Bushfire Rebuilding
Bushfire Rebuilding
Council is committed to assisting our community in its recovery, every step of the way. This page has information about planning and building, the Bushfire Rebuild Support Service, helpful links and fact sheets.

The objective of the Bushfire Rebuild Support Service is to provide specialised advice to help streamline both any planning application requirements and your overall rebuild.

The Bushfire Rebuild Support Service has already helped many people begin their rebuild process. If you are looking for help and support with your rebuild, you can sign up for the Bushfire Rebuild Support Service by completing this form.

The planning permit application process for a bushfire affected property is different to a standard application. See more information on planning exemptions.

Fencing wire waste sites

Council and DELWP have dedicated official fencing wire waste deposit and collection sites across East Gippsland. Fencing wire waste from these sites is periodically collected, and as such all fire-impacted fencing waste from private property should be deposited at these sites only. Fencing wire waste has been deposited at other locations around the region. We kindly ask that only the below sites be used:


SARSFIELD DISTRICT - Sarsfield Camp Reserve, Great Alpine Road, Sarsfield. Closed from June 2021; please deposit metal waste at Bairnsdale Landfill.

OMEO DISTRICT - Old Night Soil Dump Site, 181 Depot Road Omeo and Ensay Blowhard' Gravel Pit, Little River Road, Ensay North 

BUCHAN DISTRICT - Buchan Old Sawmill site 2286 Bruthen, Buchan Road, Buchan 

WAIREWA DISTRICT - Wairewa DELWP Waterpoint, Opposite Wairewa Transfer Station, Carl Smith Road, Wairewa 

ORBOST DISTRICT - Newmerella Recreation Reserve, 5234 Princes Highway, Newmerella 

CANN RIVER DISTRICT - Cann River Transfer Station, 20 Coast Road, Cann River 

MALLACOOTA DISTRICT - Mallacoota Transfer Station, Betka Road, Mallacoota


Signs will mark these official collection sites soon. The next collection is scheduled for June 2021.

Rebuild Support Service Update

This monthly update contains important and useful information to help support your rebuild and connect you with helpful resources.

May/June 2021 Update

February 2021 Update

December 2020 Update

We also provide a snapshot update of the Rebuild Support Service, you can view the latest data.

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Please check back soon.

How the Bushfire Rebuild Support Service works

Once Council receives your referral form, any current case notes for your property will be updated and you will be referred to the Rebuild Support team.

The Rebuild Support team will be your single point of contact for all Council-related rebuild and planning enquiries.

The Rebuild Support team will arrange an appointment to discuss what stage you are at with your rebuild and to request any relevant planning and rebuild information that you wish to submit.

A second appointment will follow after the Rebuild Support team has completed a review of your property details. This review will assist in the provision of any additional supporting expertise that may be required (planning, building and environmental health) and develop a plan with you to progress your rebuild.

From there, your progress will depend on your property, planning and rebuild requirements. The Rebuild Support team will be there to guide and help you every step of the way before the submission of your planning permit application to our planning officers.

Click the below image to expand and see how the service works

Rebuild Support Service

Preparing to Rebuild

There are many ways to improve the protection of your home from bushfires. The Victorian Building Authority recommends the following precautions to help protect your home:

  • Seal gaps with joining strips, silicon weather strips, draught excluders on side-hung doors.
  • Seal vents and weep holes in external walls with corrosion resistant steel, bronze or aluminium mesh.
  • Seal around roofing and roof penetrations.
  • If an evaporative cooler is installed, protect it with a mesh screen.
  • Clear leaves from gutters and considering installing an appropriate leaf-guard product.
  • Check that your gutters are in good condition and will hold water if you block the downpipes.
  • Enclose the subfloor of your home with a non-combustible material.
  • Install shutters or metal flyscreens to doors and windows.
  • Remove any overhanging tree branches, take out shrubs over one metre high next to or below windows, keep grass short and clean up other debris near your home that could easily catch fire.

It is also important to make sure your property is accessible for emergency vehicles and has a water supply for firefighting. If you have a rainwater tank near your home, ensure it is accessible.

The Country Fire Authority (CFA) also has a list of recommendations on how to maintain around your home to keep it safe.

These can be found at

Temporary Storage and Accommodation

Council has adopted an interim policy to provide some leniency to those who are needing to make temporary storage or accommodation arrangements to rebuild and recover from the bushfires.

This interim policy provides guidelines and support for temporary storage and accommodation, including the use of shipping containers for storage. Ordinarily both a shipping container or other shed without a dwelling in a residential zone is prohibited under the planning scheme and the General Local Law provides for use of shipping containers only in limited circumstances.

With this interim policy, bushfire affected landholders may be able to arrange for temporary storage and or accommodation with some planning and building permit exemptions for a maximum of 3 years, or until a permanent structure is built.

