Exemptions to clear vegetation to manage the risk of bushfire

Specific exemptions apply in all Victorian planning schemes including Nillumbik’s planning scheme, that allow you to clear vegetation around your property to create or maintain defendable space for bushfire protection without the need for a planning permit subject to certain requirements. These exemptions are located at clause 52.12 (Bushfire Protection Exemptions).

This provision can only be changed by the State government. A recent amendment by the State government to all planning schemes VC176 has introduced changes to this provision. The key changes that this amendment brings are to:

  • Align the application of the vegetation exemptions with the Bushfire Prone Area mapping across all Victorian councils.

  • Update the wording under the fence line exemption, specifically the 4 metre rule, to match that in Clause 52.17 Native Vegetation

Most of Nillumbik is a Bushfire Prone Area (BPA) and the BPA mapping applies. Therefore the clause 52.12 exemptions may apply where the requirements of the clause are met.

Some urban areas of Eltham, Diamond Creek and Greensborough are not included in the Bushfire Prone Area mapping and the exemptions no longer apply to these areas.

If you would like to check if your property is within the Bushfire Area Prone mapping, please visit the VicPlan website where you can input your address and check if the mapping applies to you.

It is important to satisfy yourself that the exemptions apply to you before you undertake any clearing of vegetation.

Council encourages you to visit the following State government website to access further details including fact sheets: https://www.planning.vic.gov.au/policy-and-strategy/bushfire/your-property/vegetation-removal-for-bushfire-protection

For any questions or clarification, please contact Council's Planning Services Unit on 9433 3343.