by selecting recent woody vegetation and plantation data from the latest “SA Land Cover” dataset from the Department for Environment and Water (DEW).
We reviewed the fire behaviour and intensity and updated grassfire with maximum fuel load and slope. Consideration of local fire history has led to re-assessment of Bushfire Protection Areas (BPA) “Excluded Areas” to better define the interface area between built-up and urban fringe and vegetation hazard.
The Bushfire Hazard Overlays now cover the entire state and include measures for ember attack and include new urban interface areas. The planning process allows for developments in high hazard areas, subject to CFS referral and Planning and Design Code Requirements. The updated Hazard ratings reflect a stronger understanding of environmental data and the latest science and planning policy.
Properties are no longer assigned a single uniform hazard rating which allows for flexibility in site selection and planning requirements. The modified areas are currently out for consultation so the public and LGA’s can contribute and comment on their local hazard (Bushfire) overlays.
As part of planning reform, processes are being established to support updates to the P&D code, source data and spatial overlays in conjunction with SA Land Cover updates, showing vegetation changes over time.
In the future we are introducing new low natural cover or maintained asset protection buffers and incorporating likelihood of fire events to better understand the landscape risk. Along with migrating from a single weather scenario parameter to local weather scenarios and introducing climate change impacts as SA summer extreme weather days become more frequent. We will also be updating fire intensity classes to better fit with Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) ratings and what that means for planning for bushfire hazard.
Time & room
3.30 pm–3.45 pm in City Room 4
Ms Bridget Milanowski
South Australian Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure
Date & venue
Friday, 25 October 2019 at the Adelaide Convention Centre