Great Ocean Road Post Bushfire Resilience Guideline

Guideline for Building in Bushfire Prone Areas Wye River & Separation Creek

The 2015 Christmas Day Bushfires resulted in the loss of 116 houses in Wye River and Separation Creek on Victoria’s Great Ocean Road.

The government and community have worked together to not only rebuild the affected communities but also to increase their resilience to future bushfires. An online portal has been established to assist the community with their recovery. WyeSep Connect is the primary online portal that supports resettlement at Wye River and Separation Creek, by sharing and sourcing information, news, events, achievements and challenges.

A CSIRO report released into the Wye River and Separation Creek fire identifies ignition of extensive surface litter and domestic fuels within the township as the main contributors leading to house loss.

At the request of Emergency Management Victoria Lew Short teamed up with Justin Leonard of the CSIRO to produce the Guideline for Building in Bushfire Prone Areas Wye River & Separation Creek.

The Guideline aims to build a safer and more resilient community and is the culmination of post fire analysis, research, collaboration and understanding community needs.

The guidelines recognise the challenges of the rugged and isolated nature of the Great Ocean Road and the desire of the community to increase its resilience to future fires.

The guidelines aim to enhance the prospect of building survival throughout the bushfire event and improve access provisions to ensure occupants have a contingency in being able to pass through township if they need to leave their burning house.

The guideline introduces bushfire protection measures (BPM) in combination with existing planning and building requirements to provide a better outcome for the site than regulations will provide on their own.

Building resilience into communities is a core function of good lands planning.

How resilient is your community?

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About the Author
Lew Short is a recognised expert in bushfire and emergency management, land-use planning, risk mitigation, consequence management, environment and the working of government.

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