South eastern Australia, including Victoria, is among the most bushfire-prone areas in the world.

Victoria’s high bushfire risk is due to a combination of factors including increasing population density in fire-prone areas.

Major bushfires can lead to loss of life and injury, damage to key state infrastructure such as electricity transmission lines, water supply assets and transport links.

Additionally, fast moving grass fires in metro/rural interface environments, structure fires in urban environments, and mine fires caused by fires in nearby bushland all pose their unique challenges and consequences.

Examples of significant bushfires and related fires include the 2009 Black Saturday fires, 2014 Hazelwood mine fire and more recently the 2019-20 fires which led to major reviews at state level and a Royal Commission at national level: Inquiry into the 2019–20 Victorian Fire Season and Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements respectively.

All links in the table below will open in a new window.
Publish year Assurance activity Summary Organisation
2021 Speaking Up: Young people’s experience of Bushfire and Recovery (External link) A report produced in partnership with the Victorian Government’s Department of Education and Training and Bushfire Recovery Victoria, and informed by consultations with young people and community members to document their experience of disaster recovery and response to the 2019-20 Black Summer bushfires. It makes 13 recommendations by young people and by YACVic based on young people’s expressed needs. Bushfire Recovery Victoria, Department of Education and Training, Independent
2021 Hazelwood Mine Fire Inquiry - Progress Report 2020 (External link) An assessment of progress in implementing recommendations and affirmations from the 2014 and 2015–16 Hazelwood Mine Fire Inquiry reports. In this report IGEM monitors 11 government actions and 1 recommendation that were reported as ongoing in 2019. The report finds that some actions are close to completion, and others involve complex legislative reforms that require time to fully implement. Inspector-General for Emergency Management
2020 Energy Safe Victoria Annual Report 2019–20 (External link) Annual report for the State’s independent electrical and gas safety regulator, highlighting its emergency response contribution to the 2019-20 Victorian bushfire season.
Energy Safe Victoria
2020 Hazelwood Mine Fire Inquiry - Annual Report 2019 (External link) An assessment of progress in implementing recommendations and affirmations from the 2014 and 2015–16 Hazelwood Mine Fire Inquiry reports. In this report IGEM extended its reporting to include effectiveness monitoring of three completed actions, which provided further assurance that implemented actions have achieved their objectives. Inspector-General for Emergency Management
2020 Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements: interim observations (External link) An outline of interim observations from the Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements relating to the responsibilities of, and coordination between all levels of government, Australia's arrangements for adapting to climate change, actions to mitigate the impacts of natural disasters and the involvement of Commonwealth in responding to national emergencies. This report covered some of the more pressing issues that were addressed in the the final report. No draft recommendations were made. Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements
2020 Inquiry into the 2019-20 Victorian Fire Season - Phase 1 Report (External link) An examination of community and sector preparedness for the 2019-20 fire season; and response to fires in large parts of Victoria's North East, Gippsland, and Alpine regions. The report includes 66 observations, 36 findings and 17 recommendations in identifying good practice and opportunities for continuous improvement. Inspector-General for Emergency Management
2020 Reducing Bushfire Risks (External link) An audit assessing the effectiveness of responsible agencies working together to reduce Victoria’s bushfire risk. The audit made recommendations on fuel management, land-use planning and improving the Powerline Bushfire Safety Program. Victorian Auditor-General's Office
2020 Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements: final report (External link) An examination of coordination, preparedness for, response to and recovery from disasters as well as improving resilience and adapting to changing climatic conditions and mitigating the impact of natural disasters. The inquiry also considered the legal framework for Commonwealth involvement in responding to national emergencies. The Commission made recommendations directly targeted to the Australian Government; specific to States and Territories; and others shared between the Commonwealth and States and Territories. Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements
2020 Review of 10 years of reform in Victoria’s emergency management sector (External link) A review of emergency management reforms and their effectiveness in supporting safer and more resilient Victorians. The report made recommendations relating to the critical areas of risk management, community information, recovery, outcomes frameworks, and capability and capacity. Inspector-General for Emergency Management
2020 Lessons to be learned in relation to the Australian bushfire season 2019-20 - Interim Report (External link) The interim report provides an overview of the 2019-20 bushfires, and includes an initial examination of disaster management frameworks; government action and hazard reduction; Human health impacts of the fires; Wildlife impacts of the fires; National aerial firefighting capacity; Insurance impacts of fires; and communications. The report makes 13 recommendations to improve preparation and planning, response and recovery arrangements. Parliament of Australia