In this issue:                                                                     July 2015

Flood strategies: MAV’s draft submissions out for comment
Strategic Action Plan released
Critical Infrastructure Resilience Strategy
Community Fire Refuges policy update
2015 Resilient Australia Awards
Fire Awareness Awards
Heatwave plan for Victoria: feedback wanted
Natural Disasters and Climate Change Forum
VCOSS-MAV Emergency Management Forum presentations

Flood strategies: MAV’s draft submissions out for comment

The MAV has circulated draft submissions to the Draft Flood Management Strategy for Port Phillip and Westernport and the Revised Draft Victorian Floodplain Management Strategy to councils for comment.

Submissions are due on 31 July and 7 August respectively. Feedback is due to MAV prior to these dates. Where feedback concerns the Melbourne Water region, the MAV will be considering council responses to the two submissions together.

For more information, contact Martijn Gough or Emma Lake.

Strategic Action Plan released

The Victorian Emergency Management Strategic Action Plan 2015-2018 (the SAP) was released by Minister Garrett on 14 July.

The three-year rolling plan outlines how the State will prioritise emergency management activity and commits to some high-level projects under each priority. Individual agency, department and State Crisis & Resilience Council subcommittee work plans will be developed based on the SAP. As a member of the subcommittees the MAV will advocate direct council consultation on projects as they’re further developed.

Of particular relevance to local government is Priority B: Enhance the capability and capacity of local government to meet their obligations in the management of emergencies, and Priority E: Define emergency management roles and responsibilities across all tiers of government, nongovernment organisations, agencies, business and the community, and make sure they are understood by all involved.

For more information, contact Martijn Gough.

Critical Infrastructure Resilience Strategy

The Critical Infrastructure Resilience Strategy was also officially launched on the same day as the SAP.

The Strategy sets out the vision, principles and strategic priorities for the future direction in building resilience of Victoria’s critical infrastructure.

The Strategy gives effect to recent legislative changes to the Emergency Services Act 2013, outlining the components of the new arrangements and how implementation will be achieved.

Community Fire Refuges policy update

The State has updated Victoria’s Community Fire Refuges policy based on the lessons from the Community Fire Refuge pilot program conducted in 2012-13.

The policy provides the framework for identifying, establishing, managing and maintaining community fire refuges in areas of very high risk where other bushfire survival options are limited.

Community fire refuges are one of a number of shelter options available in Victoria and should be considered in the context of all of the safety options available to a community in a high bushfire risk area.

2015 Resilient Australia Awards

Applications are open for the 2015 Resilient Australia Awards. They are open to all Victorians, including individuals, not-for-profit organisations, small and large businesses, local and state government, schools, education institutions, research bodies and emergency service agencies.

The closing date for applications is 9 August.

Fire Awareness Awards

Entries for the 2015 Fire Awareness Awards are also now open. Projects can focus on any fire type, including structure (housing, commercial, industrial) fires and bushfires. Categories include:

  • Access and inclusion
  • Community-led prevention and preparedness
  • Education
  • Innovation and design
  • Media
  • Recovery

Applications close on 30 September.

Heatwave plan for Victoria: feedback wanted

The Department of Health and Human Services is updating the Heatwave plan for Victoria, and the Staying Healthy in the Heat communication resources for the 2015-2016 summer. The updated plan will take into account the State Heat Plan and whole of Victorian Government messaging.

The Department also ran a Heat Health Campaign through radio, social media and news media. They are seeking feedback on the key messages and artwork used to refine the campaign for the 2015-2016 summer.

Feedback can be given on the heatwave plan and communication resources, and on the Heat Health Campaign. The surveys will be open until 31 July.

Natural Disasters and Climate Change Forum

Around 90 people from across the emergency management sector attended a forum on 14 July to discuss climate change, and the future consequence for people, the economy, the environment and natural disasters.

Minister for Emergency Services, Jane Garrett, opened the CFA and Emergency Management Victoria Climate Change Forum, which is designed to facilitate conversations across the sector about the effects of climate changes on Victoria and how the emergency management sector can collectively prepare for them.

A Climate Council of Australia report, Be Prepared: Climate Change and the Victorian Bushfire Threat, states that Victoria has sustained around 50 per cent of the economic damage from bushfires, despite covering only three per cent of Australia’s land area.

The Climate Change Forum aimed to inform interagency programs and initiatives, influence business planning and collaborative problem solving across the sector.

A video from the forum is available online.

VCOSS-MAV Emergency Management Forum presentations

Videos of the forum presentations are now available for viewing online.

Vulnerable people in emergencies: Issues and initiatives – included a range of speakers from across the government and community sectors, and showcased a series of statewide and local initiatives that address the needs of people who are more vulnerable before, during and after emergency events.

Upcoming MAV events...

19 - 20 August

MAV Technology National Conference

26 - 27 August

The Future of Communities: Power to the People conference

10 - 11 September

The Future of Local Food conference


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