Regular monitoring and reporting on progress with implementing desired changes is a key part of the Inspector-General for Emergency Management (IGEM) assurance role. Monitoring enables IGEM to determine if the implementation of state-based improvements in emergency management arrangements are effective and sustainable in the long-term and are actively helping to keep communities safe.
Monitoring and Assurance Framework
The Emergency Management Act 2013 outlines a number of specific functions for IGEM including the development, maintenance and implementation of a monitoring and assurance framework for emergency management (the framework).
The framework, developed in partnership with the Victorian emergency management sector, is a high-level, structured process that will be used to monitor and objectively assess the capacity and capability of the emergency management sector as a whole.
The framework describes a range of assurance activities, including reviews, evaluations, monitoring and reporting. Essential to this framework are the community outcomes and outcome measures to be developed in consultation with the emergency management sector.
The framework also describes the layers of assurance that exist within the sector and where IGEM fits into that overall equation. IGEM is not the only assurance provider in Victoria’s emergency management sector. Some assurance activities will fall to individual organisations; others will be led by Emergency Management Victoria (EMV), IGEM, Victorian Auditor-General's Office and other special bodies established by government to conduct formal inquiries, for example, a Royal Commission.
IGEM consulted with its emergency management sector partners to develop the framework that best meets its legislative objectives and the sector’s needs.
Under the 2013 Act, IGEM monitors and reports to the Minister for Emergency Services on implementation of recommendations from system-wide reviews conducted in relation to the framework.
IGEM's monitoring activities are detailed below.
On 19 November 2015, government responded to IGEM's report into the review of performance targets for the future bushfire fuel management program on public land, accepting all recommendations including the adoption of a risk reduction fuel target.
IGEM monitors government’s implementation of recommendations from the review of performance targets, in addition to managing the investigation and reporting of any breaches of control lines by a planned burn.
- Implementation of recommendations from the Review of Performance Targets for Bushfire Fuel Management on Public Land – Annual Report 2016
- Summary of investigations into breaches of planned burn control lines (1 January to 30 June 2016)
- Review of performance targets for the future bushfire fuel management program on public land
The Critical Infrastructure Resilience Strategy sets out the vision, principles and strategic priorities for the future direction in building resilience of Victoria’s critical infrastructure. The strategy gives effect to recent legislative changes to the Emergency Management Act 2013, outlining the components of the new arrangements and how implementation will be achieved.
Individual government departments and agencies will monitor critical infrastructure that falls within their portfolio. IGEM has a key role to assure the effectiveness of critical infrastructure arrangements at the system level.
Read the Critical Infrastructure Resilience Strategy (external link)
The Emergency Services Telecommunications Authority (ESTA) handles the calltaking and dispatch system for approximately 6,600 emergency and non-emergency calls daily, in addition to other communications for Victoria’s emergency management organisations and agencies.
Under the Emergency Services Telecommunications Act 2004, IGEM determines the non-financial performance standards for ESTA’s delivery of services to the emergency management organisations and the community. IGEM establishes these standards in consultation with emergency management organisations.
The Emergency Management Act 2013 requires IGEM to monitor and investigate ESTA’s performance against these standards and report any related issues to the Minister for Emergency Services.
Investigation of a drowning at Williamson’s Beach on 11 February 2016
On 12 February 2016, government requested IGEM to investigate ESTA’s management of calltaking and dispatch of emergency services to this incident, specifically regarding the dispatch of paramedics.
IGEM has provided the Minister for Emergency Services with the final investigation report, as well as the State Coroner.
At the government's request, IGEM investigated and reported on the progress and implementation of identified actions from three 2013-14 fire season reports prepared by the Emergency Management Commissioner and the emergency management sector.
IGEM's dedicated reporting of the improvements implemented in response to the 2013-14 fire season is provided through three annual progress reports relating to improvements to road traffic management, community involvement, initial attack and utilisation of resources, cross-border fire arrangements and other systemic issues:
A fire burned in the Hazelwood Coal Mine for 45 days in February and March 2014.
In March 2014, an independent inquiry into the circumstances of the Hazelwood Coal Mine was established. The Hazelwood Mine Fire Inquiry Report was tabled in the Victorian Parliament on 2 September 2014.
The Inquiry Report made 12 recommendations and 40 affirmations directed to the State, and six recommendations and 17 affirmations directed to the operator of the Hazelwood Coal Mine, GDF Suez.
In May 2015, the Inquiry was re-opened by the government to investigate community concerns following the 2014 fire and consider rehabilitation at Latrobe Valley’s coal mines.
The Hazelwood Mine Fire Inquiry: Victorian Government Implementation Plan was tabled in parliament on 21 June 2016.
The Implementation Plan is the government's formal response to the Inquiry Reports, setting out 246 actions that will be undertaken to implement all recommendations and affirmations of the 2014 and 2015-16 Inquiry Reports.
The Inspector-General for Emergency Management (IGEM) provides independent monitoring and public reporting on the progress of Implementation Plan.
