Rebuilding safely

Your local Rebuild Support Service (RSS) is here to help  

The RSS is a free one-stop shop that provides support to people who are rebuilding. 

To get started, contact your local Rebuild Support Service:  

East Gippsland Shire

Towong Shire

Rebuilding Safely

Rebuilding after a bushfire is a big job. Everybody has different circumstances and will make different choices, and that’s okay.

We know that not everyone wants to rebuild straight away. You can access support when you are ready. When you decide to rebuild, it is important to understand the standards you need to build to and why.

Keeping communities safe and bushfire resilient

As our climate warms, Victoria will become hotter and drier, increasing the frequency and severity of heatwaves and bushfires.

To keep our communities safe and resilient in future natural disasters like bushfires, new builds need to comply with current planning and building standards.

These standards aim to improve our level of bushfire protection and are updated regularly. The standards are based on an understanding of how bushfire impacts a home and the threat of bushfire.

Changes since 2009 Black Saturday bushfires

The 2009 Black Saturday bushfires had significant impacts, with loss of life and over 2,000 houses destroyed.

The Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission into the Black Saturday bushfires made 67 recommendations to strengthen preparedness and response to future bushfire events. Nineteen of these recommendations related to Victoria’s planning and building system, and improvements to how planning applications for bushfire rebuilds are assessed.

In response, these changes have been made to the planning and building system have been made to respond to bushfire risk and keep us safe.

For more information visit

Bushfire Management Overlay

The Bushfire Management Overlay (BMO) is a planning control that applies to high-risk bushfire landscapes.

Land identified as BMO in the planning scheme is normally also a Bushfire Prone Area (BPA) under the Victorian Building Regulations 2018.

Most properties in East Gippsland Shire and parts of Towong Shire are covered by the BMO. To build a house in the BMO a planning permit is needed and will be referred to Country Fire Authority (CFA) for assessment against the requirements of the planning scheme.

The planning application must ensure bushfire protection measures are addressed, including construction to a bushfire rating (Bushfire Attack Level), defendable space and ongoing vegetation management, firefighting water supply and fire safe access for emergency vehicles.

Short-Term Modular Housing

It’s important that while you rebuild, you and your family have safe and suitable accommodation. There are temporary housing options available in Victoria.

Short-Term Modular Housing is one option available for those who lost their primary place of residence in the 2019-20 Eastern Victorian bushfires. The program is flexible and aims to get people back on their land.

The Short-Term Modular Homes come in standard designs that accommodate most temporary accommodation needs. The design can be customised to meet specific needs such as mobility access requirements. ERV will work with recipients of Short-Term Modular Housing to understand and respond to specific needs.

Registrations for the Short-Term Modular Housing program have now closed.

If you have any questions, please call 1800 560 760 to speak with a Recovery Support Worker.

This doesn’t affect you if you are waiting for your Short-Term Modular Housing registration to be processed or are currently residing in a unit.

Visit the Short-Term Modular Housing page for more information.

Rebuilding experts for complex sites

For a small number of properties, rebuilding to meet current building and fire safety standards will be more difficult due to high levels of bushfire risk. These sites are called complex sites.

The Complex Site Taskforce is a free independent service that has been established to support property owners with complex sites. It exists to ensure every option has been explored to rebuild safely and to meet current standards. Where rebuilding safely may not be achievable, then there is support for owners of complex sites to resettle. This includes the voluntary purchase of land by Government through the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning’s Retreat and Resettlement program.

Download this content as a factsheet:

Rebuilding Safely Factsheet
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