Bushfire-prone land mapping
The NSW Rural Fire Service Commissioner recently certified a Bushfire-Prone Land Map for Eurobodalla.
Frequently asked questions
Bushfire-prone land is an area of land with vegetation that can support a bushfire or is likely to be subject to bushfire attack. The NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) describes what they will designate as bushfire-prone land in their Guide for Bushfire-Prone Land Mapping.
A bushfire-prone land map is the trigger for the consideration of bushfire protection measures for new development. If a proposed development is on bushfire-prone land, Council assesses it against rules set by the NSW RFS around what can be done on the land, including how and where you can build, to keep you and your home safe. These rules are described in the RFS Planning for Bushfire Protection Guide.
Councils are required to map bushfire-prone land within their local government area to comply with legislation (the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979). The NSW RFS designates which land must be mapped and councils are required to assist with making the map. When the RFS is satisfied with the map, the NSW RFS Commissioner certifies the bushfire-prone land map.
The map is reviewed every five years to reflect changes in development and vegetation.
Council uses the NSW RFS Guide for Bushfire-Prone Land Mapping to identify which vegetation category applies to vegetated areas in our local government area and which areas are excluded. Council and the RFS use aerial photography, vegetation mapping and management records as part of this process. The map is then reviewed and certified by the Commissioner of the NSW RFS.
You are responsible for checking to see if your property is bushfire-prone land. You can find out if your property is bushfire-prone land by:
- finding your property on the static bushfire-prone land map above
- using the GIS mapping tool on Council’s website
- contacting Council’s development helpdesk via email email@example.com or phone 4474 1231
The Section 10.7 Planning Certificate for the property will also include a statement whether the land, or part of the land, is or is not bushfire-prone land.
If your property is mapped as bushfire-prone land, it is a reminder that you need a bushfire survival plan.
Being bushfire-prone does not prevent development on your land. Buildings built prior to the land being mapped as bushfire-prone will not require any retrospective modifications.
If you are planning a new development on bushfire-prone land, including building, renovating, or starting a new home-based business, Council will assess your proposal to ensure the development has adequate protection from bushfires. Depending on the level of risk, mitigation measures range from metal flyscreens and gutter guards, to modifying the style, construction material or siting of a building.
If you are already operating a home-based business that was previously exempt from requiring a Development Application, you can continue to operate. You should consider the NSW RFS Planning for Bushfire Guidelines. If you take a break from your business, you may need a Development Application to start a home business again in the future.
The new mapping will not affect a current Development Application. Council is already required to consider bushfire risk and whether a development requires bushfire mitigation measures, even if the property is not mapped. This means Council sometimes asks for additional information related to bushfire mitigation. It is likely you would have been asked for additional information to support your Development Application whether the new mapping was recently certified by RFS or not.
The new mapping may affect complying development. Contact your certifier if your property is mapped as bushfire-prone.
Yes, but for all home based development, a Bushfire Emergency Management and Evacuation Plan is essential.
Some business types that involve vulnerable members of the community may also need special fire protection considerations – for example home-based childcare (family day care).
Inquiries on home-based business requirements and the approval process for new businesses:
- Development Help desk
- T: 4474 1231
- E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Inquiries on relating to family day care:
- Coordinator Children Services
- T: 4474 1280
- E: email@example.com
Most of the land in Eurobodalla continues to be considered bushfire-prone. Only certain urban land in Batemans Bay, Moruya and Narooma are not considered to be at risk.
Since the previous map was certified in 2003, parts of Eurobodalla have been developed and are no longer bushfire-prone. These areas have been removed form the bushfire-prone land map.
In 2015, the RFS updated its Guide for Bushfire-Prone Land Mapping to recognise the bushfire risk of grasslands. Grasslands are now mapped as bushfire-prone land in Eurobodalla.
About an additional 18,400 hectares of land (outside of national parks and state forests) have been designated as bushfire-prone land in the new map, comprising 833 new land parcels now wholly or partly mapped as bushfire-prone. Most of the additional land was grassland on rural properties.
The additional area mapped as bushfire-prone land was not a result of the 19/20 fires. The map was already a requirement under NSW legislation and already being reviewed prior to the fires.
No. of parcels added/removed*
Area of land added (ha)
Total across Eurobodalla
* Any parcel with >10sqm of bushfire-prone land mapped is considered.
Every Council in NSW is required to map bushfire-prone land and it is intended only as a trigger for development assessment, not other purposes.
Councils have no control over what insurance companies charge for their premiums, however we do know that insurance premiums are based on a range of factors, including worldwide trends and cost recovery for the many and varied natural disasters we’ve seen globally over the past decade.
Being a coastal area surrounded by natural bushland and forest, all Eurobodalla residents should prepare for bushfire, particularly in the warmer months. This includes having a bushfire survival plan. Your actual bushfire risk is not changed based on whether the land is mapped or not.
- RFS: Bushfire Survival Plan
- RFS: Planning for Bushfire Protection Guide
- RFS: Guide for Bushfire-Prone Land Mapping
- RFS: 10/50 Vegetation Clearing Entitlement Area Online Tool
- RFS: 10/50 Vegetation Clearing Code of Practice
- RFS: Bushfire-Prone Land Mapping Tool
- RFS: Publications
- Eurobodalla Shire Council: GIS Mapping Tool