In this issue:                                                                     April, 2014

Terms of Reference for Productivity Commission Inquiry announced
Sandbag guideline workshop
Emergency Risks in Victoria report
Black Saturday Bushfire Bereaved Advisory Group Legacy Document
New language guidelines
Disaster Resilient Australia presentation expressions of interest
Municipal Emergency Management Enhancement Group
Ombudsman report
In other news


Terms of Reference for Productivity Commission Inquiry announce

The terms of reference for the Productivity Commission Inquiry into Natural Disaster Funding Arrangements were announced on Monday. Commonwealth and State expenditure in relation to disaster mitigation and recovery will be included in the scope of the inquiry.

The terms of reference will provide consideration of:

  • The sustainability and effectiveness of current arrangements for funding natural disaster mitigation, resilience and recovery initiatives
  • Risk management measures available to, and being taken by, asset owners
  • Future options to effectively fund natural disaster recovery and mitigation
  • Incentives to support cost-effective decision making
  • Mechanisms and models to prioritise mitigation opportunities and evaluate the costs and benefits of a range of mitigation options.

The Australian Local Government Association was consulted in the development of the terms of reference.

The Productivity Commission will identify options for achieving an effective and sustainable balance between natural disaster recovery and mitigation funding.

The Commission will be seeking submissions to the inquiry, with the deadline in early June. The MAV will be making a submission in consultation with councils.

Councils are encouraged to register on the Productivity Commission website to receive the issues paper and other information directly.

A report of the draft findings will be released in September and the Commission will deliver a final report to the government at the end of the year. A copy of the media release is now on the MAV e-library.

For more information, contact Emma Lake or Martijn Gough.

Sandbag guideline workshop

The MAV along with a steering committee of councils has been working with the VicSES to develop a guideline for the procurement, storage and distribution of sandbags.

A series of workshops will be held in the coming weeks in Ballarat, Benalla, Bendigo, Melbourne and Traralgon to further develop the guideline and some councils may have already received a letter inviting them to attend.

The MAV encourages any council who has a flood risk to attend the workshop.

Councils who would like to send a representative can contact Madelyn Jarvis.

Emergency Risks in Victoria report

The Department of Justice released a report of the 2012-13 State Emergency Risk Assessment project.

Emergency Risks in Victoria reports on 15 significant emergency risks, outlining why each of the risks exists in Victoria, and what arrangements are in place to address each risk. The highest priority risks identified are bushfire, flood and pandemic influenza.

The report does not attempt to predict when a disaster may occur. It examines risk likelihood and the impact of emergencies on the community, infrastructure, economy, and environment. The report will be updated every few years.

A copy of the report has been sent to council CEOs. For more information, contact Martijn Gough.

Black Saturday Bushfire Bereaved Advisory Group Legacy Document

The Bushfire Bereaved Advisory Group (BBAG) was established following the 2009 bushfires to provide advice on issues affecting those bereaved by the fires.

The volunteer group has compiled their thoughts, observations, experiences and learnings from the last four years into the BBAG Legacy Document. There are limited hard copies available.

Some of the lessons documented will be used to inform future policies regarding timely responses to bereaved members of the community.

New language guidelines

More than one million Victorians speak a language other than English. The State Government has developed new guidelines which provide a step-by-step guide on best practice for working with interpreters, as well as with culturally and linguistically diverse communities.

The new guidelines outline when interpreter services should be engaged, especially when crucial information needs to be imparted.

Disaster Resilient Australia presentation expressions of interest

Monash Injury Research Institute and Disaster Resilient Australia are seeking expressions of interest from people or groups wanting to present their community-based resilience building activity.

Each presentation will run for three minutes and comprise of one image or two PowerPoint slides. The presentations will be followed by three, 30 minute group discussions.

Presentations will be held on 29 May. To participate, contact Caroline Spencer (at Monash University), outlining your presentation in 50 words, by COB Monday 5 May.

Municipal Emergency Management Enhancement Group

The MEMEG is looking for people with emergency management experience from councils and response agencies to join its planning committee for the 2014 MEMEG Forum.

The time commitment for individuals interested in joining the committee should be relatively minimal.

The 2013 Forum, held in Shepparton, was a great success due to the efforts of the planning committee.

People who are interested in helping plan the 2014 MEMEG Forum are encouraged to contact Madelyn Jarvis.

Ombudsman report

The Victorian Ombudsman has released a report regarding the Summerfield Track, which was affected by a landslip in 2012. The report covers the role that councils play in managing damaged access roads and the affected community.

It also discusses natural disaster recovery funding and how state and local governments can better coordinate responses to incidents.

In other news

  • Maddocks is hosting its first emergency services seminar for 2014. The ‘Protecting Yourself When Using MoUs’ seminar will be held on Wednesday 14 May and will provide guidance on the best practice use of Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs). It will cover issues around the preparation and use of MoUs. Councils who are interested in attending this free event should RSVP by 2 May.
Upcoming MAV events...

7-8 May

2014 National LG Infrastructure & Asset Management Conference

20 May

Leadership and what it means to a councillor

21-22 May

Future of Local Government Conference


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