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Report name
Inquiry into the 2019-20 Victorian Fire Season - Phase 1
Lead agency
EMV - Emergency Management Victoria
In Progress
Due date
IGEM considers that this action is progressing satisfactorily
Recommendation theme
Recommendation 10: Community understanding of roles and responsibilities
Recommendation details

The Inspector-General for Emergency Management recommends that Emergency Management Victoria – in accepting that emergency management is a 'shared responsibility' - collaborate with the emergency management sector and community to:
a)    establish clear guidance that clarifies the roles and responsibilities of individuals, communities, the private sector, responder agencies and government before, during and after emergencies
b)    develop, implement and evaluate an ongoing communications strategy that ensures these roles and responsibilities are well-understood and reiterated throughout the year.


EMV and responder agencies will forge stronger partnerships with the private sector in emergency planning and response as part of the shared responsibility model, building on the Critical Infrastructure Resilience Plans and Sector Resilience Networks.

Summary of progress

Victoria’s SEMP states that the emergency management function of small, medium and large businesses under the shared responsibility model is to ‘Mitigate emergency risk to employees and customers, support response activities by the EM sector and meet their own relief and recovery needs where possible.’

According to Victoria's Critical Infrastructure All Sectors Resilience Report 2021 (January 2022), Victoria’s critical infrastructure resilience arrangements are founded on strong partnerships between industry and government. Established connections are called upon in emergency events – for example, DELWP coordinated with AusNet Services and Energy Australia in responding to the June 2021 storm event and the subsequent closure of the Yallourn mine. This report and more information on Victoria’s critical infrastructure resilience arrangements are available via emv.vic.gov.au/our-work/critical-infrastructure-resilience (External link)

Industry representation is provided for on REMPCs and MEMPCs.

In terms of activity to implement this ongoing action, stronger partnerships with the private sector are enhanced through the activities of existing Sector Resilience Networks, the annual development of Sector Resilience Plans, alongside cooperation on other preparedness activities.

Sector Resilience Networks
Sector Resilience Networks are an interface between industry and government for each of the eight critical infrastructure sectors. Convened by government departments, the networks enable industry and government to discuss challenges, interdependencies, vulnerabilities, opportunities and better practices. 

Recent emergencies have shown their benefit to industry-government collaboration, for example:

  • Frequent meetings and reporting during the COVID-19 pandemic allowed network members to share information and facilitate coordinated sector responses to limit disruption to the supply of essential services.
  • Network members participated in debriefs and After Action Reviews to share observations following the 2019–20 Victorian bushfires and the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • EMV facilitated an All Sectors Resilience Network forum in June 2022, at which DJPR and the Department of Health (DH) co-facilitated a discussion to capture learnings and observations on industry and government information flow during a prolonged emergency utilising the COVID-19 pandemic as a case example. The forum also included industry presentations from Woolworths Supermarkets, Yarra Trams, AusNet Services and NBN and a discussion exercise involving a prolonged earthquake scenario impacting all critical infrastructure sectors.

Sector Resilience Plans
Portfolio departments lead industry in developing a Sector Resilience Plan for each of the eight Sector Resilience Networks. These plans provide the government with information on each sector's overall resilience, key emergency risks and focus areas for resilience improvement activities.

Other activity
Across 2021–22 EMV:

  • hosted six online information sessions for critical infrastructure entities between June 2021 and June 2022 – on topics ranging from exercise management and cybersecurity to COVID-19 mitigation and preparedness.
  • facilitated a multi-agency pre-season preparedness briefing in October 2021. Presentations included those from emergency management responder agencies providing insight into the upcoming summer season including weather, bushfire, flood, energy supply, COVID-19 and strategic outlooks.