Skip to Content

Emergency management

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

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

Capability improvement link Emergencies in Victoria link Gender and emergency management link
Improving Emergency Management in Local Government Program link Municipal emergency management enhancement group link Resource sharing protocol link

2015-16 achievements

  • The State has agreed to review the funding model for the Victorian State Emergency Service in partnership with the MAV following extensive advocacy, and support for local government's position has gained some high profile media support.
  • Achieved $4.6 million annual State allocation for continuation of the Municipal Emergency Resourcing Program for 64 councils in the CFA area from 1 July 2016.
  • Advocated the sector's agreed preferred roles in emergency management during the Government's reform of emergency management planning legislation, and secured removal of references to Municipal Emergency Coordination Centres (MECCs) in the Emergency Management Manual Victoria.

Capability improvement

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

The MAV has developed an Emergency management guide for mayors and councillors (PDF - 329KB). It provides some basic information about the role of councils in emergency management and some advice on how mayors and councillors can engage with council officers, the emergency management sector and the community before, during and after emergencies.   


The MAV is also updating its emergency management guide for council CEOs.

We have produced the Local government emergency management handbook (Word - 668KB) 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.

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:

  • seeking support from the sector during emergencies for affected councils
  • coordinating inter-council donations during emergencies.

Read more information about capability improvement.

Emergency management reform

The actions outlined in the State Government's Emergency Management Reform White Paper (PDF - 837KB) were 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 was pleased that many of the white paper's actions were in line with our policy position, advocated through our submission to the Green Paper and our 2011 Role of local government in emergency management paper.

The white paper recommended a number of changes to Victoria's emergency management governance structure, which came into effect through the Emergency Management Act 2013 on 1 July 2014. The Act established two new emergency management positions, the Emergency Management Commissioner and Inspector General Emergency Management (IGEM).

Emergency Management Victoria (EMV) was also established at this time as the overarching body which supports and enables the Emergency Management Commissioner (EMC) to fulfil their role. EMV plays a key role in implementing the Victorian Government's emergency management reform agenda.

In 2015, the MAV updated its Role of local government in emergency management paper (Word - 265KB) in consultation with our members. The Emergency Management landscape has transformed since 2011 and our updated position paper takes these changes into account. Updates of note include:

  • the inclusion of legislative updates, specifically the Emergency Management Act 2015
  • a section on the potential effect of rates capping
  • a section on reform to Commonwealth natural disaster funding arrangements
  • the removal of now redundant or out-of-date information
  • a section on council emergency management collaborations
  • an updated and expanded section on Municipal Emergency Coordination Centres.

It is important to recognise that reform will be a multi-year process, and has been proceeding at a slower than expected pace. Therefore councils should continue to undertake emergency management arrangements consistent with current policy and plans until legislation, policy and procedural changes are implemented.

MAV documents

Submissions to government on emergency management

Recent MAV submissions on emergency management include:

MAV submissions
Date Topic
​October 2017 LGV Councils & Emergencies Position Paper - Final Draft (PDF - 995KB)
​June 2017 CFA Schedule 13​ Permit to Burn Discussion Paper (Word - 311KB)
​May 2017 ​LGV Councils and Emergencies Directions Paper (Word - 366KB)
​April 2017 ​Resilient Recovery Discussion Paper (Word - 330KB)
​June 2016 Emergency Management Legislation Amendment Planning Bill 2016 exposure draft (Word - 343KB)
August 2015 Revised draft Victorian floodplain management strategy (Word - 352KB)
July 2015 Draft flood management strategy Port Phillip and Westernport (Word - 322KB)
​June 2015 Draft replacement of essential water used during bushfire fighting operations policy and guidelines (Word - 324KB)
October 2014 Productivity Commission inquiry into natural disaster funding arrangements - 2014 draft report (Word - 335KB)
June 2014 Productivity Commission inquiry into natural disaster funding arrangements 2014 (Word - 390KB)
November 2011 Submission on 'Towards a more disaster resilient and safer Victoria' Green Paper (Word - 246KB)


Position papers

Internal links

Event presentations

You can find presentations on emergency management in our past event presentations section.

External links

Contact us

Contact MAV's emergency management team on ​