Fire season preparation permit applications now open

Published on 07 October 2021

Gutter clean out

Melbourne residents who own properties in the Colac Otway Shire that are located within a Bushfire Prone Area or Bushfire Management Overlay can now apply for a Letter of Approval to travel to the Shire for Fire Season Preparation from October 11, 2021.

“Fire season preparation is so important in our region and we appreciate all the work Melbourne residents do to maintain their Colac Otway Shire properties and make them Fire Ready,” said Colac Otway Shire Council CEO, Anne Howard. “This year, we’re also asking people to consider the pandemic and only travel to the area for valid fire prevention work in order to protect the coastal and hinterland communities they love.” 

To apply for a permit, applicants must fill out an online form at

Once approved, a pdf Letter of Approval and permit documents will be emailed. Some things to note:

  • Melbourne residents have a maximum of 72 hours from the time they leave their primary residence, to the time they return to their property back in Melbourne, providing they are carrying out fire prevention work, such as mowing, trimming, and clearing gutters.
  •  Each visit will require a separate request.
  • Melbourne residents must adhere to metro restrictions while in Colac Otway Shire for fire prevention purposes. They may buy takeaway food, but must not dine-in at cafes, for example, and local businesses will be asking for contact details of anyone dining-in.
  • Property owners will need to provide their Rates Assessment Number details as a requirement of their application, to prove they own the property.
  • Visiting ratepayers can only bring people from their household and must nominate who they are on the request form. Their names will be included on the letter.
  • Colac Otway Shire Council will issue these letters of approval, when validated, along with advice from the Victorian Chief Health Officer and Victoria Police, as soon as possible in accordance with State Government advice.
  • Colac Otway Shire Council will endeavour to issue letters of approval via email within three working days of receiving and validating an online request. If confirmation of approval or rejection of request is not received within three working days, please email
  • Anyone who is unwell should get tested and stay home, and not attend their secondary property, even if they have a letter of approval.

“Before applying for permission to travel to Colac Otway Shire to get your property Fire Ready,” said Ms Howard, “please think about whether there may be a local contractor or neighbour who may be able to help conduct the work on your property for you – they may be grateful for the additional work, or might be more than happy to help considering the situation we find ourselves in again this year.”

For information on preparing your property for fire season, visit our Getting Fire Ready page.

To find out if your property has a Bushfire Management Overlay or is located in a Bushfire Prone Area, please visit VicPlan, type in your address and view the Bushfire layer. 

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