The Inspector-General for Emergency Management recommends that Emergency Management Victoria – in accepting that emergency management is a 'shared responsibility' - collaborate with the emergency management sector and community to:
a) establish clear guidance that clarifies the roles and responsibilities of individuals, communities, the private sector, responder agencies and government before, during and after emergencies
b) develop, implement and evaluate an ongoing communications strategy that ensures these roles and responsibilities are well-understood and reiterated throughout the year.
As part of the development of a state-wide community led preparedness strategy in response to the community preparedness recommendation of the 10-year Review report EMV will work with the sector to ensure that the shared responsibility model in the SEMP is further progressed through the regional and municipal emergency management planning processes.
The progress summary for 10YOR Action 3.3 outlines EMV-led work to review existing community resilience and preparedness strategies and initiatives, and to measure their effectiveness.
IGEM notes that this is important preparatory work towards the development of a statewide community-led preparedness strategy, however no action to deliver such a strategy is included in the government response to the community preparedness recommendation (refer to 10 Year Review Recommendation 3).
The shared responsibility model in the State Emergency Management Plan
The SEMP defines shared responsibility as ‘the collective obligations and accountabilities held by a range of actors.
'A commitment to shared responsibility recognises that no single actor can be responsible for emergency mitigation, preparedness, response or recovery. Individuals, communities, businesses, all levels of government and the not-for-profit sector all have a role to play.' (State Emergency Management Plan, p 10.)
According to the SEMP, ‘The governance arrangements set out in the EM planning framework supports the sharing of roles and responsibilities for EM with a wider range of actors, giving the community a voice and increased ownership over local arrangements.’
IGEM’s 2021 progress report noted that the SEMP clarified the roles and responsibilities of different actors with a shared responsibility for emergency management, including individuals and households, community groups and networks, and small, medium and large businesses.
Progressing shared responsibility through regional and municipal planning processes
Currently shared responsibility is provided for through the wide legislative membership on regional and municipal emergency management planning committees, which has representatives from across government and key emergency management agencies, as well as the opportunity for industry, community and not-for-profit representation.
Some REMPs specify emergency management roles and responsibilities for a range of business, community and not-for profit organisations. There is potential for future REMP versions to expand on this.
MEMPs also articulate the emergency management roles and responsibilities of municipal councils and other actors. MEMPs are currently being updated in line with their existing review cycles, including to ensure consistency with the SEMP and the relevant REMP. As with REMPs, there is similar scope for the roles and responsibilities of business, community and not-for-profit organisations to find fuller expression in the updated MEMPs.
Refer to the progress summary for 10YOR Action 2.5 for more information on the MEMP review process.
Community emergency management planning
Under the emergency management planning framework (refer to Figure 2, p 74), communities can prepare Community Emergency Management Plans (CEMPs). While not the subject of this action, this is another way for shared responsibility to be progressed in emergency management. REMPs currently record 10 CEMPs in Victoria.