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
June 2023 (revised)
IGEM considers that this action is progressing satisfactorily, noting a revised due date was approved by SCRC
Recommendation theme
Recommendation 3: Effectiveness of Safer Together
Recommendation details

The Inspector-General for Emergency Management recommends that the State support the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (or the single entity referenced in Recommendation 4) and its partners to expand the Safer Together program to:
a)    increase program uptake and adoption by legislated fuel management organisations including local government, the Department of Transport and VicTrack
b)    implement a consistent risk-based approach to fuel management program planning from strategic through to operational and tactical levels supported by appropriate risk assessment tools, monitoring and evaluation, and reporting mechanisms
c)    develop common spatial datasets for use by all road managers, standardising road and roadside fuel maintenance levels based on bushfire risk and sharing resources to maintain continuous roadsides managed by multiple parties.


DELWP, in collaboration with EMV and other land and fire managers, will lead the development of a whole of sector strategy to guide land and fire management in the context of a changing climate, growing population and changing demographics by November 2021. In addition to public land, the whole of sector strategy will consider how to effectively support road managers and local governments to mitigate bushfire risks on roadsides and in high bushfire risk local government areas.

Summary of progress

DELWP is leading the development of a whole-of-sector bushfire strategy in partnership with CFA, FRV, BRV, EMV, Parks Victoria, DJPR (Local Government Victoria), DoT, MAV and key interested local councils.

The strategy aims to set the 10-year vision and outcomes for bushfire management in Victoria in the context of a changing climate, growing population and changing demographics. The Bushfire Risk Mitigation Committee provides governance and oversight of the strategy’s development, supported by a cross-sector joint-project team that meets fortnightly to inform project decisions on the strategy. 

In June 2022 SCRC approved DELWP’s request to extend the due date for the delivery of this action to June 2023, to allow a more integrated approach to public consultation and stakeholder engagement, including with Traditional Owners. 

Development of a draft strategy for public consultation is well progressed. In early 2022, DELWP shared the draft strategy chapter focused on 'Aboriginal self-determination in cultural fire and bushfire management’ with Victoria's 11 legally-recognised Traditional Owner groups. DELWP advised that feedback has largely been incorporated however further consultation with Traditional Owners is required to address some outstanding issues. 

DELWP is also in the process of developing a strategy for working with Registered Aboriginal Parties (RAPs) and Traditional Owner groups that are not yet formally recognised to determine who best to engage with to address feedback received to date, and seek feedback on remaining chapters of the strategy.

The draft strategy utilises knowledge developed through the Safer Together program by including a narrative on community behaviour and behaviour change (refer to FSIP1 Action 5.5). 

DELWP is also progressing the development of an implementation plan and a monitoring, evaluation and reporting framework to accompany the strategy. 

Fuel management performance targets
Along with the strategy, DELWP is concurrently progressing work on reviewing fuel management performance targets (refer to FSIP1 Action 9.5) and developing a communications and engagement plan to engage with key stakeholders and the community on these critical projects in early 2023.