BAL Compliance – What Does This Mean?

Is your property in a bushfire prone area?

You can find out if your land is in a designated bushfire prone area. To do this, create a free planning property report in VicPlan, the State’s online planning maps system.

The report includes:

  • property details
  • Bushfire Prone Area status
  • a map showing the extent of the designated bushfire prone area relative to the property.

More information on using VicPlan

Note: When buying or selling property, section 32C of the Sale of Land Act 1962 requires a vendor statement to state if the land is in a designated Bushfire Prone Area. For more information, consult the Consumer Affairs Victoria website

What are Bushfire Prone Areas?

Bushfire Prone Areas are areas that are subject to or likely to be subject to bushfires.

The Minister for Planning has determined that specific areas are designated Bushfire Prone Areas for the purposes of the building control system.

Designated bushfire prone areas

Specific bushfire construction standards apply in designated bushfire prone areas in Victoria. These bushfire construction requirements are aimed at improving bushfire protection for residential buildings. The creation of the Bushfire Prone Area Map fulfils one of the 67 recommendations made by the Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission.

The Bushfire Prone Area Map for Victoria was reviewed and updated on 24 March 2020.

The 17 councils updated in the 24 March 2020 review are:

Ballarat, Bass Coast, Baw Baw, Brimbank, Cardinia, Casey, Greater Bendigo, Greater Geelong, Greater Shepparton, Hume, Latrobe, Macedon Ranges, Melton, Moorabool, Warrnambool, Whittlesea, and Wyndham.

View the Determination that Specified Areas are Designated Bushfire Prone Areas (DOCX, 23.7 KB), incorporating amendments as at 24 March 2020.

Minimum construction standard

A minimum construction standard applies to new residential buildings, schools, child care centres, hospitals, aged care facilities and associated buildings in designated Bushfire Prone Areas. Landowners are required to build to a minimum Bushfire Attack Level of 12.5.

A Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) is a way of measuring the severity of a building’s potential exposure to ember attack, radiant heat and direct flame contact.

There are six Bushfire Attack Levels that form part of the Australian Standard for construction of buildings in bushfire prone areas (AS 3959-2018):

  • BAL-12.5
  • BAL-19
  • BAL-29
  • BAl-40
  • BAL-FZ (Flame Zone).