MBRC Planning Scheme - Bushfire hazard overlay

In accordance with State government requirements, the MBRC planning scheme identifies areas subject to bushfire hazard. In the planning scheme, areas subject to potential bushfire risk are shown by the Bushfire hazard overlay map.

How are bushfire areas determined?

The State Government manages bushfire hazard through the State Planning Policy. The State Government completed updated state-wide mapping in July 2014 to support the policy. The state-wide mapping identifies bushfire hazard areas using three key factors to determine the potential intensity of a bushfire:

  1. potential fire weather severity;
  2. landscape slope; and
  3. potential fuel load

This updated mapping includes recent information on the extent of remnant and non-remnant bushfire prone vegetation, and improved estimates of potential fuel loads for different regional ecosystems. The mapping shows areas with a Very high, High or Medium Potential Bushfire Intensity and land within a Potential Impact Buffer of 100m.

Council has adopted the state-wide bushfire hazard mapping and included it in the planning scheme as the Bushfire hazard overlay map.

For more information please refer to the State Government’s state-wide bushfire area mapping fact sheet.

The State Government recognises that planning schemes are just one way to manage the risks of bushfire, and should be used in conjunction with other measures including building controls, early warning systems and community awareness.

Relationship with Building Code of Australia

For the MBRC Planning Scheme, where land is identified on the overlay mapping as being within an area of potential bushfire intensity or impact buffer on the Bushfire hazard overlay map, that land is recognised as being a "designated bushfire prone area" for the purpose of section 12 of the Building Regulation 2006; except where land is located in the:

  • Centre zone;
  • General residential zone;
  • Industry zone; or
  • Township zone. 

How do I find out if my property is identified on the Bushfire hazard overlay map?

To find out if your property is affected by this overlay map, use My Property Look Up. The overlay map may also be viewed in the interactive map by selecting Bushfire hazard in the layer list or in PDF form.

How does the Bushfire hazard overlay map affect my property?

The Bushfire hazard overlay map only impacts you if:

  • your property is identified on the overlay mapping as being within an area of potential bushfire intensity or impact buffer,
  • the relevant zone code includes bushfire hazard provisions under the "Values and constraints criteria" heading; and
  • you wish to develop your property (i.e. building or extending, changing use, reconfiguring a lot, clearing vegetation, filling or excavating.

As per State Government regulations, where located in an overlay area, proposed new development is then subject to building controls and safety requirements to help protect property owners and residents.

Specifically, if your property is identified in a 'designated bushfire-prone area', it triggers assessment against the Building Code of Australia (BCA) and Australian Standard AS3959-2009. Construction of buildings in bushfire-prone areas. 

In addition to the building construction requirements under the BCA and AS3959-2009, the planning scheme includes a number of requirements aimed at maintaining sufficient space and tenable conditions for emergency services personnel to undertake their bushfire response. The following bushfire hazard provisions are located in relevant zone and local plan codes.     

Description Safety requirements
Vegetation separation area

Minimum 20 metre separation from classified vegetation* or required distance to achieve bushfire attack level (BAL) of no more than 29, whichever is greatest distance.

Minimum 10 metre separation
from low threat vegetation* or required distance to achieve bushfire attack level (BAL) of no more than 29, whichever is greatest distance.

Minimum 10 metre separation between a fire fighting water supply extraction point and any classified vegetation, buildings and roofed structures.

Accessibility Area suitable for a standard fire-fighting appliance to stand within 3 metres of a fire fighting water supply extraction point.

Minimum 4 metre wide access path suitable for a standard fire-fighting appliance to, and around, each building and other roofed structure; and to each fire-fighting water supply extraction point. Note: Access path is required to be formed, have a cross-fall of no greater than 5%, and a longitudinal gradient of no greater than 25%.
Location of buildings and structures

Ensure buildings and structures are:

  • not located on a ridgeline;
  • not located on land with a slope greater than 15%; and
  • located on east to south facing slopes.
Length and gradient of driveways

To help avoid entrapment, ensure safe and effective emergency services access and to help enable safe evacuation for occupants during a bushfire, driveways must:

  • have a minimum width of 3.5m;
  • not exceed 100 metres in length between the most distant part of a building used for any purpose other than storage and the nearest part of a public road; and
  • have a maximum gradient of 12.5%.
Water supply Provide adequate water supply for fire-fighting purposes.
Hazardous chemicals No manufacture or storage of hazardous chemicals.

* As described in Australian Standard AS 3959. Any suitably qualified bushfire consultant and most building certifiers can assist in determining the required building and structure setback from classified vegetation and low threat vegetation present on, or adjacent to, your property.

** The methodology to be used to determine the bushfire attack level for each development scenario is outlined in detail in Australian Standard AS3959-2009 Construction of buildings in bushfire-prone areas.

To determine the exact requirement that may relate to your property, please refer to the Values and constraints criteria section of the relevant zone, local plan and development code in the planning scheme. If there is no reference to bushfire hazard, then the overlay does not apply.

It is important to note all residents who live or work in or near a bushfire hazard should have a Bushfire Survival Plan detailing how they will prepare - and what action they will take - if threatened by a bushfire. For more information visit Rural Fire Service Queensland.