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.
The Victorian Government will increase its investment in non-burning fuel management treatment, including mechanical treatment, through DELWP, CFA, DoT and local government.
Through the 2021–22 budget cycle, the Victorian Government allocated funding to support non-burning fuel management treatment, enabling increased investment in this area (refer to Action 6.6 for the ongoing component of this program of work).
DELWP works with CFA, DoT and local government through the Safer Together program, and non-burning fuel treatment work is implemented through its Joint Fuel Management Program.
Across 2020–21 DELWP completed 18,888 ha of non-burn fuel treatment. This included approximately 295 ha of mechanical treatment in high-risk and difficult to treat areas, exceeding DELWP’s target of 108 ha set as a part of the Advanced Forest Fire Management budget allocation of $2.03m for 2020–21.
DELWP in partnership with DoT, CFA and Parks Victoria has also delivered road upgrades and maintenance actions (refer to Action 6.8 for further details).