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 is currently undertaking work to improve modelling of the impact of fuel management on environmental values, including threatened species. These modelling improvements will drive improvements in evaluation and reporting, and strategic bushfire management planning.
The Code of Practice for Bushfire Management on Public Land (the Code) sets the objectives for bushfire management on public land, to support DELWP in meeting its legislative responsibilities under the Forests Act 1958.
One of the primary objectives for bushfire management is to maintain or improve the resilience of natural ecosystems and their ability to deliver services such as biodiversity, water, carbon storage and forest products.
DELWP uses its Fire Analysis Module for Ecological Values (FAME) process to measure ecological resilience to deliver its statewide reporting requirements (annual Fuel Management Report) and for strategic and operational decision-making for ecological values.
In July 2020 DELWP contracted an external research group to:
• update and improve the data being used in FAME
• develop a dashboard to display ecosystem resilience metrics to end-users.
FAME has undergone significant updates to improve the ability to model the impact of fuel management on environmental values. This includes the development of a web-published interactive dashboard displaying ecosystem resilience metrics including Tolerable Fire Interval (TFI) , Geometric Mean Abundance (GMA) and change in species abundance.
On 3 August 2021 IGEM observed an online demonstration of FAME improvements including the interactive dashboard.
DELWP also provided IGEM with a copy of its draft fire ecology strategic roadmap which outlines proposed approaches for supporting the delivery of positive ecological outcomes of fire management. The roadmap was informed by extensive engagement with internal and external subject matter experts across agencies and external stakeholders.