Strategic Action Plan (SAP): Priority one

Work with Victorians to understand and reduce the risk of emergencies


1. Implement the Australian Fire Danger Rating System (AFDRS) in Victoria

This action will implement the AFDRS to provide a more accurate and nationally consistent system for calculating and communicating information about fire danger, in addition to reducing bushfire risk through improved operational decision making and community messaging. Implementation of the AFDRS was a recommendation of the Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements.

Delivery date: June 2023

Lead agency: Emergency Management Victoria (EMV)


2. Implement the Victorian Emergency Risk Assessment (VERA) Project

This action will implement the Victorian Emergency Risk Assessment to provide a contemporary and systemic approach to identifying and mitigating emergency risks across Victoria. Under this project, Emergency Management Victoria (EMV) will create a repeatable state risk assessment process informed by partnerships with other states and territories. EMV will also work with CSIRO to include climate modelling in VERA.

Delivery date: June 2023

Lead agency: Emergency Management Victoria (EMV)


3. Improve cyber support for Victoria’s critical infrastructure and essential services

This action will update Victoria’s cyber incident management plan for public sector critical infrastructure providers. We will deliver programs of work under Victoria’s Cyber Strategy 2021 to support critical infrastructure cyber resilience and update Victoria’s State Emergency Management Plan (SEMP) Cyber Security Sub Plan, including accounting for Commonwealth Security of Critical Infrastructure reforms.

Delivery date: October 2023

Lead agency: Department of Government Services (DGS) 


4. Enhance climate-related hazard and risk assessment capabilities to inform water infrastructure planning, design and investment decisions

This action will build capability and improve hazard and risk assessment options available for the water sector to better inform water infrastructure planning, design and investment decisions. Under this action the Victorian Government will also improve data accessibility for the water sector.

Delivery date: 2026 (This action will be commenced in 2023/24)

Lead agency: Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action (DEECA) 


5. Enhance bushfire risk reduction outcomes across public and private land through the development of a Whole of Sector Bushfire Strategy and Implementation Action Plan

This action will deliver the ‘Safer Together’ program which will work with high-risk bushfire communities to identify and deliver programs that support community resilience. This action will also deliver a whole of sector Bushfire Strategy to guide land and fire management under a changing climate.

Delivery date: June 2023

Lead agency: Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action (DEECA) 


6. Support individuals, schools and communities with the tools and information they need to understand and take action to reduce risks

This action will support education in communities (including schools) by providing the information they need. For example, the development of a targeted program for upper primary students to strengthen the community’s knowledge of and preparedness for bushfires, and seek to expand this to include floods and storms.

Delivery date: June 2023

Lead agency: Department of Education (DE)/ Country Fire Authority (CFA)/ Victoria State Emergency Services (VICSES)


7. Coordination of fuel management and development of fuel management performance targets through the Office of Bushfire Risk Management (OBRM)

OBRM will lead and coordinate the implementation of evidence-based fuel management policy, practice and assurance and reporting on activities on both public and private land in Victoria. This is the ongoing role of OBRM.

This action includes reviewing the existing performance target for fuel management and articulating a pathway to expand fuel management performance targets to all organisations with fuel management responsibilities, in line with the Inspector-General for Emergency Management’s recommendation. This action also includes setting an ecosystem resilience target.

Delivery date: June 2023

Lead agency: Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action (DEECA) 


8. Update planning schemes to include new provisions aimed at reducing urban heat exposure

This action will update planning provisions to respond to climate change based on the most current advice from relevant natural resource and emergency management authorities.

This action is part of the Built Environment Climate Change Adaptation Action Plan 2022–26. This action also responds to the Health and Human Services Adaptation Action Plan 2022–26’s key risk of heat health and the impacts of urban heat.

Delivery date: 2024 

Lead agency: Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action (DEECA) 


9. Enhance engagement and partnerships with community and sector to increase trust and confidence and to enable effective, targeted public health behaviour change interventions

This action will support the continuation of Local Public Health Units to expand to deliver regional public health prevention and reduce health risks and prepare for the response to radiation and biological emergencies.

Delivery date: 2025

Lead agency: Department of Health (DH)