Build resilient and engaged local communities
The state government’s focus around emergency management in its 2015-16 budget is on supporting frontline emergency services, particularly the CFA. The government has also previously committed to implementing all recommendations of the 2014 Hazelwood Mine Fire Board of Inquiry. Its 2015-16 budget announcements for these commitments include funding for a new emergency services hub for fire and ambulance services in Morwell, coal mine fire management training for fire fighters and specialist firefighting equipment.
Initiatives at a glance
- $25.4m to implement all recommendations of the 2014 Hazelwood Mine Fire Inquiry – this includes:
- a long-term health study
- development of a State Smoke Framework
- an increase in the Victorian mining regulator’s capacity
- purchase of new air quality equipment
- monitoring and reporting of the recommendations
- $200,000 for Emergency Management Victoria to develop a statewide community engagement model to help communities better understand the risks they face
- $300,000 for the Department of Premier and Cabinet to review the state’s crisis communications strategy.
- $3.8m for a new Morwell emergency services hub and fire fighter training
- $33.5m for 70 new CFA fire fighting vehicles
- $9.6m over four years for new emergency response medical response and equipment for CFA brigades
- $10.6m over four years for new and upgraded CFA fire stations and amenities.
Future policy directions
- The state government can increase vulnerable people’s ability to prepare for, respond to and recover from disaster and emergency events by supporting emergency planning within the community sector that builds disaster preparedness and resilience, both within the sector, and the broader community.
- VCOSS looks forward to working with the state government to ensure the support of vulnerable Victorians in emergencies. This can be achieved by:
- Ensuring statewide heatwave planning addresses the needs of Victorians facing disadvantage, supporting and resourcing key community organisations to participate in emergency planning, networks and training.
- Improving municipal emergency planning to include community sector organisations that support people facing disadvantage.
- Preparing a state framework to address the needs of disadvantaged Victorians before, during and after emergencies.