The Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA WA) has welcomed a more common-sense approach to bushfire planning in urban areas in response to the state government’s release of a Bushfire Framework Review Action Plan today.

“The property industry understands that community safety is paramount, and we must ensure that we are not building in areas that are at extreme risk of bushfire,” UDIA WA President Nick Allingame said.

“However, the reforms introduced by the previous government following the Keelty report in 2015 have caused several unintended consequences, including delaying urban development in areas of relatively low risk of bushfire and impacting significantly on housing affordability,” Mr Allingame said.

As part of the new action plan, a revised Map of Bushfire Prone Areas will be released that increases the minimum area of ‘declared bushfire prone vegetation’ from one hectare to four hectares within the metropolitan Perth Central sub-region.

“Increasing the minimum area to four hectares is a huge win for common-sense,” Mr Allingame said. “The delays that the one hectare minimum caused were significant and effectively sterilised land, that is perfectly suitable for new development and aligns with the government objectives for increased infill development.”

“The bushfire planning framework over the last few years has been a perfect example of how unintended consequences of government policy can severely impact on people’s ability to afford a home,” Mr Allingame said. “Housing affordability is a critical issue that needs to be considered when implementing any government policy.”

“We congratulate the government on getting this action plan in place and we look forward to its swift roll out in the coming months to ensure that bushfire mitigation is not causing further unnecessary delays and impacts on housing affordability.”


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Gemma Osiejak
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