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 Advisory Panel to advise the Secretary to DELWP on agreed priority focus areas that assist the OBRM to effectively acquit its accountability to lead and coordinate the implementation of bushfire risk management (including advice on target setting), planning, delivery, assurance mechanisms and frameworks, and reporting across all public and private land in Victoria.
In October 2021 the then Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change appointed 10 members to the Office of Bushfire Risk Management Advisory Panel – including the EMC as a standing member – as well as an independent chair. The panel members comprise senior executives representing key land and fire management agencies (FFMVic, CFA, FRV, DoT and DJPR) and members with technical expertise in bushfire risk modelling and management, fire ecology, community behaviour change, land use planning, and other specialist capabilities. OBRM has a role as a standing observer on the panel.
The Advisory Panel first met in October 2021 and at the time of reporting had met a further four times. This panel provides advice on a range of policy and planning items including OBRM’s strategic plan, proposed performance targets for fuel management, and the expansion of targets to other agencies and land tenures.
DELWP advised that the Chair and the Secretary DELWP have met twice since the panel was established to discuss the progress of OBRM and its future priorities.