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
2016 Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission - 2016 Progress Report (External link) An assessment of the implementation of the 2009 Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission recommendations and actions addressing a broad range of issues including community warnings, shelter options, emergency management governance and incident management, powerline safety, planning and building, and land and fuel management. Inspector-General for Emergency Management
2016 Beyond Bushfires Final Report 2010–2016 (External link) A report based on an examination of the impacts from the 2009 bushfires on community mental health, wellbeing and social relationships. The study found that although there was progressive recovery over time, evidence suggested delayed impacts on individual mental health extended five years on from the fires. University of Melbourne
2016 Audit and Quality Assurance Framework for Bushfire Management (External link) A framework to facilitate the maintenance of standards, continuous improvement and the management of risks for bushfire management activities (prevention, preparedness, fuel management, response and recovery). The framework is structured around risk, governance, continuous improvement, audit, people and capabilities, process, tools and systems and community and stakeholder management. Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning
2015 Emergency Service Response Times (External link) An assessment of the accountability of emergency service organisations and the relevant portfolio departments for response time performance. The audit found that there were multiple problems with emergency response time measures, targets and data that prevent Parliament and the public from holding agencies fully to account. Victorian Auditor-General's Office
2015 Bushfires Royal Commission Implementation Monitor Annual Report - July 2014 (External link) The final update on outstanding actions from the State’s Implementation Plan for each of the Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission Final Report recommendations. Bushfires Royal Commission Implementation Monitor
2015 Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission – 2015 Progress Report (External link) The first progress report on the implementation of the recommendations from the Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission, following the Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission Implementation Monitor’s 2014 final report. This report found that actions relating to a Powerline Bushfire Safety Program (PBSP) reduced the likelihood that Victoria’s electricity distribution system will be the cause of a catastrophic bushfire in the future. Inspector-General for Emergency Management
2015 Hazelwood Mine Fire Inquiry Implementation Monitor – 2015 Annual Report (External link) A consolidated annual report by Hazelwood Coal Mine Fire Implementation Monitor and IGEM on government’s progress with implementation of recommendations and affirmations in the 2014 Hazelwood Mine Fire Inquiry Report – Implementation and Monitoring Plan. The report found positive progress by the state and ENGIE. Inspector-General for Emergency Management
2015 Independent investigation into Lancefield-Cobaw fire  (External link) An investigation of a fire resulting from a planned burn that broke containment lines, this report recommended improvements to the planned burning systems and processes of DELWP. The new direction, to be implemented over the next five years sought to ensure that fire and land managers and community work as one to reduce bushfire risk. Independent
2015 Review of Performance Targets for Bushfire Fuel Management on Public Land (External link) A review examining the appropriateness of a fixed hectare-based target for planned burning versus a risk reduction target. The review found that a risk reduction target would better encourage shared responsibility for the management of bushfire risk, integrate planning and investment, and provide a more adaptable approach for fuel management. Inspector-General for Emergency Management
2015 Stewarton Fire Review Community Report (External link) A review examining the significant storm and subsequent fire activity that occured across the Hume region of Victoria and its impact on the communities of Goorambat, Goomalibee and Stewarton. Victoria Police