Undertaking objective and system-wide reviews, evaluations and assessments of Victoria’s emergency management arrangements and sector-wide performance, allows the Inspector-General for Emergency Management (IGEM) to:
- identify emerging issues for the emergency management sector
- provide reliable, evidence-based information on what is working well and where improvements can be made
- identify ways for Victoria’s emergency management sector to continue to learn and improve
- provide the government and the community with confidence that the emergency management arrangements are fit for purpose.
IGEM will play a key role in ensuring that all reviews and evaluations undertaken facilitate the ongoing improvement of emergency management arrangements and support the achievement of desired community outcomes.
The Emergency Management Act 2013 requires IGEM to conduct system-wide reviews of emergency management arrangements in Victoria, based on an annual forward plan of reviews.
The IGEM Annual Forward Plan of Reviews is developed in consultation with the emergency management sector and focuses on strategic, emergency management-related systemic issues of significance to all Victorians.
The IGEM review program supports the achievement of its legislated objectives in providing assurance and fostering continuous improvement of Victoria’s emergency management arrangements.
Annual Forward Plan of Reviews - 2017
Under its Annual Forward Plan of Reviews for 2017, IGEM is conducting two planned reviews:
- Review 1: Governance
- Review 2: Emergency management for high-risk Victorian communities
Annual Forward Plan of Reviews - 2016
IGEM conducted three reviews in accordance with the Annual Forward Plan of Reviews for 2016:
- Review 1: Connecting and collaborating with the private sector and community organisations
- Review 2: Fitness for duty
- Review 3: Incident management teams - accreditation and rostering (published 7 July 2017)
Pending ministerial approval for publication, reports from these reviews will be available on this website.
Annual Forward Plan of Reviews - 2015
IGEM conducted three reviews in accordance with the Annual Forward Plan of Reviews for 2015:
- Review 1: Connecting with and preparing communities for major emergencies in Victoria
- Review 2: Victoria’s emergency management sector preparedness for major emergencies
- Review 3: Community recovery following the 2013–14 Victorian bushfires
Preparation of corresponding reports for each of these 2015 reviews was delayed to enable IGEM to undertake the review of the Wye River-Jamieson Track Fire, as requested by the Minister for Emergency Services in January 2016 under the provisions of the Act. IGEM provided government with the final report from this review on 19 February 2016.
Read IGEM's reports:
Review of connecting with and preparing communities for major emergencies in Victoria (released 5 May 2017)
Review of Victoria’s emergency management sector preparedness for major emergencies (released 5 May 2017)
Review of community recovery following the 2013-14 Victorian bushfires (released 26 April 2016)
The Forward Projection of Reviews provides the emergency management sector with a high-level, thematic overview of the potential areas IGEM may review and includes broad information on subject matter.
IGEM consults with the emergency management sector in determining, planning and conducting its review program. This includes a consideration of potential changes to priorities due to the maturity of existing programs or activities, emerging risks and the review programs conducted by other entities.
Preparing this Forward Projection of Reviews ensures a progressive and system-wide approach to IGEM’s annual review program. The projection is based on:
- information sourced from government, community and the emergency management sector
- system-wide risk and performance monitoring activities
- environmental scanning
- criteria established in developing the Annual Forward Plan of Reviews.
The proposed areas for review are not listed in priority or schedule for completion as priorities may change each year. The number of reviews conducted each year may also fluctuate.
Read the Forward Projection of Reviews
On 17 February 2015, government asked the Inspector-General for Emergency Management (IGEM) to conduct a review of performance targets for the future bushfire fuel management program on public land.
In conducting the review, IGEM examined a risk-based approach to bushfire fuel management against the then existing hectare-based performance target program.
The review will support the future delivery of the most appropriate bushfire fuel management program that reduces the risk of bushfire to people, property and the environment, with the overarching priority being the protection of human life.
Read more about the review and IGEM’s approach: Review of performance targets for bushfire fuel management on public land
In early 2016, government requested the Inspector-General for Emergency Management review aspects of planning for, and response to, the December 2015 Wye River – Jamieson Track fire. The conduct of such a review is within the normal scope of the Inspector-General’s responsibilities under s.64 of the Emergency Management Act 2013 to foster continuous improvement in Victoria's emergency management arrangements.
The Wye River – Jamieson Track fire started by lightning strike on 19 December and was contained 34 days later.
In undertaking this review, the Inspector-General considered the planning and implementation of strategies surrounding the response to the fire to identify potential learnings for the future as well as areas of good practice.
An interim update and draft report was provided to the Minister for Emergency Services on 21 January and the final report on 19 February 2016.
On 25 February 2016, government released IGEM's report Review of the initial response to the 2015 Wye River – Jamieson Track fire.
Response to IGEM's review
IGEM made four recommendations on areas for improvement, all relating to the operational management of bushfires. Government accepted all recommendations and the Emergency Management Commissioner has developed a response in collaboration with the chief officers of the Country Fire Authority, Department of Environment, Land Water and Planning and the Metropolitan Fire and Emergency Services Board.
Find out about government's response to IGEM's recommendations
The Victorian Government requested the Inspector-General for Emergency Management (IGEM) to review the emergency response to the Melbourne thunderstorm asthma event of 21–22 November 2016.
The primary goal of this review was to identify opportunities to learn from this event in order to improve future preparedness and response arrangements and performance.
IGEM provided government with a Preliminary Report (released 1 February 2017) and a Final Report (released on 27 April 2017).
Read more about the review and its terms of reference.
The Inspector-General for Emergency Management (IGEM) is conducting a review of the July 2017 fire at the SKM Recycling Plant in Coolaroo.
The Coolaroo fire broke out on 13 July and burned for 11 days, sending clouds of smoke across Melbourne. At the height of the blaze, hundreds of nearby residents were urged to evacuate due to concerns about air quality.
Lessons learnt during the Hazelwood Mine Fire played a key role in handling the Coolaroo fire. Emergency workers used health monitoring data to make decisions about how harmful smoke and ash would be for locals, and people in the area had online access to air quality readings via the Environmental Protection Agency website.
- work closely with relevant agencies and examine key aspects of the fire including the effectiveness of the State Smoke Framework, air quality monitoring, firefighter occupational health and safety, and the Environmental Protection Authority’s processes
- also work closely with Emergency Management Victoria, which is undertaking a separate but complementary operational review into the incident
- deliver the report to government by the end of November 2017.
Read the Victorian Government media release: Government announces review into Coolaroo Fire - 17 August 2017