The Andrews Labor Government is giving bushfire-affected Victorians more certainty and assistance as they start the long journey of recovery with new statewide planning changes coming into effect from today.
Minister for Planning Richard Wynne today announced that Victorians who have lost their homes or businesses can build temporary residential or commercial accommodation on their land without a planning permit, subject to safety requirements.
This allows bushfire-affected Victorians to consider and progress interim accommodation options while further assessments are undertaken to determine the suitability of a permanent rebuild.
People considering and preparing for rebuilding will also be able to access a ‘one stop shop’ planning concierge service in person to help them navigate the planning and rebuilding process, with the Labor Government coordinating planning and building advisory services at Community Recovery Hubs across the state.
In addition to the planning exemption and specialist advice, the Government will also undertake preliminary bushfire hazard assessments and environmental assessments for affected properties.
These assessments will inform property owners about development constraints and will assist in facilitating rebuilding. They can ordinarily cost property owners up to $3000.
The planning exemptions will enable the occupation of temporary accommodation for a maximum of three years after a bushfire giving people time to transition to permanent accommodation.
The exemption will apply to all homes destroyed in the recent Victorian Bushfires, in addition to homes impacted by the Bunyip Complex fires in March last year. The Government will work with Cardinia Shire Council to provide additional support to those affected by the Bunyip fires.
For more information about clean-up, planning permit exemptions for bushfire recovery and Community Recovery Hubs, visit brv.vic.gov.au.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Planning Richard Wynne
“Victorians who have lost their homes have already been through so much, and we want to make things easier for them as they continue with recovery and rebuilding.”
“These new changes are about clearing a path through the planning process and providing more certainty for people who are making big decisions.”
Quote attributable to Minister for Police and Emergency Services Lisa Neville
“We’re continuing to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with impacted Victorians. It’s going to be a big job but we’re in this for the long haul.”
Quote attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria Harriet Shing
“The bushfires had a profound impact of many individuals, families and communities, including those in last year’s fires – this is about helping them get back on their feet.”
Quote attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria Jane Garrett
“We know how devastating these bushfires have been on the local community and we’re doing everything we can to support those affected.”
Reviewed 26 June 2020