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Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission

We coordinated the local government response to the 2009 Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission on behalf of the 77 Victorian councils insured by MAV Insurance during 2009–2010.

Of the 77 councils represented, 27 were impacted by the Black Saturday bushfires.

​Councils impacted by Black Saturday bushfires ​
Alpine Shire Council Mitchell Shire Council
Baw Baw Shire Council Moorabool Shire Council
Cardinia Shire Council Mornington Shire Council
Casey City Council Mount Alexander Shire Council
Corangamite Shire Council Moyne Shire Council
East Gippsland Shire Council Murrindindi Shire Council
Greater Bendigo City Council Nillumbik Shire Council
Hepburn Shire Council South Gippsland Shire Council
Horsham Rural Shire Council Southern Grampians Shire Council
Indigo Shire Council ​​Wangaratta Rural City Council
Knox City Council Wellington Shire Council
Latrobe City Council ​​Whittlesea City Council
Macedon Ranges Shire Council ​​Yarra Ranges Shire Council
Mansfield Shire Council

The Cities of Greater Dandenong and Stonnington were not represented. Neither were affected by the bushfires.

Neil Young QC, Dr Greg Lyon SC and Jonathon Redwood represented us and 77 Victorian councils at the commission. They were supported by Mallesons Stephen Jacques.

During the proceedings, our evidence demonstrated the complexity of the legislative regime councils work within and highlighted the limited resources available to local government to fulfill its many fire management obligations.

A number of the recommendations in the commission’s final report (PDF - 111KB) were directed at councils or have implications for local government.

Working with councils, we developed a submission to the Victorian Government in response to the commission’s final report recommendations.

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

  • integrated fire management planning
  • township protection planning
  • shelter options, including neighbourhood safer places
  • native vegetation removal along roadsides
  • land use planning
  • local government resourcing and support
  • identification of vulnerable people
  • evacuation planning
  • hazard trees identification and notification procedures
  • animal welfare during emergencies
  • community alert sirens
  • Fire Ready campaign

Councils covered by the Country Fire Authority Act 1958 are currently responding to many of these recommendations.