A status bar showing the action is in progress
Report name
Inquiry into the 2019-20 Victorian Fire Season - Phase 1
Lead agency
DELWP - Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning
DEECA - Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action
In Progress
Due date
To be developed in consultation with Traditional Owner Corporations 
IGEM considers that this action is progressing satisfactorily
Recommendation theme
Recommendation 2: Victorian arrangements for fuel management
Recommendation details

The Inspector-General for Emergency Management recommends that Emergency Management Victoria – in collaboration with the community and emergency management sector:

a)  updates the 2012–13 State Emergency Risk Assessment to include strategic and operational elements of emergency management.

This should consider:

  • the place-based risk assessment development through the community emergency risk assessment process
  • consequence management capability across the sector
  • existing risk models for natural and human-induced hazards.

b) provides guidance and support for the sector on how to incorporate the updated risk assessment in emergency management planning, policy development, decision-making and assurance activities.


DELWP will continue to work with Traditional Owners to implement the Cultural Fire Strategy.

Summary of progress

IGEM’s 2021 progress report noted that across 2020–21 DELWP supported participating Traditional Owner Corporations to articulate their individual pathway to implement the Cultural Fire Strategy.

The report also noted that the 2021–22 Victorian State Budget provided dedicated funding of $22.6m over four years, with $6.3m ongoing to support Traditional Owners. In 2021–22 DELWP finalised agreements with ten of Victoria’s legally-recognised Traditional Owner Groups for core cultural fire funding that spans a four-year period. DELWP advised that it is continuing to work with an additional legally-recognised group to provide funding for their cultural fire pathway. 

In April 2022 the Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change announced applications for the Cultural Fire Grants program. The program supports Victorian Traditional Owners to lead the practice of cultural burning and support their unique pathway for managing Country under the strategy. The program was open to all Victorian Traditional Owners including those who do not have legal recognition. Grants are expected to be announced in the second half of 2022.

Since 2019 DELWP has enabled a total of 42 cultural burns, including 13 for the 2021–22 financial year. The government plans to enable 169 cultural burns across public land over the next three years.

Under the Cultural Fire Strategy an Aboriginal-led Cultural Fire Leadership Group has been established. The group brings together Traditional Owners and land managers to deliver local cultural fire plans. DELWP advised that the group last met in October 2021 where it requested the department procure the services of an Aboriginal-led Secretariat. The group is expected to next meet in August 2022, as this is a priority for Traditional Owners.

IGEM notes that there is no due date for this action and that timelines are to be developed in consultation with Traditional Owner Corporations. IGEM will revisit this action in the next progress report.