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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 16: Cross-border interoperability
Recommendation details

The Inspector-General for Emergency Management recommends that Emergency Management Victoria works with the emergency management sector and relevant emergency management entities in New South Wales and South Australia to identify and address key cross border operational and resource management issues.

This engagement should aim to enhance interoperability and maximise the capability and capacity of agencies to work together during emergencies along Victoria's borders.


EMV and the sector will identify cross-border risks and opportunities through the Regional and Municipal Emergency Management Planning processes.

Summary of progress

Regional-level planning

In November 2020 the then Minister for Police and Emergency Services issued the Guidelines for Preparing State, Regional and Municipal Emergency Management Plans.

The guidelines state that REMPs are designed to provide a clear set of arrangements to contextualise the SEMP and the other plans within the region. Among other requirements, REMPs:

  • establish arrangements to manage emergency events that may cross regional boundaries or state borders
  • identify and plan for cross-agency/cross-boundary/cross border training and exercising opportunities
  • identify and plan for cross-agency/cross-boundary/cross border community engagement and education opportunities.

IGEM’s 2021 progress report noted that all REMPs included a section on cross border considerations. The inaugural REMPs were published in November 2020 and IGEM considers that there is potential for future REMP versions to develop and expand these sections, taking into account any relevant findings from the Regional Emergency Risk Assessment (RERA) project led by EMV (refer to 10YOR Action 2.6).

All Regional Emergency Management Planning Committees are due to complete reviews of their REMPs by November 2023.

Municipal-level planning   
The Guidelines for Preparing State, Regional and Municipal Emergency Management Plans state that MEMPs will contain similar considerations and arrangements as those outlined for REMPS, however they will be specific to the municipal district. The guidelines also highlight that MEMPs are likely to be more operational and tactical in nature than REMPs.

Existing MEMPs are being progressively updated in accordance with their three-year review cycles, with all MEMPs due to be reviewed by 1 December 2023 under the new arrangements (refer to 10YOR Action 2.5). IGEM will provide an update on this action in its next progress report and assess how cross border risks and opportunities are being considered though municipal emergency management planning processes.