Undertaking objective and system-wide reviews, evaluations and assessments of Victoria’s emergency management arrangements and sector-wide performance, allows the Inspector-General for Emergency Management (IGEM) to:

  • identify emerging issues for the emergency management sector
  • provide reliable, evidence-based information on what is working well and where improvements can be made
  • identify ways for Victoria’s emergency management sector to continue to learn and improve
  • provide the government and the community with confidence that the emergency management arrangements are fit for purpose.

IGEM undertakes system-wide reviews, including reviews of the emergency management functions of responder agencies and government departments as prescribed in section 66 of the Emergency Management Act 2013 (External link) (the Act).

These reviews are based on an Annual Forward Plan of Reviews developed by IGEM in consultation with the emergency management sector and shared with the minister.

In addition, IGEM conducts reviews at the request of the minister under the provisions of section 64(1)(c) of the Act.

All IGEM’s assurance activities are guided by the Assurance Framework for Emergency Management which provides the foundation for a coordinated and collaborative approach to sector-wide assurance

 

Annual Forward Plan of Reviews

The Emergency Management Act 2013 requires IGEM to conduct system-wide reviews of emergency management arrangements in Victoria, based on an annual forward plan of reviews.

IGEM's Annual Forward Plan of Reviews is developed in consultation with the emergency management sector and focuses on strategic, emergency management-related systemic issues of significance to all Victorians. 

This review program supports the achievement of IGEM's legislated objectives in providing assurance and fostering continuous improvement of Victoria’s emergency management arrangements.

Annual Forward Plan of Reviews - 2018 & Forward Projection of Reviews

IGEM is conducting one planned review under its Annual Forward Plan of Reviews for 2018:

  • Impact assessment and consequence management.

Subject to ministerial approval, the report from this review will be published on this website.

As listed in the Forward Projection, IGEM has also commenced 'Ten years of emergency management reform' - a broad review of emergency management reform to be completed by December 2019.

Ten years of emergency management reform

This significant review is being conducted over an 18-month period. It will involve a range of opportunities for individuals, organisations and emergency management agencies to share their insights and experiences of the many changes to Victoria's emergency management arrangements introduced over the last decade.

Ultimately, the review will allow IGEM to understand if Victoria’s emergency management arrangements are bringing better outcomes for our communities.

Find out more by visiting engage.vic.gov.au/emergencymanagementreform (External link) (External link) and following Twitter @IGEM_Vic (External link) (External link)

 

Read the Annual Forward Plan of Reviews - 2018 & Forward Projection of Reviews

Annual Forward Plan of Reviews - 2017

IGEM conducted two planned reviews under its Annual Forward Plan of Reviews for 2017:

  • Review 1: Governance (completed 28 March 2018)
  • Review 2: Emergency management for high-risk Victorian communities (completed 6 July 2018).

IGEM will publish reports from these reviews on this website subject to approval from the minister.

Read the Annual Forward Plan of Reviews - 2017

Annual Forward Plan of Reviews - 2016

IGEM conducted three reviews in accordance with the Annual Forward Plan of Reviews for 2016:

IGEM will publish reports from these reviews on this website subject to ministerial approval.

Read the Annual Forward Plan of Reviews - 2016

Annual Forward Plan of Reviews - 2015

IGEM conducted three reviews in accordance with the Annual Forward Plan of Reviews for 2015:

Read the Annual Forward Plan of Reviews - 2015

 

Forward Projection of Reviews

The Forward Projection of Reviews provides the emergency management sector with a high-level, thematic overview of the potential areas IGEM may review and includes broad information on subject matter.

IGEM consults with the emergency management sector in determining, planning and conducting its review program. This includes a consideration of potential changes to priorities due to the maturity of existing programs or activities, emerging risks and the review programs conducted by other entities.

Preparing this Forward Projection of Reviews ensures a progressive and system-wide approach to IGEM’s annual review program. The projection is based on:

  • information sourced from government, community and the emergency management sector
  • system-wide risk and performance monitoring activities
  • environmental scanning
  • criteria established in developing the Annual Forward Plan of Reviews.

The proposed areas for review are not listed in priority or schedule for completion as priorities may change each year. The number of reviews conducted each year may also fluctuate.

Read the Forward Projection of Reviews

 

Review of performance targets for bushfire fuel management on public land

On 17 February 2015, government asked the Inspector-General for Emergency Management (IGEM) to conduct a review of performance targets for the future bushfire fuel management program on public land.

