Asset Protection Zones

An Asset Protection Zone (APZ) is an area surrounding a building that is managed to reduce the bushfire hazard to an acceptable level.  The width of the required APZ varies with slope and vegetation. The APZ should at a minimum be of sufficient size to ensure the potential radiant heat impact of a fire does not exceed 29kW/m² (BAL-29). APZs should be lot specific.

Asset Protection Zones include a defendable space which is an area adjoining the asset within which firefighting operations can be undertaken to defend the structure. Vegetation within the defendable space should be kept at an absolute minimum and the area should be free from combustible items and obstructions. The width of the defendable space is dependent on the space which is available on the property, but as a minimum should be 4 metres.

The APZ should be contained solely within the boundaries of the lot on which the building is situated, except in instances where the neighbouring lot or lots will be managed in a low-fuel state on an ongoing basis, in perpetuity. The zone may include public roads, waterways, footpaths, buildings, rocky outcrops, golf courses, maintained parkland as well as cultivated gardens in an urban context, but does not include grassland or vegetation on a neighbouring rural lot, farmland, wetland reserves and unmanaged public reserves.

Asset Protection Zones can adversely affect the retention of native vegetation. Where the loss of vegetation is not acceptable or causes conflict with landscape or environmental objectives, such as waterway foreshore areas and wetland buffers, reducing lot yield may be necessary in order to minimise the removal and modification of remnant vegetation.

It is the responsibility of the landowner/occupier to maintain their Asset Protection Zone in compliance with the local government firebreak notice, issued under section 33 of the Bushfires Act 1954.

Removal of vegetation may require approval. Please contact the Shire on 9890 2500 for advice.

Regardless of whether an Asset Protection Zone exists in accordance with the firebreak notice and is appropriately maintained, it should be noted that firefighters are not obliged to protect an asset if they think the separation distance between the dwelling and vegetation is unsafe.

What does an Asset Protection Zone look like?

A description of what an Asset Protection Zone looks like and the features it includes can be viewed below.