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 

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


Signage will be installed identifying these official collection sites in the near future. 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.

February 2021 Update

December 2020 Update

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

Rebuild Support Services Locality Map below.

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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 is a way to ensure that economic, social and environmental matters and impacts are considered and managed as places change, and to ensure that a range of risks are managed.

A planning application may have to address many different matters. Some matters that might be relevant to a planning permit application include:

  • Bushfire hazard
  • Flood hazard
  • Climate change
  • Erosion hazard
  • The amenity of an area
  • Social impacts
  • Vegetation removal
  • Heritage
  • Infrastructure

You can find out what zones and overlays apply to your land by getting a Planning Property Report at VicPlan

If you register for the Bushfire Rebuild Support Service, your Rebuild Support team can assist with this information.

The Rebuild Support team can advise if a planning permit is needed and if so, what your application needs to include and assist in the preparation of your submission to Council. You can also seek professional advice or prepare the application yourself using our application checklists as a guide. To ensure that your application can be processed quickly you need to include all the relevant information.

Planning application process

Once your planning application has been prepared (either by yourself or with the help from the Rebuild Support team) the application is lodged with Council’s Land Use Planning team.

Your application may be referred to other internal departments for assessment as required (municipal building surveyor, environmental health, and technical engineer), or to external agencies for assessment. These include the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, CFA and East Gippsland Catchment Management Authority, or others as required by the Planning Scheme.

The Rebuild Support team will work with you through this process.

Once all referrals are complete and the land use planner is satisfied that all information is provided, a determination can be made.

There may be situations where the state policy to protect life and property above all else may prevent reconstruction. The land use planners will work with the Rebuild Support Service to identify these cases early, so we can discuss potential options and outcomes with you.

Planning application requirements

A planning permit application must include

  • A completed Planning Permit Application Form
  • A Certificate of Title including all details for the subject land. You can get this from the Titles Office or phone (03) 9194 0605 or the Rebuild Support team can assist in the acquisition of this on your behalf.
  • Preferably one digital copy of the site and floor plans and all elevations of the proposed development. All plans must be drawn to scale with dimensions to a professional standard. If not to the appropriate standard, there may be a requirement to provide new plans that meet the standard.
  • Any other information required by the planning scheme: bushfire reports, geotechnical risk assessment (erosion), land capability assessments (septic), vegetation removal.

If your property is located in a Bushfire Management Overlay a Bushfire Management Statement and a Bushfire Management Plan will need to accompany your planning permit application.

You can create a Bushfire Management Statement and a Bushfire Management Plan yourself with the templates available on the Planning Victoria web page, or you can engage a private planning consultant to assist you, or register for the Bushfire Rebuild Support Service.

Complying with planning permit conditions

When a planning permit is issued, it usually comes with conditions that you must comply with in order to act on the permit and commence construction.

Conditions that may apply:

  • Compliance with an approved bushfire management plan as an ongoing requirement (including maintaining defendable space, constructing to the appropriate Bushfire Attack Level (BAL), providing an effective water supply for firefighting purposes and access standards).
  • A requirement to build in accordance with the endorsed plans and a time to start and finish the development.
  • Requirements to connect the development to council drains or create a private drain system, stabilise the development site to prevent offsite impacts, repair damage to Council infrastructure from the building process, or construction or maintenance of a driveway crossover to the road.

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:

Building Permits

Almost all building works require a Building Permit. Council does not issue Building Permits; these are issued through Private Building Surveyors.

If you are not sure if your project requires a Permit, contact Council’s building department or a private building surveyor.

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: 
Monday, May 10, 2021