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In the international context there have been considerable advances recently towards the development of a performance-based approach for fire safety design. For the consideration of others involved in planning or implementing a performance-based approach, an examination is given of the experiences gained in Australia. This paper outlines those developments that have led to the implementation of a performance-based approach to fire safety design in Australia. It is noted that several factors must be in existence for there to be a successful implementation of a performance-based approach. Some important issues that need to be resolved are noted also. A brief description is given of some research which is currently in progress to further develop a risk-assessment model. Finally, some challenges and issues surrounding the future international application of a performance based approach to fire safety design are presented.