16 May 2013 — Cloud technology is being used to help people build safer and more fire-resilient homes.

Victorian Planning Minister Matthew Guy said the iPad App, developed for the Alpine Shire Council in north-east Victoria, uses cloud technology to determine the slope of the land and lowest bushfire attack level.

“While on site, council officers can provide landowners with information about construction requirements and the necessary defendable space in just 10 seconds,” he said.

The App communicates with a remote server via cloud technology to process the calculations and produce up to four plans that the landowner can use when applying for a planning permit.

Mr Guy said land use planning, which took into account natural hazard risks, was the single most important mitigation measure in preventing future disaster losses in areas of new development.

A total of 173 people lost their lives in the 2009 bushfires and more than 2,000 homes were destroyed.

Member for Benalla Bill Sykes said the App was “a fantastic example of thinking laterally and using modern technology to provide a simple solution to what had been a complex problem”.

The new technology also reduces the cost and time in planning for bushfires and increases resilience to bushfires within the Alpine Shire. The technology may also be used by other municipalities following interest from councils in Victoria and interstate.