Travel exemption scheme for bushfire preparedness

As per the State Government announcement on the 7th October 2021, property owners from Restricted Areas can apply for a Letter of Support from Council to attend their property to conduct preparedness works for the upcoming fire/summer season.

Where possible, it is strongly encouraged that property owners use local contractors to prepare their property for the upcoming season. A list of potential contractors can be found here.

Under current State Government directions, you can only travel to your regional property from a Restricted Area if you have been granted a Letter of Support from Council. You can apply for permission to travel to your property via the online application form here.

If you are unable to complete the form online yourself, you can contact our friendly Customer Service team on 5355 0200 and they can assist you with the form over the phone.

Council will endeavour to turn around applications within 3-5 business days.

Fire Preparedness Travel Permits - FAQs

Updated: 15/10/2021 10am

Who can travel within Victoria to undertake works on a property before or after an emergency?

The owner of the property and their immediate household members, or if the owner is unable to travel, a nominated representative. If hiring a local contractor is not an option, a nominated representative is anyone who a property owner nominates to conduct fire preparedness activities on the property owner’s behalf. A letter must be supplied stating the nomination of the representative by the registered owner (submitted at the time of application).

Which properties are eligible for a permit for travel exemption? 

Properties located in a Bushfire Management Overlay (BMO) area are eligible for a permit. If you have been issued with a Fire Prevention Notice by Council on your property you are eligible for a permit. Other properties will be issued a permit at the discretion of Council on a needs basis as determined by Council.

When can I travel to my property with a Travel Exemption?

Travel with a Travel Exemption and Letter of Support from Council can commence from October 11th 2021. Any applications for travel before this date will not be processed.

How can I access a copy of my Rates Notice for the purpose of evidence for the Travel Exemption?

A copy of the property Rates Notice can be access by calling Customer Service on 03 5355 0200 or emailing our Customer Service team at council@ararat.vic.gov.au.

How will I receive my Travel Permit?

Your permit will be sent to the nominated email address as part of the application process. Please ensure that the nominated email is regularly attended to ensure you don’t miss any communications.

How quickly will I receive my Travel permit?

Council officers will endeavour to issue the Letter of Support to travel and other documents as quickly as possible, however, this process may take up to 3-5 business days to complete.

If more than 5 business days elapse from your date of submission, please contact Council on 03 5355 0200.

How long can I apply to attend my property for fire preparedness works?

Letters of Support from Council will apply for a period of up to 72 hours.

Council discretion will apply for an extension of 24 per permit for owners/nominated representative/s who live 4 or more hours driving time from the property where works are undertaken. (This will be assessed on a case-by-case basis)

Can an owner or the nominated representative attend their property multiple times to undertake preparedness works?

Yes, if required the owner can apply for additional permits. However, multiple permits will not be issued for consecutive sets of dates (eg. 2 permits for 72 hours undertaken one after the other)

Do property owners need to undertake the preparedness works themselves?

No, it is at the discretion of the owner whether they do the work themselves, request a nominated representative to do the work or engage a contractor. The use of local contractors is strongly encouraged.

A list of local contractors can be found here.

Can property owners engage a contractor from metropolitan Melbourne to do the works?

Yes, if the works are covered under ‘permitted work’ within the metropolitan Melbourne directions set by the Chief Health Officer.

Further information on permitted work can be found here.

Can property owners or the nominated representatives attend shops for supplies to undertake the preparation (e.g. tools)? 

When traveling any person must comply with the restrictions in the place of their primary residence. 

Any person from regional Victoria travelling to an additional property in metropolitan Melbourne or a restricted area must also comply with the restrictions in place. 

In some cases, this means the owner or the nominated representative will not be able to visit local businesses to purchase supplies. They should travel with the tools and equipment they need. The use of local contractors is strongly encouraged.

Further information on what restrictions apply to residents of Metropolitan Melbourne can be found on the Coronavirus website.

If an answer to your question cannot be found above, please contact Council on 03 5355 0200.