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Victoria accepts 15 bushfire inquiry recommendations

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The Victorian government has accepted all 15 recommendations from the final phase of an independent inquiry into 2019/20 bushfires that devasted large parts of the state’s North East, Gippsland and Alpine regions.

The “Progress and effectiveness of Victoria’s immediate relief and recovery arrangements” report was tabled in Parliament on Thursday after a two-phase inquiry by the Inspector-General for Emergency Management (IGEM).

The Government had already accepted all 17 recommendations from IGEM's Phase One Report, which was released in 2020 and focused on emergency preparedness and response.

The latest recommendations aim to improve system-level aspects of Victoria’s relief and recovery arrangements and generate changes that will result in better outcomes. At the Government’s request, IGEM will report annually on implementation of all agreed recommendations from this inquiry and a 10-year review.

“The Victorian Government supports all 15 recommendations outlined in the Phase Two Report, that will collectively ensure the emergency management sector, local governments and communities are better placed to manage relief and recovery from bushfires and other emergencies,” it said.

Community experiences, highlighted throughout IGEM’s report, show there is further work all response agencies can do to better support locals during and after emergencies.

The Government says it will build on work already underway including making relief a greater priority within the emergency management system.

Creating a strengthened, dedicated recovery entity to work with government departments, agencies and councils to develop a state-wide, all-emergencies response will ensure the sector is well equipped to drive improvements and tackle enduring challenges.

See the report here.