Through monitoring the implementation of agreed recommendations and actions, IGEM and its emergency management partners offer assurance to government and the community that lessons from emergencies will be turned into sustainable improvements that make a difference for Victorian communities.
Under the Emergency Management Act, IGEM monitors implementation of:
- system-level emergency management planning
- actions in the Victorian Emergency Management Strategic Action Plan
- recommendations from system-wide reviews delivered under IGEM’s Annual Forward Plan of Reviews
- recommendations from major inquiries and reviews at the request of the minister.
IGEM also periodically undertakes in-field activities to directly observe whether changes are being achieved or realised in practice during emergency events.
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.
IGEM's implementation monitoring activities:
System-level emergency management planning
Since October 2019, IGEM monitors, reviews and assesses emergency management planning at a system-level undertaken in accordance with Part 6A of the Act.
IGEM is developing an assurance plan to outline how it will undertake this work as the planning reforms are gradually introduced at the state, regional and municipal levels.
In accordance with the principle of reducing burden under the Assurance Framework for Emergency Management, IGEM will leverage information relevant to the emergency management planning reforms collected through its existing assurance functions and roles such as:
- monitoring the implementation of recommendations and affirmations from the Hazelwood Mine Fire Inquiry
- monitoring the implementation of the Victorian Emergency Management Strategic Action Plan
- observer at meetings of the State Crisis and Resilience Council and its subcommittees.
Victorian Emergency Management Strategic Action Plan
The Victorian Emergency Management Strategic Action Plan , developed by the State Crisis and Resilience Council, drives the government’s emergency management reform agenda, sets priorities, and assists in determining investment decisions.
Emergency management agency work plans help deliver on the projects and actions under the Strategic Action Plan.
Under the 2013 Act, IGEM has a specific role in monitoring and reporting on the implementation, effectiveness and efficacy of actions under the Victorian Emergency Management Strategic Action Plan. IGEM works closely with EMV to prepare annual reports for the minister.
IGEM's Annual Forward Plan of Reviews
IGEM monitors and reports on the implementation progress of all recommendations accepted by the Victorian Government from system-wide reviews delivered under IGEM’s Annual Forward Plan of Reviews.
- Implementation of recommendations from IGEM's system-wide reviews - Progress Report 2018 (published 15 February 2019)
Critical infrastructure resilience
The health, safety and prosperity of the Victorian community are reliant on services supported by certain infrastructure. Emergency events, whether natural or human-induced, pose a risk of disrupting the ability of critical infrastructure to deliver essential services to the community.
On 1 July 2015, emergency risk management arrangements for critical infrastructure resilience came into effect which aim to limit disruption to the supply of essential services to the Victorian community.
The Critical Infrastructure Resilience Strategy sets out the vision, principles and strategic priorities for building resilience of Victoria’s critical infrastructure
Since the commencement of the 2015 arrangements, IGEM has monitored their implementation, assessed incremental improvements and identified improvement opportunities.
IGEM's observations and findings are available through:
- Critical Infrastructure Resilience – 2018 Report (published 12 November 2019)
- Critical Infrastructure Resilience – Implementation Progress Report 2017 (published 19 April 2018)
- Critical Infrastructure Resilience – Implementation Progress Report 2016 (published 26 April 2017)
Hazelwood Mine Fire Inquiry (2014)
A fire burned in the Hazelwood Coal Mine for 45 days in February and March 2014.
In March 2014, an independent inquiry into the circumstances of the Hazelwood Coal Mine was established. The Hazelwood Mine Fire Inquiry Report was tabled in the Victorian Parliament on 2 September 2014.
The Inquiry Report made 12 recommendations and 40 affirmations directed to the State, and six recommendations and 17 affirmations directed to the operator of the Hazelwood Coal Mine, GDF Suez.
In May 2015, the Inquiry was re-opened by the government to investigate community concerns following the 2014 fire and consider rehabilitation at Latrobe Valley’s coal mines.
The Hazelwood Mine Fire Inquiry: Victorian Government Implementation Plan was tabled in parliament on 21 June 2016.
The Implementation Plan is the government's formal response to the Inquiry Reports, setting out 246 actions that will be undertaken to implement all recommendations and affirmations of the 2014 and 2015-16 Inquiry Reports.
