In this issue:                                                                March quarter 2016

Changes to the MAV Emergency Management Bulletin
Summer season fires update

Role of local government in emergency management position paper
Collaborative Emergency Management: Costs and benefits for councils
Municipal Emergency Resourcing Program Evaluation
Resilient Cities and Communities Conference: presentations now available
Report on EM government services 2016
EMV Year in Review 2014-15
Save the date!

Events

Changes to the MAV Emergency Management Bulletin

Please note that the distribution of the MAV Emergency Management Bulletin has changed from monthly to quarterly.

Council emergency management staff can keep up-to-date on all things EM through our weekly email update. You can subscribe to our update by contacting Kevin Peachey.

Summer season fires update

The summer season saw a range of fires occur, with larger fires in Lancefield, Barnawartha, Scotsburn, and Wye River.

Although many houses have been lost, there has been no loss of human life. Council emergency management functions have been working well in response to these fires, and we thank councils for their ongoing efforts to help their communities recover.

The physical and financial needs of bushfire-affected communities are being addressed by local, state and Commonwealth governments through a range of emergency management arrangements.

There have also been many instances of inter-council cooperation to assist recovery efforts. Several councils have utilised the MAV's resource sharing protocol, which is used to clarify operational, insurance and reimbursement issues that may arise through municipal resource-sharing arrangements.

Role of local government in emergency management position paper

The MAV has released a 2015 role of local government in emergency management position paper, updated from our 2011 version. This paper incorporates comments and feedback from councils, and has received approval from the MAV Board.

The original position paper was developed to form a sector-wide view and advocacy position on the future role of local government in emergency management subsequent to the Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission, and the proposed reforms that were to follow. While the reform process has been slower than anticipated, our position paper has been highly valuable in presenting a consolidated sector position on a range of emergency management issues.

Our updates reflect a range of changes in the emergency management landscape, with several key changes including:

  • Legislative updates, specifically the Emergency Management Act 2015
  • A section on the potential effect of rate capping
  • A section on reform to Commonwealth natural disaster funding arrangements
  • A section on council emergency management collaborations
  • An updated and expanded section on Municipal Emergency Coordination Centres.

Collaborative Emergency Management: Costs and benefits for councils

The MAV and Local Government Victoria (LGV) recently commissioned an independent analysis of the benefits and costs of collaborative approaches to emergency management by local government.

The report is based on a financial cost-benefit analysis of the Northern Victorian Emergency Management Cluster Pilot and on a qualitative analysis of the Wimmera Emergency Management collaboration, and the Eastern Metropolitan Councils Emergency Management Partnership.

The analysis found that local government collaborations contribute to better outcomes for the community during and after emergencies, and concludes that the net financial cost to councils of emergency management collaborations should be seen as a marginal cost with the potential to deliver substantial long-term benefits to councils, communities and other stakeholders.

The report explores a range of benefits, key factors for success and lessons identified through a review of three existing collaborations between councils on emergency management.

Municipal Emergency Resourcing Program Evaluation

The MAV, in collaboration with Local Government Victoria, commissioned an evaluation into the Municipal Emergency Resourcing Program (MERP). The overarching aim of the evaluation was to understand how effectively MERP has supported councils, identify opportunities for improvement, and understand more broadly how emergency management capability and capacity can be supported within the local government sector.

The evaluation found that the MERP continues to address a clear and demonstrable need within local government, and is seen to be great value to councils.

The evaluation makes a range of recommendations, including a recommendation for the State Government to continue to fund the MERP which has already been undertaken. Additional recommendations include:

  • LGV should ensure that future iterations of the MERP have clearly defined objectives and intended outcomes
  • LGV should consider reviewing how funds are distributed among councils for any future iterations of MERP
  • LGV should continue to reflect on and improve its communication with councils.

The MERP Steering Committee, which includes MAV CEO, Rob Spence and Emergency Management Commissioner, Craig Lapsley, has been convened to assist DEWLP design the next round of funding using the MERP review as guidance.


Resilient Cities and Communities Conference: Presentations now available

The MAV, in conjunction with the Resilient Melbourne Project, hosted the Resilient Cities and Communities conference at the Melbourne Arts Centre on 1-2 December 2015. Presentations and a summary of participant input are now available.

Approximately 100 participants attended the conference from various organisations, including local government state associations (Western Australia, Queensland, NSW) and various consultancies.

This event included keynote presentations from the City of Melbourne CEO, Ben Rimmer; Emergency Management Commissioner, Craig Lapsley; and a range of other speakers.

Report on EM government services 2016

The Productivity Commission has released a report on government services called Volume D: Emergency management. The report compares the performance of governments in the efficient and effective delivery of a wide-range of services aimed at improving the wellbeing of all Australians.

The report includes an emergency management sector overview, and a section which reports performance information for government services for fire events and emergency ambulance events.

The document is based on a sector performance indicator framework and provides high level indicators of emergency management outcomes used to inform the development of appropriate policies and the delivery of government services.

EMV Year in Review 2014-15

Although Emergency Management Victoria (EMV) has no obligation to publish an annual report, it has released a document called EMV Year in review 2014-15 which acts as a mechanism to communicate a summary of the organisation’s activities for the year.

The document provides a broad overview on a range of topics, including the role of EMV, the emergency management framework, and a review of the summer season 2014-15.

Save the Date!

The MAV and the Victorian Council of Social Services (VCOSS) are partnering to bring you the third VCOSS and MAV Emergency Management Forum, an event which aims to increase the level of cooperation and collaboration between local government and the community sector.

This popular event will take place on 20 June at Library at the Dock, a brand new event space in the heart of the Docklands, Melbourne. Please lock in this date in your diary.

An exciting speaker line-up and further details will be announced shortly via email, and registrations/information will be available soon on the MAV website.

Upcoming MAV events...

22 April

Maternal and Child Health Nurses Conference

28 April

Understanding Local Government workshop

8 - 9 June

National Local Government Infrastructure and Asset Management Conference

 

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