The Victorian emergency management sector has undergone significant reform in the 10 years since the 2009 Victorian bushfires. Much of this reform has been guided by major reviews including the Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission, the Review of 2010–11 Flood Warnings and Response (External link), and the Hazelwood Mine Fire Inquiry (External link).

IGEM considered that the 10-year anniversary of the 2009 Victorian Bushfires presented an opportunity to consider whether the significant program of reforms introduced since 2009 are effective in supporting Victorians to become safer and more resilient.

Over an 18-month period, IGEM examined emergency management reform through five key themes:

  • governance
  • capacity and capability
  • community engagement and preparedness
  • rebuilding and recovery
  • safety and resilience.

Through the review, IGEM found that many aspects of the sector are significantly improved since 2009. The creation of new enabling legislation, bringing with it the establishment of Emergency Management Victoria (External link), the Emergency Management Commissioner, and the Inspector-General for Emergency Management have been pivotal.

In its report, IGEM makes eight observations, 33 findings, and five recommendations identifying good practice and opportunities for continuous improvement. The recommendations relate to the critical areas of risk management, community information, recovery, outcomes frameworks, and capability and capacity.

If implemented these recommendations will bring significant benefits to the safety and resilience of Victorians.

Findings and observations are aligned to the five areas examined in the review. They indicate where there are opportunities and potential solutions to persistent and emerging issues, and are based on the weight of evidence and analysis.

IGEM’s report was provided to the Minister for Police and Emergency Services on 19 December 2019.

Read the report

You can access the full (380 pages) or summary report from the link at the bottom of this page, or view as a flipbook (External link).

Government response

On 14 October 2020, the Victorian Government released and responded to IGEM’s report, accepting all five recommendations.

Read the government response from   (External link)

Inspector-General for Emergency Management
Inspector-General for Emergency Management, Victorian Government
Date of Publication