In this issue:                                                                     May 2015

GEMAG plan in a day
Inquiry: sustainability challenges faced by rural and regional councils
Natural Disaster Funding reports released
Disaster recovery toolkit for local government
IGEM review of community recovery after 2013-14 Vic bushfires
AFAC conference
EM-COP update

GEMAG plan in a day

Earlier this month the MAV Gender and Emergency Advisory Group undertook a paper-in-a-day workshop.

Thirteen participants broke up into three groups to write:

  • Gender and emergency management case studies
  • Gender and emergency management commonly asked questions and answers
  • A paper on why gender and emergency management is relevant to councils
  • A consolidated list of available and relevant gender training.

The resources and paper will be finalised and approved by the GEMAG in coming weeks, after which they will be shared with the sector.

For more information, contact Martijn Gough.

Inquiry: sustainability challenges faced by rural and regional councils

A Parliamentary Inquiry will be held into the sustainability and operational challenges of Victoria’s rural and regional councils, including flood planning and preparation, and maintenance of flood mitigation infrastructure.

The inquiry will be led by the Environment, Natural Resources and Regional Development Committee.

The committee will look at:

  • Local government funding and budgetary pressures
  • Fairness, equity and adequacy of rating systems
  • Impact of rate capping policies
  • Capacity for rural and regional councils to meet responsibilities for flood planning and preparation, and maintenance of flood mitigation infrastructure
  • Maintenance of local road and bridge networks
  • Weeds and pest animal control.

The committee’s public hearing schedule for the inquiry will be published online when it becomes available.

Natural Disaster Funding reports released

The final Productivity Commission report into Natural Disaster Funding was released on 1 May by the Australian Government.

The Productivity Commission found that current government natural disaster funding arrangements are not efficient, equitable or sustainable.

The Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) also recently released its report into the Administration of the Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA).

The ANAO reported concerns about oversight and assurance in the administration of the NDRRA under successive governments, and highlighted eligibility issues with some state and local government expenditure claims.

The Australian Government’s interim response to the reports is to commit to consulting with the states on any changes to the current funding model. The MAV is working with the Victorian Government to ensure local government concerns are considered as part of the consultation process.

The government will provide a full response to the Productivity Commission’s final report following these consultations.

For more information, contact Martijn Gough.

Disaster recovery toolkit for local government

The Disaster Recovery Toolkit for Local Government is now available, providing a range of tools, resources and literature to help local government and communities prepare for, respond to and recover from disasters.

The toolkit is the result of a collaborative project with the 10 councils most affected by the 2009 Victorian bushfires. The participating councils were Alpine, Baw Baw, Latrobe, Mitchell, Mount Alexander, Murrindindi, Nillumbik, Wellington, Whittlesea and Yarra Ranges.

The project was guided by a Project Reference Group, chaired firstly by the Department of Planning and Community Development (DPCD) and then by Regional Development Victoria (RDV). Members included Local Government Victoria, the Department of Human Services and the MAV.

The toolkit consists of eight booklets which look at understanding disaster recovery, recovery readiness, response, post disaster, and engaging the community in recovery efforts. It also provides a number of recovery tools and resources.

IGEM review of community recovery after 2013-14 Vic bushfires

The Inspector-General of Emergency Management (IGEM) review will be undertaken to identify opportunities to improve community engagement and support following a major emergency.

The review will focus on the role of municipal councils in engaging with communities during pre-disaster planning and recovery.

Two council areas affected by the 2013-14 bushfires will be used as case studies.

IGEM will undertake the review in consultation with Emergency Management Victoria, the Department of Health and Human Services, Local Government Victoria, Regional Development Victoria and the MAV.

AFAC conference

The 2015 Australasian Fire and Emergency Services Council’s New Directions in Emergency Management conference will be held in Adelaide on 1-3 September.

The two-day program will look at the rapidly evolving approach to emergency management and the drivers behind it.

Guest speakers and workshops will examine the escalating cost and complexity of major incidents, and the move to a more holistic view encompassing research, readiness, risk reduction, response and recovery.

Participants will have the opportunity to discuss and share new approaches and work together to examine sector reform, the opportunities and challenges of ‘shared responsibility’ and ways to foster and build disaster resilience.

EM-COP update

Emergency Management Victoria (EMV) has announced a new agreement with Massachusetts Institute of Technology Lincoln Laboratory (MIT LL) as part of the Emergency Management Common Operating Picture Project.

Details are available online.

Upcoming MAV events...

15 June

Local government forum: FOI, privacy and protected disclosures

22 June

Understanding local government workshop


25-26 June

MAV Rural and Regional Planning Conference


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