New course on building in bushfire prone areas

The University of Technology, Sydney, has developed a new training course on building in bushfire prone areas for the Victorian Government and Country Fire Authority.

Launched last week in Melbourne, the five-day program aims to enhance skills for assessing bushfire attack levels and controlling development in high risk areas.

Director of the UTS Centre for Local Government, Graham Sansom, said the program addressed key recommendations of the Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission.

“We were delighted to be invited to help the Victorian authorities and it’s a credit to our staff and teaching associates that we were able to offer the first course within only three months of the Royal Commission releasing its report,” Professor Sansom said.

"The devastating bushfires of 7 February 2009 again highlighted the importance of ensuring that development in bushfire prone areas is carefully planned and controlled to maximise safety.

“Professionals involved in this area must have a thorough grasp of both the legislation and planning and design principles involved, as well as an understanding of related aspects of bushfire behaviour and management.”

Professor Sansom said it would also “help protect local councils and those building surveyors and assessors involved in granting approvals against claims of negligence in exercising their responsibilities”.

The Centre for Local Government will present the course twice in 2010 and four times in 2011.

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