Short-term Modular Housing is an available option for those who lost their primary place of residence in the bushfires. The program is flexible and aims to get people back on their land and in their communities.   Head to the Bushfire Recovery Victoria website or speak to your local BRV Hub Coordinator to find out more.

Find out more in the below fact sheets.

Temporary storage and accommodation fact sheet

Emergency accommodation fact sheet

Planning Information

Planning and Building permits are two separate processes required before commencing certain construction work.

Planning permits are applied for and issued by Council’s Land Use Planning department. A planning application may have to address many different matters, and as such, planning applications require assessment and approval on a case-by-case basis.

You can learn more here.

Building permits are issued by private registered building surveyors, not Council.

You can learn more here.

Both types of permits are often required. Where this is the case, a planning permit must be obtained prior to applying for a building permit.

Planning permits

For people rebuilding a fire impacted house, it is likely you will need a planning permit.

There are a few exceptions, for residents whose properties are not covered by a Bushfire Management Overlay. For fire-impacted properties in East Gippsland, this applies to some areas of Sarsfield and a few other locations.

For rebuilding of sheds and outbuildings, whether you need a planning permit will depend on factors such as shed size and distance from property boundaries, houses and waterways.


Planning permit assistance from the Rebuild Support Service

The Rebuild Support Service (RSS) is a free service delivered by Council that allows us to start working with you on your rebuild plans. The RSS is not part of the business-as-usual Land Use Planning department and it's aim is to work closely with residents to provide planning advice and support that is specific to your property and needs.

With any new request the first thing we do is consider the request and advise whether your proposed house and/or shed will require a planning permit. If you do require a permit we have qualified Land Use Planners who can prepare and lodge a planning permit application for you.

Once your application has been prepared and submitted, either by yourself or with the support of the RSS, the assessment and approval of the planning permit is considered by the Land Use Planning department.

A referral to the RSS starts our involvement with you but your application is not considered to be in the planning assessment and approval process until it is formally lodged with the planning department.

In most cases, it will then take 2-3 months for an application to be assessed, approved, and a planning permit issued.

For bushfire rebuilds, planning permit costs have been waived.


Building permits

For all but the most minor structures, you will also need a building permit before you build. You will need to appoint a private building surveyor, either yourself, or through your builder. We can provide a list of local building surveyors.

It is the role of the private building surveyor to ensure that the construction will meet all current building regulations.

For a house, this means complying with a range of requirements including your BAL (Bushfire Attack Level) rating, having adequate foundations for your property’s soil conditions, and achieving a 6-star energy efficiency rating.

When your private building surveyor is satisfied that the construction will meet all regulations, they will issue a building permit.

This permit will specify several mandatory inspections at various stages of construction.

On completion, the building surveyor will make a final inspection and issue an Occupancy Permit (if the structure is a dwelling).

Septic Tanks and Rainwater

Your dwelling must be connected to a reticulated sewerage system or if that is not available, your wastewater must be treated and retained on-site in accordance with the Environment Protection Act 1970 (a septic tank system).

Septic tank enquiries will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

If you have any enquiries, consider registering for Bushfire Rebuild Support Service by completing this form, or contact Council’s Environmental Health team on 03 5153 9500.

Get copies of your septic tank plans

Get a permit to install or alter a septic tank system

Rainwater and Septic Tank replacement program

The Rainwater and Septic Tank Replacement Program (the Program) will support households that have lost or significantly damaged rainwater and/or septic tanks on their primary place of residence as a result of the Eastern Victorian Fires occurred from 21 November 2019.

The Program will be open from mid-August 2020 and close on 31 May 2023. Support under the program will be available for any work completed since the commencement of the bushfires on 21 November 2019. It will remain open to May 2023 to allow time for people to rebuild.

Melbourne Water will administer the Program on behalf of the Victorian Government, as represented by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning and Bushfire Recovery Victoria.

To find out more about the Program take a look at the following link:

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does the Bushfire Rebuild Support Service cost?

The Bushfire Rebuild Support Service is a free service for all bushfire affected East Gippsland residents looking to rebuild on their property. Additionally, Council will waive all Council-related fees relating to the processes of your rebuild.

I’m not sure where my property boundaries are anymore, how can I find out?

Property boundary surveying isn’t a service provided by Council. You can arrange this yourself or with the assistance of the Rebuild Support team.

Find out more at and find a surveyor at

What is a BAL (Bushfire Attack Level)?

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-LOW, BAL-12.5, BAL-19, BAL-29, BAL-40, BAL-FZ (Flame Zone).

You can

See also our Bushfire Rebuild Support Service FAQ sheet

For further information on Bushfire Recovery Victoria rebuilding support, please visit

Obtain a copy of your certificate of title and other land documents at

Find Council forms including planning permit and septic tank applications - Find a Form

Find information about wastewater and septic tanks -

Learn about being an Owner/Builder - VBA Managing your rebuild as an owner builder

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This page was last published on: 
Wednesday, June 30, 2021