Bushfire bunkers to be scrutinised

By Staff Writer

The Victorian Government has introduced new regulations and accreditation process for the construction of bunkers and bushfire shelters.

Planning Minister Justin Madden said the interim regulations will be in place until proposed new national regulations are introduced next year.

The regulation and accreditation process was developed by the Victorian Building Commission in partnership with the Building Regulations Advisory Committee.

Mr Madden said communities need to understand that bushfire bunkers or shelters cannot be relied upon to save lives.

“It is absolutely vital that people considering building a bunker or private bushfire shelter are aware of the risks and requirements that they need to meet for such a bunker to be considered a safer place of last resort,” he said.

Mr Madden said he was aware that some people were considering installing bunkers and it was therefore necessary to introduce interim regulations providing clear guidance.

“This is about ensuring people in bushfire-prone areas have all of the information and are aware of conditions they need to meet,” he said.

“If people do choose to construct a bunker or private bushfire shelter they will be required to obtain a building permit and adhere to regulations and an accreditation process.”    

Mr Madden said households will also be required to purchase an accredited bushfire bunker or satisfy a building surveyor that it meets the requirements contained in the regulations.

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