The Inspector-General for Emergency Management recommends that the State support the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (or the single entity referenced in Recommendation 4) and its partners to expand the Safer Together program to:
a) increase program uptake and adoption by legislated fuel management organisations including local government, the Department of Transport and VicTrack
b) implement a consistent risk-based approach to fuel management program planning from strategic through to operational and tactical levels supported by appropriate risk assessment tools, monitoring and evaluation, and reporting mechanisms
c) develop common spatial datasets for use by all road managers, standardising road and roadside fuel maintenance levels based on bushfire risk and sharing resources to maintain continuous roadsides managed by multiple parties.
DELWP, in partnership with DoT, local government and other road and rail managers, will review existing roadside spatial datasets to identify gaps and opportunities to improve the consistency and usability of these datasets to manage bushfire risk on roadsides and rail corridors.
IGEM’s 2021 progress report noted preliminary work DELWP had conducted with road and rail managers to identify the most appropriate data sets to use for bushfire risk modelling activities.
Across 2021–22 DELWP progressed work with DoT regarding the supply of road datasets.
DELWP has included several datasets from DoT / VicRoads for proof-of-concept modelling as part of its Land Use Victoria routable VicMap transport project. These include:
• mass restricted bridges and bridge structures
• road status and road seal
• speed zones
• heavy vehicle access
• barriers and gates
• turning points and turn detail
• school zones and traffic lights.
DELWP intends this data to help facilitate access to firegrounds by heavy vehicles, including tankers. As well as this data being used for strategic bushfire risk modelling, in the longer term it may also be used for modelling bushfire readiness and response.
DELWP advised it has also held discussions with DoT about the supply of geospatial shapefiles of road reserves (road casement data set) that can potentially be used for future bushfire modelling, as it can be used to show where predicted fires may be stopped. It can also be used to determine areas that have a higher risk and may need to be protected by DoT on high fire danger days. DELWP advised that this data is currently being sourced by DoT.
DELWP intends to work with representatives from its VicMap team, Forest Fire and Regions Group and DoT to identify requirements and key steps for improving the consistency and usability of road and rail data to manage bushfire risk. This will include liaising with the newly established Roadside Fuel Management Working Group (refer to FSIP1 Action 6.9 for more information).