City of Cockburn, PO Box 1215, Bibra Lake DC, Western Australia, 6965
Telephone: (08) 9411 3444

Building in a Bushfire Prone Area

Bushfires pose a serious threat to people, property, infrastructure and the environment. Bushfire land-use development reforms introduced by the WA State Government came into effect on 8 April 2016. These reforms now apply to properties in designated bushfire prone areas.

If you intend to build a new home or carry out substantial additions or alterations to an existing residential building located within a designated bushfire prone area identified on the DFES Map of Bush Fire Prone Areas, your building permit application must clearly address compliance with the bushfire construction requirements of the Building Code of Australia (BCA), and Australian Standard AS3959-2009 Construction of Buildings in Bushfire Prone Areas

You can refer to the DFES Map of Bush Fire Prone Areas to check whether your property is located within a designated bushfire vulnerability area.

To build in a designated bushfire prone area, there may be 2 parts to the approval process:

Planning Approval - Depending on the lot size, you may require Development Approval prior to the submission of a building permit application. Please contact the City's Statutory Planning Services for more information on 9411 3444 or at

Building Permit - A building permit is required for the construction of a new building or substantial additions or alterations to an existing residential building in a bushfire prone area. 

Building Permit submission requirements

To apply for a building permit, your application must include the following:

  • Detailed plans and specifications for the proposed building work, clearly demonstrating compliance with the BCA and AS3959-2009 bushfire construction requirements.
  • A site specific BAL assessment report and BAL certificate by a Bushfire Planning and Design (BPAD) accredited bushfire assessor. This will determine the BAL rating of your lot, and the bushfire construction requirements applicable to your proposed building.

It should be noted indicative BAL ratings from a BAL Contour Map, Local Development Plan and/or Fire Management Plan will not be accepted by the City as a site specific BAL assessment for your lot. A BCM, LDP and/or FMP is used for planning land subdivision purposes only.

NOTE: The bushfire planning reforms only apply to NEW buildings and development. They are not retrospective, therefore existing buildings or approved development will not be required to be brought into compliance, unless additions and alterations are being carried out.  


If you need more information, please contact Building Services on 9411 3444 or at