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The actions on this page are identified in the Victorian Government to Recommendation 2 from the IGEM Inquiry into the 2019-20 Victorian Fire Season - Phase 1 .
IGEM Recommendation 2: Fuel management
The Inspector-General for Emergency Management (IGEM) recommends that the State review (and where necessary amend) legislation including but not limited to the Country Fire Authority Act 1958, Forest Act 1958 and Local Government Act 2020 to:
- clarify accountability for fuel management across
- land and fire agencies
- public authorities
- private organisations
- define shared responsibility for fuel management across
- land and fire agencies
- enable organisations with a legislated responsibility for fuel management to conduct fuel management on behalf of other organisations on land outside of their legislated land tenure, where invited to do so
- provide consistent protections to all personnel, including volunteers, when carrying out fuel management functions on behalf of their legislated organisation.
Action 2.1: Continue to work with Traditional Owners to implement the Victorian Traditional Owner Cultural Fire Strategy
The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning will continue to work with Traditional Owners to implement the Cultural Fire Strategy.
Action 2.2: Review the fuel management legislative framework to remove barriers and clarify concepts and responsibilities
The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) and the Department of Justice and Community Safety (DJCS) will lead a review of the legislative framework and consider legislative change to:
- enable more effective planning and delivery of bushfire management across different land tenures and responsible agencies
- support greater interoperability
- ensure all firefighters (including volunteers) have sufficient legal protections when carrying out fuel management
- consider any relevant legislative recommendations from the Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements
The review will:
- ensure accountabilities for fuel management are clear, and consistent with the principle of shared responsibility
- maintain individual rights and responsibilities
- enable land and fire agencies, public authorities, councils, private organisations and individuals to work together to manage fuel on public and private land
- enable land and fire management departments and agencies, including DELWP, the Country Fire Authority, local government, the Department of Transport and other land managers, to conduct fuel management on any land where mutual agreement exists
- identify any measures required to better enable Traditional Owners to carry out cultural fire
- ensure consistent protections and immunities for all personnel, including volunteers, when carrying out fuel management activities on behalf of their legislated organisations
- consider the role of an expanded Code of Practice for Bushfire Management
- examine the need for change to regulatory tools, such as fire permits
- enable the end-to-end bushfire risk management framework for all public and private land in Victoria, such as powers to create plans or standards for how land and fire agencies manage bushfire risk.
Action 2.3: Clarify regulatory controls and optimise approvals processes relevant to activities to reduce bushfire risk
The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning will work with road and rail managers, local government and other stakeholders to ensure clarity on regulatory controls and deliver efficient approvals processes relevant to activities to reduce bushfire risk, such as permitted native vegetation removal and permits to burn off while ensuring environmental protections are maintained.
An update on these actions can be found in IGEM's progress
Reviewed 05 August 2022