In this issue:                                                                     April 2015

VCOSS-MAV 2015 Emergency Management Forum
Local Government Emergency Management Handbook update
Federal bid to reduce mobile black spots in Victoria
Closure of Mt Macedon emergency management institute
Levee management

Victorian Emergency Animal Welfare Plan review
Floodplain Management Association National Conference
Productivity Commission Inquiry: Public Safety Mobile Broadband
Release of amendment regulations on tyre stockpiling
Hazelwood Mine fire inquiry to reopen

MFB investigation report on the Lacrosse Docklands fire released

VCOSS-MAV 2015 Emergency Management Forum

The Victorian Council of Social Service (VCOSS) and the MAV are holding a forum on 17 June focusing on Vulnerable people in emergencies: issues and initiatives.

The significant impact an emergency can have on individuals and communities is often compounded for those already facing disadvantage.

People living in poverty, migrants, refugees, children, older people, people with disabilities, people who are homeless or transient, and those living in poor quality housing are more vulnerable before, during, and after an emergency.

The forum will showcase some recent initiatives to address the needs of people at particular risk during an emergency, and look at what else can be done to understand and respond to their specific needs.

Local Government Emergency Management Handbook update

The MAV has worked with council officers and Emergency Management Victoria to update the Local Government Emergency Management Handbook.

The Handbook was first published in 2012 and provides advice to councils on their emergency management obligations as well as recruiting and training emergency management staff.

The update incorporates recent legislative and policy changes. Council officers should replace all sections of current handbook with the new version. To ensure the handbook remains accurate and up-to-date the MAV emergency management team relies on feedback from users. Please send corrections or suggestions to

For further information, contact Emma Lake.

Federal bid to reduce mobile black spots in Victoria

Telstra and the State Government will make a joint bid to the Federal Government in the hope of improving mobile phone coverage in rural and regional areas.

A memorandum of understanding has been signed between Telstra and the government, and will form part of Telstra’s application to the federal Mobile Black Spots Program.

Public safety and emergency management were key drivers behind the arrangement.

It is hoped the partnership and application will lead to greater investment in Victoria and the construction of more mobile phone towers across the state.

Further information about the emergency management sector’s contribution to the submission is available online.

Closure of Mt Macedon emergency management institute

The Australian Emergency Management Institute (AEMI) at Mt Macedon will soon be replaced by a ‘virtual’ institute based in Canberra.

The current suite of products and services offered at AEMI will be available via different delivery systems, however the residential facility at Mt Macedon will not be replaced.

While some courses will be provided online, including the new National Emergency Risk Assessment Guidelines introduction course, it is expected that limited education and training will be offered in 2015 until new arrangements are in place.

AEMI will continue to provide units to current Advanced Diploma students until they have completed their course.

Levee management

New Levee Management Guidelines have been developed in response to several recommendations of the Parliament of Victoria Environment and Natural Resources Committee (ENRC) Inquiry into Flood Mitigation Infrastructure in Victoria (August 2012). They replace the 2002 ‘Levee design, construction and maintenance’ document.

The guidelines provide high-level advice for the whole-of-life-cycle management of various types of levees. They also provide advice to agencies involved in land use planning and emergency management on how to integrate levee management into their functional frameworks.

Victorian Emergency Animal Welfare Plan review

The state’s Emergency Animal Welfare Plan, is currently being reviewed by the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources (DEDJTR).

As part of the review, there will be an opportunity for council officers to participate in an exercise and/or a forum in the coming weeks.

The plan is expected to be completed by mid-year. Council officers interested in participating in the exercise or the forum can contact Emma Lake.

Floodplain Management Association National Conference

The theme for this year’s Floodplain Management Association National Conference to be held in Brisbane is Building Flood Resistant Australia.

The May conference will focus on building resilient communities and flood resilient buildings and infrastructure.

Registrations can be made online.

Productivity Commission Inquiry: Public Safety Mobile Broadband

The Australian Government has asked the Productivity Commission to consider the best way to deliver a mobile broadband capability to meet the long-term needs of public safety agencies (PSAs), the police, fire, ambulance and other emergency services.

Specifically, the Commission has been asked to undertake a ‘first principles’ analysis of the most efficient, effective and economical way of delivering a public safety mobile broadband (PSMB) capability to PSAs by 2020.

The Commission has been asked to consult broadly, including with industry and non-government stakeholders, state and territory governments, PSAs, and relevant Commonwealth agencies.

It has released an issues paper and is seeking submissions by 25 May.

Release of amendment regulations on tyre stockpiling

Following the consideration of comments on the Waste Tyre Storage Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS) and draft regulations, the Environment Protection (Scheduled Premises and Exemptions), (Industrial Waste Resource) and (Fees) Amendment Regulations 2015, were published on 15 April.

The primary purpose of these regulations is to minimise the environmental and public health impacts from the inappropriate storage of waste tyres in Victoria.

The regulations take effect from 29 April. They require premises with more than 40 tonnes or 5000 equivalent passenger units (EPU) of whole waste tyres at any time to obtain an EPA works approval before they are built or modified, and an EPA licence to operate.

New businesses that are likely to exceed the threshold will be required to apply for a works approval from 29 April, prior to applying for a licence. Existing businesses will have until 29 October (six months from the commencement of the regulations) to apply for a licence.

Information on these requirements can be found online.

Hazelwood Mine fire inquiry to reopen

Premier Daniel Andrews last week announced the inquiry into the Hazelwood Mine fire would recommence in May to investigate health concerns, as well as mine rehabilitation.

The government also announced $25.4 million in funding to implement all recommendations of the 2014 Hazelwood Mine Fire Board of Inquiry.

The commitment will fund a number of key initiatives, including:

  • Funding for a long-term health study in the Latrobe Valley
  • Development of the State Smoke Framework
  • An increase to the Victorian mining regulator’s capacity to assess and monitor mine planning for fire prevention, mitigation and suppression
  • Air quality equipment that the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) can deploy at short notice anywhere in the state
  • Greater engagement with trusted local networks to help communities better understand and plan for the risks they face
  • Monitoring and reporting on the implementation of the inquiry recommendations over the next three years.

MFB investigation report on the Lacrosse Docklands fire released

The Metropolitan Fire Brigade (MFB) has published its Post Incident Analysis Report on the Lacrosse building fire in Docklands on 25 November 2014. The MFB found the fire was accidental, caused by an unextinguished cigarette on a balcony.

The report covers the fire behaviour, building materials, occupancy rates, safety and maintenance issues. It includes a post-incident report by the Municipal Building Surveyor.

The report includes a number of recommendations relating to the use of building materials, and building management.

MFB’s Post Incident Analysis Reports has now been given to the Victorian Building Authority and the City of Melbourne to assess the recommendations.

Upcoming MAV events...

14 May

2015 National Local Government Infrastructure and Asset Management Conference

22 May

Maternal and child health nurses conference

28 May

2015 Future of local government national summit


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