The Inspector-General for Emergency Management (IGEM) provides independent monitoring and public reporting on the progress of Implementation Plan.
IGEM also monitors progress of implementation of the Inquiry Report recommendations and affirmations by non-government parties, which include:
- the operators of the three Latrobe Valley Coal Mines: ENGIE, operator of the Hazelwood Coal Mine; AGL, operator of the Loy Yang Coal Mine; and EnergyAustralia, operator of the Yallourn Coal Mine
- the four principal health agencies in the Latrobe Valley as identified by the Inquiry: Latrobe Regional Hospital; Latrobe Community Health Service; Gippsland Primary Health Network; and Latrobe City Council
- statutory and non-government health agencies
- other parties who made affirmations captured by the Inquiry at page 137 of the Health Improvement Report.
IGEM will report annually on the progress of implementation to the minister in October and will do so until 2019.
The minister publicly releases each report:
- Hazelwood Mine Fire Inquiry - Annual Report 2019 (delivered to government 31 October 2019)
- Hazelwood Mine Fire Inquiry - Annual Report 2018 (tabled 17 October 2019)
- Hazelwood Mine Fire Inquiry - Annual Report 2017 (tabled 14 December 2017)
- Hazelwood Mine Fire Inquiry - Annual Report 2016 (tabled 24 November 2016)
- Hazelwood Mine Fire Inquiry Implementation Monitor – 2015 Annual Report (tabled 25 November 2015)
Review of response to the thunderstorm asthma event of 21-22 November 2016
At government’s request, IGEM monitors the implementation of recommendations from the Review of response to the thunderstorm asthma event of 21- 22 November 2016- Final Report (the Review)
First progress report
IGEM's first implementation progress report was published on 20 July 2018.
The report found that of the review’s 16 recommendations, 11 have been completed, delivering significant improvements to Victoria’s capacity to respond to rapid-onset emergencies such as the 2016 thunderstorm asthma event.
The report states a further four recommendations are proceeding satisfactorily, while another recommendation is considered closed, with no further action planned.
Read IGEM's Progress Report - 2018
Second progress report
IGEM's second and final implementation progress report was published on 18 June 2019.
The report found that of the four ongoing recommendations monitored in the 2019 report, three have been completed and one has been closed.
IGEM now considers that all 16 recommendations arising from the review have either been completed or closed, delivering significant improvements to Victoria’s capacity to respond to rapid-onset emergencies such as thunderstorm asthma.
Read IGEM's Progress Report - 2019
Fiskville Inquiry (Parliamentary Inquiry into the CFA Training College at Fiskville)
At government's request, the Inspector-General for Emergency Management (IGEM) is monitoring the implementation of the recommendations outlined in the Parliamentary Inquiry into the CFA Training College at Fiskville .
IGEM is conducting this complementary monitoring role in accordance with its legislative assurance functions and in close consultation with Worksafe. To undertake this monitoring role, IGEM has developed an assurance framework, including a monitoring regime, that considers the safety of the operations of Victoria’s emergency management training centres.
Read about government's implementation progress through IGEM's reports:
- Implementation of government commitments in response to the Inquiry into the CFA Training College - Progress Report - 2019 (released 26 September 2019)
- Implementation of government commitments in response to the Inquiry into the CFA Training College - Progress Report - 2018 (released 26 September 2019)
Lancefield-Cobaw Fire Investigation (2015)
On 19 November 2015, government released and responded to the independent investigation of the October 2015 Lancefield-Cobaw fire and the Inspector-General for Emergency Management’s report into the review of performance targets for the future bushfire fuel management program on public land.
The Lancefield-Cobaw fire investigation carried out by independent expert Murray Carter, Director of Western Australia's Office of Bushfire Risk Management, recommended improvements to the systems and processes of the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) that are crucial to the delivery of planned burning throughout Victoria.
All 22 of the recommendations in the Lancefield-Cobaw report were accepted by DELWP, as well as a commitment to making changes to the way it operates across the state, to improve delivery of Victoria’s planned burning program – Safer Together: a new approach to reducing risk of bushfire in Victoria.
