Building rules, regulations and information

Requirements for bushfire risk areas

High bushfire risk area requirements

Proposals to develop property within high bushfire risk areas are assessed against the bushfire protection planning provisions of the relevant local area development plan. This will include a referral to the Country Fire Service for advice on the degree of difficulty in protecting the building from a bushfire.

All new dwellings or tourist accommodation will be assessed for compliance with the following criteria:

  • have a dedicated fire fighting water supply of at least 22,000 litres (Minister's Specification SA 78)
  • ensure that gaps between the dwelling floor and the ground are enclosed to prevent burning debris from entering
  • be set back 20 metres from flammable or combustible vegetation
  • be located and designed to minimise risk from bushfires
  • have access roads and tracks that are appropriately designed and built for entry and exit of vehicles, including fire fighting vehicles during a fire.

In addition, new buildings will be assessed against the provisions of the building rules to ensure they are designed and constructed to provide an appropriate level of protection ranging from just sparks and embers up to direct flame contact. This requires a site assessment in accordance with AS 3959 – Construction of buildings in bushfire prone areas to identify the expected level of bushfire attack (BAL). This assessment is done by either the applicant or the applicant's agent and is submitted to the council or private certifier as part of the application for building rules consent.

Details of the building construction requirements applicable in South Australia for the bushfire attack level of the site (from assessment) can be found in the state variations to the Building Code of Australia.

Medium bushfire risk area requirements

Proposals to develop property within medium bushfire risk areas are assessed against the bushfire protection planning provisions of the relevant local area development plan.

All proposed new dwellings or tourist accommodation will be assessed for compliance with the following criteria:

  • have a dedicated fire fighting water supply of at least 2,000 litres (Minister's Specification SA 78)
  • ensure that gaps between the dwelling floor and the ground are enclosed to prevent burning debris from entering
  • be set back 20 metres from flammable/ combustible vegetation
  • be located and designed to minimise risk from bushfires
  • have access roads and tracks that are appropriately designed and built for entry and exit of vehicles, including fire fighting vehicles, during a fire.

Other planning requirements relating to the property will be contained within the relevant local area development plan. The local council contact details can be found through the Local Government Association of South Australia.

In addition, new buildings in medium bushfire risk areas will be assessed against the provisions of the building rules. They can either be built to a set of specific requirements without the need for a site assessment or they can have a site assessment to accurately determine the expected level of bushfire attack and relevant building features.

The specific requirements for new buildings located in a medium bushfire risk area must comply with the construction requirements for an expected bushfire attack level BAL 12.5.

Details of the building construction requirements applicable in South Australia for BAL 12.5 can be found in the state variations to the Building Code of Australia.

Generally, buildings must be designed to provide protection from sparks and embers only, which includes measures such as covers under eaves, metal fly wire screens and steel shoes for posts among other things.

General bushfire risk area requirements

Proposals to develop property within general bushfire risk areas are assessed against the bushfire protection planning provisions of the relevant local area development plan.

All new dwellings or tourist accommodation will be assessed for compliance with the following criteria:

  • have a dedicated fire fighting water supply of at least 2,000 litres (Minister's Specification SA 78)
  • ensure that gaps between the dwelling floor and the ground are enclosed to prevent burning debris from entering
  • be set back 20 metres from flammable or combustible vegetation
  • be located and designed to minimise risk from bushfires
  • have access roads and tracks that are appropriately designed and built for entry and exit of vehicles, including fire fighting vehicles during a fire.

Other planning requirements relating to the property will be contained within the relevant local area development plan.

In addition, proposed buildings located in a general bushfire risk area will be assessed against the provisions of the building rules and must comply with the construction requirements for an expected bushfire attack level BAL – Low.

Details of the building construction requirements applicable in South Australia for BAL – Low can be found in the state variations to the Building Code of Australia.

Excluded area requirements

Excluded areas include existing townships and other settlements that have an adequate supply for fighting fires and suitable emergency vehicle access.

There is little need to consider matters that risk life or property from bushfires in these areas unless your property is within 500 metres of a high risk area. Therefore, proposals to construct a house or to subdivide land for residential purposes within an excluded area are not assessed against the bushfire protection provisions of the development plan. However, if your property is within 500 metres of a high risk area then there are building requirements that will require assessment and a building rules consent.

There are other requirements that need to be taken into consideration when applying to develop - eg the bushfire risk of adjoining land when proposing the layout and design of land division.

Other planning requirements relating to the property will be contained within the relevant local council area development plan.

New buildings in excluded areas that are located within 500 metres of an adjoining high bushfire risk area must comply with the construction requirements of bushfire attack level BAL – Low.

Where new buildings in excluded areas are within 100 metres of an adjoining high bushfire risk area they are required to have an individual site assessment in accordance with AS 3959 – Construction of buildings in bushfire prone areas to determine expected the bushfire attack level that is applicable to the site.

Details of the building construction requirements applicable in South Australia can be found in the state variations to the Building Code of Australia.


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Page last updated 15 September 2016

Provided by:
Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure
URL:
http://www.sa.gov.au/topics/planning-and-property/land-and-property-development/building-rules-regulations-and-information/requirements-for-bushfire-risk-areas
Last Updated:
15/09/16
Printed on:
31/03/17
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