The Inspector-General for Emergency Management recommends that Victoria Police – in collaboration with the community and the emergency management sector – reflect on events of the 2019-20 fire season to review and enhance evacuation plans and processes with consideration of:
a) high risk areas (including remote locations)
b) early evacuation triggers
c) the potential for isolated communities
d) the presence of tourists and non-residents
e) individual decisions to not evacuate
f) the inability to evacuate
g) consequence management and compounding events such as the loss of essential services or health impacts.
The Victorian Government is reviewing State of Disaster legislation to ensure that existing powers in relation to evacuation are adequate for different emergency scenarios.
IGEM’s 2021 progress report noted that this action was in the early stages of development with EMV conducting preliminary work to develop the scope and timeframes of the legislative review.
EMV has since developed a draft State of Disaster Legislative Review issues paper. The paper identifies key issues with the current legislative framework – including specifically in relation to evacuation powers – and high level options to address them. EMV plans to engage with government stakeholders in early 2023, with the outcomes of this consultation and the discussion paper informing a report back to government.
EMV’s Chief Executive has approved a revised due date for this action of July 2023, which will also allow consideration of the outcomes from the governance review (responding to Recommendations 74 and 77 of the COVID-19 Hotel Quarantine Inquiry) under the EMV-led Emergency Management Reform Program, including how they might inform future evacuation powers and governance arrangements.