At the request of government, and in line with Section 64(1)(ca) of the Emergency Management Act 2013, IGEM provides independent oversight to ensure all recommendations from the Lancefield-Cobaw report are implemented and progress is publicly reported.
In relation to Victoria’s bushfire fuel management program on public land, IGEM monitors government’s implementation of recommendations from the review of performance targets, in addition to managing the investigation and reporting of any future breaches of containment lines by a planned burn.
Read the report from the independent investigation of the October 2015 Lancefield-Cobaw fire
IGEM Final Progress Report - August 2016
On 28 September 2016, government released the Inspector-General for Emergency Management’s (IGEM) final progress report on implementation of the recommendations and commitments following the independent investigation into the Lancefield-Cobaw 2015 fire.
In the final progress report, IGEM found that the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) had satisfactorily implemented 19 of the 22 recommendations and all 10 of the additional commitments made by DELWP.
The remaining three recommendations are being implemented as part of Safer Together , the government’s new approach to reducing the risk of bushfire in Victoria.
IGEM Progress Report - June 2016
On 4 July 2016, government released IGEM's second progress report on implementing recommendations of the independent investigation into the Lancefield-Cobaw fire.
In the second progress report, IGEM found that DELWP was on track to implement all recommendations and the additional commitments made by the department on time.
IGEM found DELWP had completed 13 of the 22 recommendations and nine of the ten commitments.
IGEM Interim Progress Report - February 2016
On 19 February 2016, government released IGEM's first interim progress report of the implementation of recommendations and commitments following the Independent Investigation of the Lancefield-Cobaw Fire.
This is an interim progress update on the implementation of the 22 recommendations from the Investigation and 10 additional commitments that DELWP has made to improve the delivery of the Bushfire Fuel Management Program as described in the Response to the recommendations of the independent investigation into the Lancefield-Cobaw fire.
Bushfire fuel management on public land
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.
Annual Report - Implementation of recommendations on bushfire fuel management - October 2017 (released 16 January 2018)
- Review of Performance Targets for Bushfire Fuel Management on Public Land (released 21 May 2015)
Fire Season (2013-14)
At the government's request, IGEM investigated and reported on the progress and implementation of identified actions from three 2013-14 fire season reports prepared by the Emergency Management Commissioner and the emergency management sector.
IGEM's dedicated reporting of the improvements implemented in response to the 2013-14 fire season is provided through three annual progress reports relating to improvements to road traffic management, community involvement, initial attack and utilisation of resources, cross-border fire arrangements and other systemic issues:
Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission (2009)
A wide variety of departments, agencies and organisations were responsible for implementation of the 2009 Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission (VBRC) reforms, including a number from outside the core emergency management sector.
Since August 2014, IGEM monitored implementation of the remaining recommendations and actions from VBRC.
Under this monitoring function, IGEM published an annual progress report on the emergency management sector's progress with implementing the remaining recommendations. IGEM took a similar approach to that taken by the former Bushfires Royal Commission Implementation Monitor from 2011 to 2014.
On 13 October 2016, IGEM’s second annual progress report (2016 Progress Report) was tabled in Parliament. This concluded IGEM’s responsibility for annual progress reporting.
However, it continued to monitor implementation of two remaining ongoing and inter-related actions, reporting their completion directly to the minister:
- Action 49(h) Amend Building Regulations 2006 to adopt performance requirements (reported December 2017)
- Action 49(i) Develop guidelines for retrofitting Class 9 buildings completed through the Victorian Building Authority’s publication of A guide to retrofitting certain existing Class 9 buildings for better protection from bushfire ember attack (reported July 2018).
Completion of these actions concluded IGEM’s monitoring and reporting of all VBRC recommendations and actions.
To provide a consolidated overview of progress, IGEM reviewed all monitoring reports from both the BRCIM and IGEM, and applied a consistent classification to all 315 actions.
Based on this review:
- 298 actions can be considered complete
- 14 actions can be considered closed – these are actions where the intent could no longer be met, the action had transitioned to business-as-usual, or was deemed no longer relevant or required
- 3 actions were not assigned a status (by the BRCIM).
For more information:
Visit the performance monitoring page to find out how IGEM proactively identifies emerging performance issues, risks and trends.