Fire Season Inquiry Focuses on Community Recovery

11 February 2021

Community members throughout fire-affected Eastern Victoria are invited to provide feedback on the delivery and effectiveness of recovery activities since the 2019–20 bushfires.

Victoria’s Inspector-General for Emergency Management Tony Pearce is leading the independent Inquiry into the 2019–20 Victorian Fire Season, which is now focusing on the relief and recovery efforts provided in response to fires in large parts of Victoria's North East, Gippsland, and Alpine regions.

Mr Pearce will be visiting fire-affected communities in East Gippsland, Towong and Alpine shires during February and March offering a range of community meetings and informal drop-in sessions.

‘Now more than 12 months since these devastating fires, it’s appropriate for the Fire Season Inquiry’s second and final phase to focus on individual and community experiences of recovery,’ says Mr Pearce.

In an emergency management context, recovery after a bushfire can refer to the services provided to help people rebuild their homes, lives, community, and the environment; and to strengthen their ability to cope with future emergencies.

Mr Pearce also acknowledges that for many, recovery can be a long-term process and that as time goes on, people’s experience of recovery may change.

Mr Pearce says, ‘Recovery from an emergency – like a bushfire – is different for everyone.’

‘It is really important for the Inquiry to understand what’s working and what could be improved and whether anything has changed for a fire-affected community – including the impact of COVID-19 restrictions.’

While COVID-19 health restrictions have eased, community safety and wellbeing remain the Inspector-General’s top priority.

‘Working with local representatives, community recovery committees and local government, we’re able to offer convenient and safe opportunities for people to meet with me and share their recovery journey,’ says Mr Pearce.

‘For anyone unable to attend a meeting, people can provide a submission, take the Inquiry’s survey, or request a phone interview until 30 March 2021.’

Information on the Fire Season Inquiry and attending a community meeting is available from  

Community Meetings

In addition to the following, further meetings will be convened in the East Gippsland, Alpine and Towong shires. These will be progressively added to IGEM’s website and promoted through Facebook (@IGEMVictoria) and Twitter (@IGEM_Vic) as the locations and venues are confirmed.  

  • Orbost - postponed
  • Orbost - Small business owners/operators - postponed
  • Cabbage Tree Creek - postponed
  • Mallacoota - postponed
  • Genoa  - postponed
  • Wairewa - postponed
  • Sarsfield - Monday 22 February, 2.00pm
  • Gelantipy - Tuesday 23 February, 10.00am
  • Buchan - Tuesday 23 February, 2.00pm & 6.00pm
  • Tambo Crossing - Wednesday 24 February, 10.30am & 12.45pm
  • Clifton Creek - Thursday 25 February, 5.00pm
  • Bruthen - Friday 26 February, 10.00am
  • Walwa - Monday 1 March, 6.00pm
  • Corryong - Tuesday 2 March, 10.00am
  • Porepunkah - Tuesday 2 March, 6.00pm
  • Dinner Plain - Wednesday 3 March, 10.00am
  • Biggara - Wednesday 10 March, 11.00am
  • Cudgewa - Thursday 11 March, 10.00am