Ministers Request Review of Bushfire Fuel Management Approach

As part of the Andrews Labor Government’s commitment to keeping the state safe, the Inspector-General for Emergency Management Victoria has been asked to conduct a review of performance targets for the future bushfire fuel management program on public land.

The review meets the call for action from Neil Comrie, the Commissioner for Environmental Sustainability, Dr Gillian Sparkes and others. It will consider the views of experts, current research and the work undertaken by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) since the 2009 Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission.

Planned burning is an important part of a broader approach to community safety. Land management agencies and emergency services work together with communities, to prepare for, respond to, and recover from, natural disasters and other emergencies.

The review will examine a risk-based approach to bushfire fuel management against the existing hectare-based performance target program. The Inspector-General for Emergency Management has been asked to deliver his report by the end of March 2015.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Water, Lisa Neville

“The DELWP, together with Parks Victoria and the CFA, will continue to actively manage bushfire fuels on public land.”

“The review will not affect the Department’s planned burning program for 2014-2015. It will begin a process to develop an evidence-based approach to reducing the risk of fire and protecting lives, communities and the environment.”

Quotes attributable to Minister for Emergency Services, Jane Garrett

“The review is about ensuring we have the best evidence-based approach to reducing the risk of fire and making Victoria a safe place for our communities.”

“There has been clear and independent advice from the Bushfires Royal Commission Implementation Monitor that it is important to review the performance targets for bushfire fuel management.”

Key points

  • The scope of the IGEM’s review is to provide independent advice, free of influence from external sources.
  • It will also consider the findings of the Bushfires Royal Commission Implementation Monitor and the reports of the Expert Reference Group- Bushfire Management Reform Program.
  • The IGEM may provide recommendations on complementary performance measures for fuel management on public land, but will not provide advice on a recommended target.