Media Statement: New action plan to fix bushfire inconsistencies (Buti Report)

08 August 2019 in General

The McGowan Labor Government has announced a three-stage action plan to address the inherited inconsistencies across Western Australia’s bushfire frameworks, standards and mapping.The $1.5 million Action Plan for Bushfire Framework Review 2019 will ensure that bushfire planning and building frameworks remain robust and based on scientific evidence while also providing better recognition of specific landscapes and bushfire risks.

As part of the first stage of the plan, a new Map of Bush Fire Prone Areas will be gazetted tomorrow by the Fire and Emergency Services Commissioner.It will increase the minimum area of declared bushfire prone vegetation from one hectare to four hectares in the metropolitan Perth Central sub-region.

The change will apply across 19 local governments from Stirling to Belmont to Fremantle, resulting in a 30 per cent reduction in the number of properties declared bushfire prone and requiring additional planning and building costs.The new map brings WA into line with other states including Victoria, which has a four-hectare threshold, and only applies to properties in the Perth Central sub-region.

The Fire and Emergency Services Commissioner has also brought forward the scheduled five-year review of the Mapping Standard for Bush Fire Prone Areas, which are used to inform the update of the map each year.The review will aim to improve the quality of the mapping, ensure changes to the methodology are founded in science and will examine the interaction of the map with other land uses.

A multi-agency working group will also conduct ground-truth assessments of land currently declared bushfire prone but which may pose a lower bushfire risk such as golf courses, verge strips and coastal dunes to re-evaluate their appropriateness for inclusion on the map. Stage two of the Action Plan is a $520,000 CSIRO study to develop a new mapping methodology. The intermittent release of updated maps expanding from the Perth Central sub-region, outer metropolitan and major regional centres with a new State-wide map expected to be released in late 2020.

Stage three will seek to reduce the regulatory burden by amending relevant policies in line with new mapping protocols, including State Planning Policy 3.7 – Planning in Bushfire Prone Areas and the Guidelines for Planning in Bushfire Prone Areas. The Action Plan for Bushfire Framework Review 2019 has also considered the recommendations made by Dr Tony Buti MLA in the Bushfire Planning and Policy Review: A Review into the Western Australian Framework for Planning and Development in Bushfire Prone Areas (the Buti Report).

More information about planning and building requirements in bush fire prone areas is available online at and

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