The Victorian Government has welcomed the Phase Two Report of the Inspector-General for Emergency Management (IGEM) and all 15 recommendations that will collectively ensure the emergency management sector, local governments and communities are better placed to manage relief and recovery from bushfires and other emergencies.
The Report examines relief and recovery arrangements during and immediately after the 2019-20 Victorian bushfires. This builds on the Phase One Report released in 2020, which focused on emergency preparedness and response.
This has been a difficult two years for all Victorians, especially for the 120 communities directly affected by the 2019-20 fires. While Victorian communities are resilient, the magnitude of these fires were extensive, and the impacts of COVID-19 have been significant.
The Victorian Government will continue to work in partnership with communities and local governments affected by the 2019-20 fires to support them on their road to recovery.
Their experiences, highlighted throughout IGEM’s report, show there is further work government can do to better support communities during and after emergencies. The Victorian Government will build on work underway across the sector and work more collaboratively to strengthen the support for those impacted by emergencies in years to come.
This will ensure the sector is well equipped to drive ongoing improvements and tackle enduring challenges in our relief and recovery systems.
Emergency Management Commissioner Andrew Crisp said his priority will be to work with Bushfire Recovery Victoria (BRV) and the sector to take action on the recommendations.
“Since the devastating fires in 2019-20, Victoria has faced concurrent and cascading emergencies. From the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic to the recent severe weather event in June, dedicated relief and recovery leadership has played a critical role in supporting communities in need.”
“It has been encouraging to see reforms in relief and recovery, such as the appointment of the State Emergency Relief Coordinator and the establishment of BRV, already having a positive impact. Of course, the emergency management sector has a culture of continuous improvement, and we welcome the opportunity to implement critical reforms.”
The IGEM Inquiry into the 2019-20 Victorian Fire Season Phase Two report and the Victorian Government’s response can be found on the EMV website .