The Inspector-General for Emergency Management recommends that Emergency Management Victoria – in collaboration with the community and emergency management sector – develop comprehensive operational recovery guidelines that include:
- coordination arrangement for recovery activities across all tiers of emergency management
- pre-emergency and post-emergency recovery roles and responsibilities of the sector at the state, regional and municipal levels
- community recovery roles and responsibilities
- methods to provide logistical and financial support to impacted communities
- consideration of how to support community-led initiatives
- tools and approaches to share knowledge across councils and community service organisations
- how to consider and plan for long-term recovery needs.
The Victorian Government has also developed its Economic Recovery Practice and Social Recovery Frameworks to support recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. All departments will continue to prioritise the delivery of initiatives that stimulate economic and social recovery.
Economic recovery practice framework
In November 2020 DJPR released its Economic Recovery Practice (ERP) Framework to guide practitioners to develop and implement economic recovery interventions that increase local resilience to disasters and shocks (such as economic downturn, structural adjustment, or economic crisis) and improve targeting and consistency of government support and actions for economic recovery.
The ERP Framework consists of:
- policy principles that should be considered in developing economic recovery actions
- economic recovery stages
- areas that government can support and stimulate economic recovery
- planning guidance to make the most of local strengths and long-term outcomes
- implementation steps to aid decision-making, delivery, and evaluation.
In June 2021 DJPR informed SCRC that the ERP Framework was used to underpin regional economic recovery planning for the 2019–20 bushfires and COVID-19 pandemic. This includes:
- development of the 2019–20 Bushfires Regional Business and Economy Recovery plans for Gippsland and Hume regions
- establishment of Regional Economic Recovery Committees to develop five detailed Regional Economic Recovery Plans that focus on short to medium-term recovery.
DJPR has provided IGEM with evidence of other Victorian Government initiatives intended to stimulate economic recovery, including:
- establishment of the Regional Recovery Fund (RRF) with an allocation of $10m over two financial years (2020–21 and 2021–22). The RRF has been developed to provide flexible support for regional economic recovery, and stimulate socio-economic growth, by investing in projects and that address regional needs and priorities. A total of 54 projects are being supported under the program with grants totalling $9.6m.
- Jobs Victoria – an agency providing jobseekers with advice and support to navigate their pathway back to work. More information on Jobs Victoria and its services can be found at jobs.vic.gov.au
The Department of Families, Fairness and Housing (DFFH) developed its Social Recovery Framework in September 2020 to support recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
IGEM also notes the work DFFH is undertaking to prioritise the delivery of initiatives to stimulate social recovery. This includes:
- Big Housing Build – More than 12,000 new homes will be constructed under Victoria's Big Housing Build, the state's largest investment in social and affordable housing. DFFH advised that it is leveraging the $5.3 billion investment to create around 10,000 jobs a year, over the next four years, supporting both social and economic recovery outcomes.
- Social Procurement Framework – Launched in April 2018, Victoria's Social Procurement Framework aims to ensure value-for-money considerations are not solely focused on price but encompass opportunities to deliver social and sustainable outcomes that benefit the Victorian community. DFFH plans to use the Social Procurement Framework to encourage stronger private sector investment in job creation for priority cohorts (such as vulnerable women, multicultural communities, young people, and people with a disability).
- Putting Families First – An $18m trial of multidisciplinary case management teams will work directly with 200 families in Goulburn and Brimbank Melton who use multiple services across health, justice, and social services to provide practical, personalised, and targeted support.