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Emergency management

We support councils to undertake their roles and responsibilities under Victoria’s emergency management arrangements through advocacy, guidance and practical assistance.

We also represent local government on state-level committees and working groups.

Capability improvement

We are implementing a number of programs to assist councils in delivering emergency management services.

The emergency management capability of councils is improved through our support of existing programs and activities and promotion of the development of new models for sharing knowledge and resources among councils.

This includes helping the local government sector maintain and improve performance standards in the delivery of emergency management services.

We have produced the Local government emergency management handbook for council emergency management practitioners. It is designed to:

  • provide an overview of councils’ emergency management obligations
  • provide guidance on council emergency management planning, structures and roles
  • assist councils to select and develop the right emergency management personnel

The handbook was developed in association with the Municipal Emergency Management Enhancement Group (MEMEG), with support from the Victorian and Australian Governments. It was produced with funding from the Australian Government through the Natural Disaster Resilience Grant Scheme.

We continue to work with MEMEG on joint projects that enable resource sharing among councils in emergencies and improve the standardisation of emergency management activity and structures within councils.

We also provide specialised services to councils for:

  • developing and procuring complex emergency management systems
  • coordinating inter-council donations during emergencies

Emergency management reform

The role of Victorian local government in emergency management has been changing and expanding.

The Victorian Government is reforming the state's crisis and emergency management arrangements. As part of this reform process a Green Paper, Towards a more disaster resilient and safer Victoria, was released in September 2011.

On December 10, 2012 the State Government released the Emergency Management Reform White Paper.

The actions outlined in the White Paper are informed by the Final Report of the 2009 Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission, the Final Report of the Review of the 2010-11 Flood Warnings and Response, submissions on the Towards a More Disaster Resilience and Safer Victoria Green Paper and the Fire Services Reform Action Plan.

The MAV is pleased that many of the White Paper’s actions are in line with our position, advocated through our submission to the Green Paper and our Role of local government in emergency management paper. Our advocacy and position was developed in consultation with our members.

There are, however, actions within the White Paper that are unclear or not specific. These actions require further consideration and consultation with State Government to determine their effect on local government emergency management arrangements, responsibilities and funding.

A members’ brief on the White Paper details MAV’s thoughts on actions within the paper that affect local government. This brief was presented to and approved by the MAV Board on 1 February 2013 and is available to download from this website. The members’ brief will form the basis for MAV’s advocacy to State Government and relevant agencies.

It is important to recognise that the White Paper is the next stage in developing and implementing a reform agenda. Therefore councils will continue to undertake emergency management arrangements consistent with current policy and plans until policy and procedural changes are implemented.


We work with Victorian agencies, the Victorian Government and councils to increase consistency and integration in fire management through the Integrated Fire Management Planning framework.

At the 2009 Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission we represented local government. We coordinated local government’s response to the commission’s final report recommendations and to the Victorian Government’s implementation strategy.

We continue to actively represent Victorian councils at state level in the implementation of the Bushfires Royal Commission recommendations.

We also made a submission in response to the Victorian Government’s Fire services' property levy options paper.


We made a submission on behalf of local government to the Victorian review of 2010 – 2011 flood warnings and response.

We also made a submission to the State Parliament Environment and Natural Resources Committee's Inquiry into Flood Mitigation Infrastructure in Victoria .

After consultation with councils we produced a members’ brief which:

  • summarised aspects of the inquiry
  • raised issues relevant to local government
  • responded to the Inquiry's recommendations.

We will be working with the Department of Sustainability and Environment to influence the outcomes of the final government response to the inquiry and its recommendations.

We also provided advocacy and coordination support to councils affected by the floods that occurred between September 2010 and February 2011.


Our advocacy had a focus on the role local government would play in the event of a pandemic.

We worked with councils and the Department of Health and the Department of Human Services on resources and plans to clarify the role of councils in a pandemic.

For information about pandemic influenza, visit the Department of Health website.

Improving Emergency Management in Local Government Program

We initiated the Improving Emergency Management in Local Government Program in response to increasing demands on local government to provide emergency management support for communities and emergency services.

The program aims to:

  • address the role of local government in emergency management
  • build capability
  • facilitate collaboration across the sector.

The program’s steering committee includes council CEOs and senior state government emergency management leaders. There is also a councillor reference group.

There are five interlinked projects. Each project team includes members from councils and departments.

The projects are:

  • Policy and Role
  • Legislation
  • Sustainable Funding
  • Capability building and Shared Services
  • Performance Measurement.

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