IGEM also monitors progress of implementation of the Inquiry Report recommendations and affirmations by non-government parties, which include:
- the operators of the three Latrobe Valley Coal Mines: ENGIE, operator of the Hazelwood Coal Mine; AGL, operator of the Loy Yang Coal Mine; and EnergyAustralia, operator of the Yallourn Coal Mine
- the four principal health agencies in the Latrobe Valley as identified by the Inquiry: Latrobe Regional Hospital; Latrobe Community Health Service; Gippsland Primary Health Network; and Latrobe City Council
- statutory and non-government health agencies
- other parties who made affirmations captured by the Inquiry at page 137 of the Health Improvement Report.
IGEM will report annually on the progress of implementation to the Minister for Emergency Services in October and will do so until 2019.
The Minister for Emergency Services will publicly release each report:
- Hazelwood Mine Fire Inquiry - 2016 Annual Report (tabled 24 November 2016)
- Hazelwood Mine Fire Inquiry Implementation Monitor – 2015 Annual Report (tabled on 25 November 2015)
At government's request, the Inspector-General for Emergency Management (IGEM) is monitoring the implementation of the recommendations outlined in the Parliamentary Inquiry into the CFA Training College at Fiskville.
IGEM will conduct this complementary monitoring role in accordance with its legislative assurance functions and in close consultation with Worksafe. To undertake this monitoring role, IGEM is developing an assurance framework, including a monitoring regime, that considers the safety of the operations of Victoria’s emergency management training centres.
IGEM will provide government with a report on departments’ and agencies’ first 12 months of work implementing the government's commitments in the response to the Inquiry within 18 months of the implementation commencing.
Read the government's response to the Fiskville Inquiry
Find out about the Parliamentary Inquiry into the CFA training college at Fiskville
On 19 November 2015, government released and responded to the independent investigation of the October 2015 Lancefield-Cobaw fire and the Inspector-General for Emergency Management’s report into the review of performance targets for the future bushfire fuel management program on public land.
The Lancefield-Cobaw fire investigation carried out by independent expert Murray Carter, Director of Western Australia's Office of Bushfire Risk Management, recommended improvements to the systems and processes of the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) that are crucial to the delivery of planned burning throughout Victoria.
All 22 of the recommendations in the Lancefield-Cobaw report were accepted by DELWP, as well as a commitment to making changes to the way it operates across the state, to improve delivery of Victoria’s planned burning program – Safer Together: a new approach to reducing risk of bushfire in Victoria.
At the request of government, and in line with Section 64(1)(ca) of the Emergency Management Act 2013, IGEM provides independent oversight to ensure all recommendations from the Lancefield-Cobaw report are implemented and progress is publicly reported.
In relation to Victoria’s bushfire fuel management program on public land, IGEM monitors government’s implementation of recommendations from the review of performance targets, in addition to managing the investigation and reporting of any future breaches of containment lines by a planned burn.
Read the report from the independent investigation of the October 2015 Lancefield-Cobaw fire
IGEM Final Progress Report - August 2016
On 28 September 2016, government released the Inspector-General for Emergency Management’s (IGEM) final progress report on implementation of the recommendations and commitments following the independent investigation into the Lancefield-Cobaw 2015 fire.
In the final progress report, IGEM found that the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) had satisfactorily implemented 19 of the 22 recommendations and all 10 of the additional commitments made by DELWP.
The remaining three recommendations are being implemented as part of Safer Together, the government’s new approach to reducing the risk of bushfire in Victoria.
The IGEM Final Progress Report is available from www.delwp.vic.gov.au
IGEM Progress Report - June 2016
On 4 July 2016, government released IGEM's second progress report on implementing recommendations of the independent investigation into the Lancefield-Cobaw fire.
In the second progress report, IGEM found that DELWP was on track to implement all recommendations and the additional commitments made by the department on time.
IGEM found DELWP had completed 13 of the 22 recommendations and nine of the ten commitments.
The IGEM June Progress Report is available from www.delwp.vic.gov.au
IGEM Interim Progress Report - February 2016
On 19 February 2016, government released IGEM's first interim progress report of the implementation of recommendations and commitments following the Independent Investigation of the Lancefield-Cobaw Fire.
This is an interim progress update on the implementation of the 22 recommendations from the Investigation and 10 additional commitments that DELWP has made to improve the delivery of the Bushfire Fuel Management Program as described in the Response to the recommendations of the independent investigation into the Lancefield-Cobaw fire.
The IGEM interim progress report is available from www.delwp.vic.gov.au
The Victorian Emergency Management Strategic Action Plan, developed by the State Crisis and Resilience Council, drives the government’s emergency management reform agenda, sets priorities, and assists in determining investment decisions.
Emergency management agency work plans help deliver on the projects and actions under the Strategic Action Plan.
Under the 2013 Act, IGEM has a specific role in monitoring and reporting on the implementation, effectiveness and efficacy of actions under the Victorian Emergency Management Strategic Action Plan. IGEM works closely with EMV to prepare annual reports for the minister.
Read the 2016 Annual Progress Report
In August 2014, government requested IGEM to monitor implementation of the remaining recommendations and actions from the 2009 Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission.
Under this monitoring function, IGEM will publish an annual progress report on the emergency management sector's progress with implementing the remaining recommendations through a similar approach to that taken by the former Bushfires Royal Commission Implementation Monitor from 2011 to 2014.