From Emergency Management Commissioner Andrew Crisp

25 June 2021
Photo of personnel lifting generators onto the back of a ute

A report in today’s The Age newspaper includes a number of inaccuracies relating to the response to the storms across Victoria this month.

Emergency services agencies and departments, including thousands of volunteers and paid staff, have been working around the clock on the emergency response, relief and recovery efforts. They began work when the weather forecast prompted the first warnings days ahead of the storm, and were out providing assistance as soon as possible.

At any one time there are more than 1,000 personnel and volunteers deployed in impacted areas, with hundreds more on standby.

An emergency of this significance requires an incredible scale of work and coordination across countless agencies, bodies, organisations, councils, and departments, as well as families, friends and neighbours.

Not only have we seen a mammoth response effort from our emergency service agencies, but local councils in partnership with relief support agencies such as the Australian Red Cross, Salvation Army and the Victorian Council of Churches Emergencies Ministry have been working hard to get help to those who need it.

Relief and early recovery services have also worked quickly to set up drop-in centres, provide food and water, and continue working hard to ensure all impacted residents have the information they need to get help.  

We will continue to work together until we can be confident all impacted Victorians have the support they need to get back on their feet.

Information provided to The Age on Thursday 24 June 2021:

200 generators were delivered to the CFA logistics centre in Scoresby on Saturday 19 June. Boxes of ancillary equipment filled including a canopy, power boards and a jerry can were also assembled there. The generators and boxes were delivered to Olinda on Saturday afternoon. The deliveries were scheduled to begin to homes on Sunday.

Each generator comes with a fact sheet from Energy Safe Victoria along with jerry cans full of petrol and accessories needed to operate it.

During installation of the generator, residents are given a comprehensive set of instructions by a VICSES volunteer on how to use it safely.

Local emergency services crews have identified a small group of people who are physically incapable of filling a jerry can on their own and they are being supported. There are 150 generators currently in households.

As of yesterday, there have been 567 welfare doorknocks of impacted residents. Those identified as vulnerable are being visited regularly.

There was no media alert for Sunday 20 June for media to obtain vision of the generator delivery. At no point was any generator delivery held up.