6 January 2020
A new permanent dedicated agency is being established to work directly with local communities impacted by Victoria's devastating bushfires, as part of the process of rebuilding and recovery.
The new Bushfire Recovery Victoria (BRV) will be wholly focused on the needs of Victorian communities, working closely with locals to ensure that rehabilitation projects are both locally-driven and locally-delivered.
Recognising the lengthy process of recovery – in addition to the increased risk our state faces due to longer and hotter bushfire seasons – the work of BRV will be permanent and ongoing. That includes a commitment to supporting any Victorian communities impacted by future bushfires.
The critical work of BRV will begin straight away, even as our emergency services continue to battle bushfires in our state’s north and east.
This effort will extend across a range of priorities from the immediate clean-up and ensuring the health and wellbeing of residents and farmers, to longer-term work to help local communities and local economies, like the agricultural and tourism sectors, get back on their feet.
In line with this commitment, Community Recovery Committees will be established to ensure locals have a voice throughout this process, while local jobs and expertise will be prioritised wherever possible.
The agency will also be responsible for advising the Victorian Government on the coordination of efforts and the development of an overarching plan for the restoration and recovery of communities across our state.
Former Chief Commissioner of Victoria Police Ken Lay will serve as BRV’s Chair, with Lee Miezis, Deputy Secretary at the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, offering extensive knowledge on fire and emergency management including the recovery at Wye River, to serve as CEO.
The new agency will sit within the Department of Premier and Cabinet to ensure whole-of-government coordination, and report directly to the Premier.
Further updates will be on the Bushfire Recovery Victoria website