Emergency management

Councils play an important role in Victoria’s emergency management arrangements. They facilitate emergency management planning at the local level and are responsible for coordinating relief and recovery support for affected communities. They also have a long-established role in providing support to response agencies.

The MAV supports councils to undertake their roles and responsibilities through advocacy, guidance and practical assistance. We also represent local government on state-level committees and working groups.

Current priorities

We currently have a particular focus on defining the role of councils in emergency management, and are seeking to resolve long-standing funding issues including the natural disaster funding arrangements, support arrangements for Victoria State Emergency Service (SES) volunteer units and fire plugs.

We will also continue to represent councils at the state level as the Victorian Government continues to reform the emergency management arrangements.

Our immediate priorities include working with State agencies and representing councils on the following projects:

As part of our strategic plan, we are also committed to progressing the following matters:

  • Implementation of a new MoU for Victoria State Emergency Service volunteer units
  • Addressing the lack of clarity about water authority and council responsibilities for the cost of installing, maintaining and repairing fire plugs
  • Funding arrangements for surf lifesaving clubs and coastguards.

Submissions, briefs and position papers

We develop and form a collective local government sector view on a range of emergency management topics. Our recent submissions include:

To access all our emergency management-related submissions, visit the MAV submissions page.

We also prepare position papers. In 2015, we updated our Role of local government in emergency management paper (Word - 265KB) in consultation with our members.

The Victorian Emergency Management Reform white paper 2013 (Word - 238KB) assesses Victorian Government's proposed reform in line with the local government sector's position and outlines our next steps.

Committees and reference groups

We represent local government on numerous high-level advisory and reference groups, including the:

  • State Crisis and Resilience Council – Victoria’s peak crisis and emergency management advisory body – and its three subcommittees
  • Councils and Emergencies Reference Group
  • Emergency Management Joint Public Information Committee
  • EMV Planning Guidelines Reference Group
  • Municipal Emergency Management Enhancement Group
  • State Emergency Management Team
  • State Relief and Recovery Team
  • State Fire Management Planning Committee
  • Victorian Floodplain Management Strategy Implementation Reference Group.

We also convene committees and working groups as required, to help inform our work and build capacity within the sector, including the MAV Emergency Management Committee.


  • You can access emergency management-related presentations from past events on our members only website
  • We manage an online library of useful emergency management documents called the MAV Emergency Management e-Library. To subscribe to the e-Library, please email emergencymgt@mav.asn.au
  • The protocol for inter-council resource sharing is intended to clarify operational, insurance and reimbursement issues that may arise through municipal resource-sharing arrangements. It has been used as the basis of council-to-council support during many emergencies over the last decade, and forms the basis of several regional or sub-regional support arrangements. More information, including a list of signatories, can be found here.
  • We have developed an Emergency management guide for mayors and councillors (PDF - 155KB). 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. Note: Sections of this handbook are out of date. The full handbook will be reviewed at the conclusion of the Local Government Victoria Councils and Emergencies project (2019).
  • Our gender and emergency management resources  are helping to raise awareness and provide councils with practical advice on how gender and emergency management interact.

Other reports and guides

Further information

Engage with us

Subscribe to our Emergency Management quarterly bulletin to keep informed about local government environment-related news and events.

For more information about our emergency management policy work, contact:

Emma Lake
Manager Emergency Management Policy
(03) 9667 5532