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Emergency management

DisasDisadVCOSS has played a role in emergency management since 2005 and is a member of the Victorian Crisis and Resilience Council’s Relief and Recovery Subcommittee. Our membership includes organisations that play a formal role in emergencies, such as the Australian Red Cross and the Salvation Army. Our membership also includes a range of other organisations, both large and small, that play a critical role in all phases of emergency management, particularly in supporting the long-term recovery of individuals and communities.

VCOSS has made submissions to the 2009 Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission, the 2011 Victorian Floods Review, the 2014 Hazelwood Mine Fire Inquiry and the 2014 Productivity Commission inquiry into Natural Disaster Funding Arrangements. VCOSS has also published a wide range of materials on emergency management policies and practice including the 2013 report Feeling the heat: heatwaves and social vulnerability in Victoria and the 2014 report Disadvantage and disaster: social vulnerability in emergency management.

VCOSS plays a key liaison role in communicating emergency management policy changes, emerging directions and challenges between government and the community sector, as well as across diverse parts of the sector. The work of VCOSS is crucial at a time where Victoria’s emergency management arrangements are under review and reform.

VCOSS is working to inform state government policy and program development for future emergency management. In particular, VCOSS aims to complement existing emergency management policy evaluation with perspectives from the community sector and disadvantaged and vulnerable people, by documenting experiences that will inform and improve approaches and processes. To assist this work VCOSS has established an Emergency Management Advisory Group of around 14 members organisations with experience and expertise in emergencies. The Advisory Group will assist in raising awareness and understanding of the impacts of emergencies on both community sector organisations and people who face disadvantage.