The Inspector-General for Emergency Management (IGEM) would like to provide an update on progress of the independent Inquiry into the 2019–20 Victorian fire season.

We are well progressed finalising the Inquiry’s Phase 1 report focusing on the preparedness and response to the 2019–20 Victorian fire season. The report will be delivered to the Victorian Government on 31 July 2020.

IGEM would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank the individuals, organisations and associations that provided written submissions, especially those who were directly impacted and shared their personal experience of these fires.

An incredible number of 476 written submissions were received. Submissions were provided by individuals who were directly impacted by the fires, as well as from the broader Victorian community, industry groups, business and citizen associations, universities, peak bodies, researchers and academics, community health organisations and a broad range of community groups and organisations.

Each submission has been analysed and assigned themes for consideration in the Inquiry. Again, we appreciate the insights, information and suggestions regarding opportunities for improvement and evidence provided in submissions which have informed the Inquiry.

The community submissions, survey and meetings raised a number of issues and themes related to how individuals, families, businesses and communities plan for, respond to and recover from bushfire – both the bushfires of the 2019-20 season, and bushfires from previous years.

Community submissions will be available from this website following the release of the final report.

Inquiry Phase 2 - Relief and Recovery

Our work has already begun on Phase 2 of the Inquiry. The second phase will focus on the effectiveness and progress of relief and recovery activities and arrangements during and after the 2019–20 Victorian fire season.

All community feedback about relief and recovery provided during the Phase 1 process will be carried over and considered in Phase 2. While our focus is on the effectiveness and progress of relief and recovery activities and arrangements, information provided by community members that relates to Phase 1 will still be collected.

To help inform Phase 2 of the Inquiry, we are seeking additional feedback from you and your community about relief and recovery activities. This includes personal stories and insights into what worked well, what didn’t work well and opportunities for improvement.

The formal community engagement process for Phase 2 will commence in mid-August 2020. IGEM is committed to offering all community members a range of ways by which they can contribute to the Inquiry. Opportunities for engagement will again consist of written submissions and an online/phone survey. In addition, we will be facilitating face to face meetings and potentially focus groups – coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions permitting.

At this stage IGEM would welcome any suggestions, experience or other insights into effective ways to communicate with your communities, businesses and networks.

Get in touch

For further information, questions, or suggestions please contact our community engagement advisor, Anne-Louise Lindner at (External link)



[Photo credit: Bushfire in Omeo / Jason Edwards/Newspix]