Strategic Action Plan (SAP): Priority five

Strengthen governance arrangements to improve accountability, cooperation and participation


1. Implement the emergency management governance review

This action will deliver the Emergency Management Governance Review which will ensure the emergency management framework provides clarity and certainty regarding how public sector agencies and departments work together to respond to major emergencies.

Delivery date: December 2022 – Review due. Subsequent – Review implementation

Lead agency: Emergency Management Victoria (EMV)


2. Deliver reforms to Victoria’s Emergency Services Telecommunications Authority (ESTA)

This action will deliver the Victorian government’s response to the ESTA Capability and Service Review (the Review), undertaken by Mr Graham Ashton AM APM. This includes delivery of all 20 recommendations made by the Review, which highlight foundational future changes required to reposition ESTA. It recommends fundamental governance reforms, including moving ESTA into DJCS and replacing the current Board and Advisory Committee with a board of advisors. This program of work will also include the development and implementation of strategic roadmaps to support the future delivery of managed services and technology services, and implementation of outcomes based performance standards.

Delivery date: December 2023

Lead agency: Department of Justice and Community Safety (DJCS)/ Emergency Services Telecommunications Authority (ESTA)


3. Continue to strengthen, embed and operationalise fire services reform

This action will deliver the Minister for Emergency Services’ Year Two to Five Fire Services Reform Implementation Plan.

Delivery date: December 2025

Lead agency:Country Fire Authority (CFA)/ Fire Rescue Victoria (FRV)


4. Implement Emergency Recovery Victoria (ERV) as the dedicated and permanent entity responsible for state and regional recovery coordination

This action will see Bushfire Recovery Victoria (BRV) expand its responsibilities and transition to ERV, encompassing all emergencies across the state. ERV will work closely with the recovery sector to help build stronger communities that are better prepared for, and recover faster from, emergencies. ERV will be better integrated with the emergency management sector to ensure a seamless transition from response to recovery.

With a regional presence across the state, ERV will work with local government and communities to ensure they lead their own engagement processes, collectively determine their recovery priorities and plan how they will achieve them.

Delivery date: June 2023

Lead agency: Emergency Recovery Victoria (ERV)


5. Deliver a legislative review of fuel management to support more effective planning and interoperability

This action will deliver a review of the legislative framework for fuel management and consider legislative change to:

  • enable more effective planning and delivery of bushfire management across different land tenures and responsible agencies 
  • support greater interoperability
  • ensure all firefighters (including volunteers) have sufficient legal protections when carrying out fuel management.

Delivery date: July 2023

Lead agency: Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action (DEECA) / Department of Justice and Community Safety (DJCS)


6. Increase Victoria’s capability and capacity to manage large-scale, prolonged, complex biosecurity emergencies in the context of increasing threats from exotic plant and animal diseases

This action will strengthen Victoria’s biosecurity system, supporting mitigation of increasing biosecurity risks and supporting growth opportunities for the state. It will include exercises to improve understanding of governance and consequence management for major biosecurity emergencies as well as initiatives to improve surge workforce arrangements.

Delivery date: June 2024

Lead agency: Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action (DEECA)


7. Deliver a sustainable and resilient health system that can scale quickly and act locally by connecting with all Victorian communities.

This action will deliver Health SEMP Sub-Plans that are supported by an emergency management framework that enables rapid scaling and enables the resources of the Victorian Public Service (VPS) to be leveraged when required. This action will also establish a network of Local Public Health Units which allow for more localised engagement and partnership and place-based prevention, regulation and response programs.

Delivery date: June 2023

Lead agency: Department of Health (DH)