In conducting the review, IGEM examined a risk-based approach to bushfire fuel management against the then existing hectare-based performance target program.

The review will support the future delivery of the most appropriate bushfire fuel management program that reduces the risk of bushfire to people, property and the environment, with the overarching priority being the protection of human life.

Read about the review and IGEM’s approach: Review of performance targets for bushfire fuel management on public land (published 21 May 2015)

Government response to IGEM's review

On 19 November 2015, government responded to IGEM's report into the review of performance targets for the future bushfire fuel management program on public land, accepting all recommendations including the adoption of a risk reduction fuel target. 

IGEM monitors government’s implementation of recommendations from the review of performance targets, in addition to managing the investigation and reporting of any breaches of control lines by a planned burn.

Find out about government's response to IGEM's recommendations

 

Review of the initial response to the 2015 Wye River - Jamieson Track fire

In early 2016, government requested the Inspector-General for Emergency Management review aspects of planning for, and response to, the December 2015 Wye River – Jamieson Track fire. The conduct of such a review is within the normal scope of the Inspector-General’s responsibilities under s.64 of the Emergency Management Act 2013 to foster continuous improvement in Victoria's emergency management arrangements.

The Wye River – Jamieson Track fire started by lightning strike on 19 December and was contained 34 days later.

In undertaking this review, the Inspector-General considered the planning and implementation of strategies surrounding the response to the fire to identify potential learnings for the future as well as areas of good practice.

An interim update and draft report was provided to the minister on 21 January and the final report on 19 February 2016.

Read the Review of the initial response to the 2015 Wye River - Jamieson Track fire 

Government's response to IGEM's review

On 25 February 2016, government released IGEM's report Review of the initial response to the 2015 Wye River – Jamieson Track fire.

IGEM made four recommendations on areas for improvement, all relating to the operational management of bushfires.

The Victorian Government accepted all recommendations and the Emergency Management Commissioner has developed a response in collaboration with the chief officers of the Country Fire Authority, Department of Environment, Land Water and Planning and the Metropolitan Fire and Emergency Services Board.

Find out about government's response to IGEM's recommendations (External link)  

 

Review of response into the thunderstorm asthma event of 21-22 November 2016

The Victorian Government requested the Inspector-General for Emergency Management (IGEM) to review the emergency response to the Melbourne thunderstorm asthma event of 21–22 November 2016.

The primary goal of this review was to identify opportunities to learn from this event in order to improve future preparedness and response arrangements and performance.

IGEM provided government with a Preliminary Report and a Final Report.

IGEM’s Final Report documents what is known about thunderstorm asthma and analysis of the facts relating to the emergency response, and provides 25 findings and 16 recommendations to support improved preparedness and response to future health emergencies and other types of unexpected, rapid-onset emergencies.

The reports are available below:

Read more about the review and its terms of reference.

Government's response to IGEM's review

On 27 April 2017, government released and responded to the final report from IGEM's review into the thunderstorm asthma event of 21 and 22 November 2016, accepting in-principle all 16 recommendations in the report.

Find out about government's response to IGEM's recommendations.

Read the report on the actions the Victorian government has taken following the epidemic asthma event of 21-22 November 2016 (External link) (September 2017)

 

Review of the July 2017 SKM Recycling Plant Fire in Coolaroo

The Inspector-General for Emergency Management (IGEM) conducted a review of the July 2017 fire at the SKM Recycling Plant in Coolaroo.

The Coolaroo fire broke out on 13 July and burned for 11 days, sending clouds of smoke across Melbourne. At the height of the blaze, hundreds of nearby residents were urged to evacuate due to concerns about air quality.

Lessons learnt during the Hazelwood mine fire played a key role in handling the Coolaroo fire. Emergency workers used health monitoring data to make decisions about how harmful smoke and ash would be for locals, and people in the area had online access to air quality readings via the Environment Protection Authority website.

Working closely with emergency management agencies, IGEM examined how well the improvements introduced following the Hazelwood mine fire were applied in the Coolaroo fire response. 

IGEM’s review identified key improvements including:

  • improved emergency management sector coordination and collaboration for planning and response to managing smoke hazards
  • reduced community exposure to harmful smoke
  • improved health, safety and wellbeing of emergency service personnel for smoke hazard incidents.

Government's response to IGEM's review

On 14 December 2017 government released IGEM’s Review of the SKM Coolaroo Recycling Plant Fire report.

Find out about government's response to IGEM's review.