The Inspector-General for Emergency Management recommends that the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (or the single entity referenced in Recommendation 4) – in collaboration with the Country Fire Authority and local government – undertake a review of the current residual risk target to ensure that it remains contemporary in terms of its designated percentage value.
The review should:
a) involve engagement with land and fire management agencies; public authorities; private organisations; individuals and any other stakeholders with a role in fuel management
b) define a pathway to expanding the residual risk target to apply to all methods of fuel management, with the expansion of the target to apply across all organisations with a legislated responsibility for fuel management
c) become part of a program of review of the State's land and fuel management policy occurring on a regular basis and not exceeding a five-year cycle.
DELWP and CFA are undertaking work to improve bushfire risk data and modelling. This work will provide the basis of building the technical capability for agencies to work with stakeholders and the community to review the current residual risk target.
In November 2019 DELWP and CFA partnered to commence the Risk 2.0 Project to enhance the understanding of bushfire risk by improving data and models that underpin risk modelling and the residual risk metric.
IGEM’s 2021 progress report noted that DELWP had completed the technical updates and risk modelling that included:
- updating outdated and inaccurate data layers and models
- increasing spatial resolution
- extending the range of modelled weather scenarios
- introducing ignition and weather likelihood into risk assessments
- extending risk assessment to include additional values
- producing communication materials and undertaking engagement activities to ensure data and model enhancements are supported, understood and fit for purpose for agencies and communities
- providing the technological framework (including web-based data storage and processing) to support enhanced bushfire risk modelling.
Since then, a DELWP-commissioned review has been completed by an independent expert panel to assess the risk modelling improvements that will support new risk metrics implementation (refer to FSIP1 Action 9.5).
DELWP has also developed internal websites to communicate data and modelling improvements and the new and enhanced risk metrics.
DELWP intends to use the enhanced modelling to support the development of a new residual risk target, now expected to occur in 2023 in line with updated program timelines (refer to FSIP1 Action 9.5).