The BMO in the Alpine Shire

22 May 2014

THE NEW building codes introduced following the Black Saturday bushfires were implemented to protect life and property. However, in some cases their introduction has resulted in unintended consequences that have had a negative impact on land owners across Victoria. Since the introduction of the Bushfire Management Overlay (BMO) in 2011, Alpine Shire Council has been working closely with residents to minimise its impact on their ability to build.

Manager Development Services and Amenity, Nick Vlahandreas, believes understanding the BMO is particularly important for land owners in the Alpine Shire. “When you consider that 88% of our Shire is covered by the BMO, you can see that its potential impact is significant,” says Nick.

“Approximately 77% of all of our planning applications require consideration of the BMO. That is why our BAL Plan iPad app has been of such great value. We developed the app so that we could consult with land owners onsite to determine exactly where they can and can’t build.”

“Since the introduction of the BMO we have not refused a single permit application on the grounds of bushfire danger, and this is largely due to our use of the BAL Plan app,” says Nick.

Alpine Shire Council CEO Dave Barry and Mr Vlahandreas recently met with representatives from the Minister for Planning’s Office to put forward suggested revisions to the BMO that relate specifically to the Alpine Shire.

“The reality is that we live in a bushfire prone part of Victoria, so protecting life and property is always the priority when processing planning and building applications. Having said that, there are some aspects of the BMO that we believe require revision. We put our case to the Minister’s office and are hopeful it will be considered.

Since its development, the BAL Plan iPad application has won numerous awards both in Australia and overseas.

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