Carey v. Murrindindi Shire Council (Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal, 2011)
Side A: Karen Gunter (Individual)
Side B: Murrindindi Shire Council (Government)
Consideration of application for a permit to build a community hall in an area with a high risk of bushfire
At issue in this case was a proposal to build a community hall in an area that was badly burnt by bushfires in February 2009. Citizens objected to the proposal and appealed the Council's decision to grant a permit for the building due to the fire risks associated with the proposal. The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal relied upon the strong community need for the community hall but nevertheless recognized that a prudent approach was needed and that climate change predictions suggested that Victoria would experience more extreme fires in the future. Accordingly, the Tribunal dealt with the risk of loss of life with respect to bushfire risks by imposing conditions on the permit ensuring that the loss of life risks were reduced to a manageable level. For instance, the Tribunal stated that the community hall could not be occupied until an Emergency Management Plan had been prepared by the permit holder.