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Report name
Inquiry into the 2019-20 Victorian Fire Season - Phase 1
Lead agency
EMV - Emergency Management Victoria
In Progress
Due date
June 2023 (revised)
IGEM considers that this action is progressing satisfactorily, noting a revised due date was approved by SCRC
Recommendation theme
Recommendation 10: Community understanding of roles and responsibilities
Recommendation details

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.


EMV and its sector partners will use the Victorian Preparedness Framework to plan and test different high-impact, plausible scenarios across the sector and with communities, to embed what shared responsibility means.

Summary of progress

IGEM’s 2021 progress report noted that EMV led three emergency scenario tests in June and July 2021 under the REMP and SEMP Scenario Testing Pilot Project. The tests used scenarios adapted from those set out in the VPF to increase planning committee familiarity with emergency management control arrangements. EMV prepared an evaluation report with feedback from participants to provide guidance for future emergency scenario testing.

Building on the pilot project, in early 2022 EMV commenced the Emergency Management Plan Exercising Project 2022–23 to deliver four community-centred scenario exercises with sector partners to explore catastrophic events, complex responses (such as evacuations), and operations under the shared responsibility model. 

Victoria’s shared responsibility approach, articulated in the SEMP, recognises that communities: 

  • are best-placed to understand and manage their own risks and drive preparedness, response and recovery
  • should be empowered with the information, capabilities and opportunities to make decisions and work with agencies for better emergency management outcomes
  • have networks and relationships that help agencies and communities identify the risks that a community faces, assess the vulnerability of the community to those risks and identify options to protect the values of most importance to them.

The Emergency Management Planning Reform IDC approved the project plan for this project on 2 February 2022.  

Banyule Community Exercise 
The Banyule Community Exercise is the first exercise of the Emergency Management Plan Exercising Project 2022–23. The concept plan for this exercise was approved by the Emergency Management Planning Reform IDC on 15 March 2022.

This exercise has a focus on seniors as the Banyule seniors community identified that they often face additional challenges to find, interpret and action public information and warnings. Four phases have been developed for this exercise, with each having a unique focus. IGEM observed Phases 1, 2 and 3 and also plans to observe Phase 4:

  • Phases 1 and 2 were held in August 2022 and focused on processes around development and dissemination of state and incident-level public information. These phases link with VPF Capability 2: Community Information and Warnings. 
  • Phase 3 was held in September 2022 and focused on processes around development and dissemination of municipal-level public information. This phase links with VPF Capability 2: Community Information and Warnings.
  • Phase 4 is scheduled for November 2022 and will focus on message suitability and the Banyule University of the Third Age seniors community will be invited to participate. This phase links with VPF Capability 6: Building Community Resilience.

The VPF identifies and describes the 21 core capabilities and related critical tasks required to manage emergencies in Victoria. The VPF is available at emv.vic.gov.au/how-we-help/emergency-management-capability-in-victoria/victorian-preparedness-framework (External link)

Other community exercises
Engagement with the Kinglake community has begun for the second exercise, with a community meeting held on 26 May 2022 and the concept plan to be presented to SEMPC for endorsement.

The remaining two exercises are yet to be determined. 

In June 2022 SCRC approved a revised due date for this action to June 2023.