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Report name
Inquiry into the 2019-20 Victorian Fire Season - Phase 1
Lead agency
DELWP - Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning
Due date
December 2020
IGEM notes that completion of the pre-2020-21 fire season component of this action was delayed
Recommendation theme
Recommendation 6: Mechanical treatments
Recommendation details

The Inspector-General for Emergency Management recommends that the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (or the single entity referenced in Recommendation 4) – supported by other organisations with a legislated responsibility for fuel management – plan for and increase the application of non-burning fuel management treatments including mechanical means.


The annual fuel management report should include the non-burn component of fuel management treatment, track annual change, and provide a comparison to the previous three years.


DELWP will work in partnership with DoT, other road and rail managers, CFA and local government to identify key arterial roads that provide strategic advantage for firefighting, and work together to conduct priority fuel treatment works ahead of the 2020–21 fire season.

Summary of progress

DoT manages the state’s arterial road network and receives government funding to carry out roadside maintenance work. DELWP works with DoT to identify key roads for priority fuel treatment for inclusion in the Joint Fuel Management Program.

IGEM notes that this action refers to fuel treatment works to be conducted ahead of the 2020–21 fire season. DELWP advised that project funding through a Treasurer’s Advance was not received until February 2021, which led to the delivery dates exceeding the expected completion date. 

Despite the delayed start, priority fuel treatment works were delivered along 18,973 kms of the arterial road network. Actions 6.5 and 6.9 provide more information on DELWP’s current program of work to expand the permanent network of strategic fuel breaks, including work conducted along Victoria’s road network. Action 6.1 provides more information on the non-burn fuel management work that DELWP completed ahead of the 2020–21 fire season.