The Inspector-General for Emergency Management recommends that in conjunction with Inquiry Recommendation 2, the State establish or assign responsibility to a single body or entity to lead and coordinate the implementation of evidence-based fuel management policy, practice and assurance and reporting on activities on both public and private land in Victoria.
DELWP will establish an Office of Bushfire Risk Management (OBRM) to lead and coordinate the implementation of evidence-based fuel management policy, practice and assurance and reporting on activities on both public and private land in Victoria.
In response to Recommendation 4 of IGEM’s Phase 1 report, the Victorian Government committed more than $21m towards establishing the OBRM.
IGEM notes that OBRM has now been established and has begun to acquit the activity required by this action.
DELWP has recruited ten OBRM staff including three managers and a director, and continues to recruit for seven further positions.
DELWP provided IGEM with a confidential OBRM Strategic Roadmap 2021–24 which outlines the first three years of activity to implement a consistent whole-of-sector approach to fuel management. OBRM’s other key activities undertaken since its establishment include:
• obtaining membership on the Bushfire Risk Mitigation Committee
• engaging with land and fire agencies on its role
• contributing to the legislative review being undertaken under FSIP1 Action 2.2
• supporting the functions of the independent Advisory Panel – refer to FSIP1 Action 4.2 for further detail on the Advisory Panel.