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Report name
Inquiry into the 2019-20 Victorian Fire Season - Phase 1
Lead agency
VicPol - Victoria Police
Due date
September 2021
IGEM considers that this action has been implemented
Recommendation theme
Recommendation 11: Evacuation
Recommendation details

The Inspector-General for Emergency Management recommends that Victoria Police – in collaboration with the community and the emergency management sector – reflect on events of the 2019-20 fire season to review and enhance evacuation plans and processes with consideration of:
a)    high risk areas (including remote locations)
b)    early evacuation triggers
c)    the potential for isolated communities
d)    the presence of tourists and non-residents
e)    individual decisions to not evacuate
f)    the inability to evacuate
g)    consequence management and compounding events such as the loss of essential services or health impacts.


To further strengthen evacuation plans and processes, Victoria Police commits to work with the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM), land managers, fire agencies and the community to better understand and identify risks on a year-to-year basis, taking into account factors such as climate change, seasonal conditions, and previous bushfire history.

Summary of progress

In October 2021 VicPol’s State Emergency Response Coordination Division (SERCD) held six pre-summer briefings across four Victorian Government regions. The briefings included presentations from BoM, CFA, EMV, FFMVic, FRV, and VICSES. The presentations provided attendees with an understanding of the upcoming summer season, identification of risks and awareness to engage with the community. 
SERCD also delivered a pre-winter briefing in May 2022, aimed at Inspector level (and above) staff who have oversight or an interest in emergency management activities. The briefing included presentations from BoM and VICSES. 

VicPol provided IGEM with briefing materials that included consideration of climate change, seasonal conditions and previous bushfire history. IGEM notes that VicPol’s evacuation exercises conducted under FSIP1 Action 11.8 also involve working with the community to better understand and identify risks.

SERCD has a portfolio tasked with delivering the pre-season briefings as business-as-usual activity in future.