13 December 2019
New guidelines for preparing the State Emergency Management Plan (SEMP) have been released. They provide advice in preparing the SEMP and are an important step to reform Victoria’s emergency management planning arrangements.
The guidelines form part of emergency management planning reform contained in the Emergency Management Act 2013 (the Act), which is being updated by the Emergency Management Legislation Amendment Act 2018. Under the Act, the Minister is now empowered to issue guidelines for state, regional and municipal level planning.
The reform is being implemented in phases, beginning with the state level. Guidelines for preparing regional and municipal emergency management plans will be issued next year.
The guidelines will promote consistency within planning levels and ensure that the intent of the Victorian emergency management legislation is met, including that plans:
- focus on mitigation, response and recovery
- include emergency management roles and responsibilities
- place community at the centre
- are developed in a collaborative manner.
The guidelines are the result of engagement and collaboration across the emergency management sector. Consultation on the next issue of guidelines (including the regional level) is underway. A further round of consultation will occur next year to incorporate advice for the development of municipal emergency management plans.
The SEMP itself will be released in 2020 and will outline state level arrangements for major emergencies, prior to the commencement of the regional phase of amendments. Agencies involved in emergency management at the state level will use this plan to understand emergency management arrangements, roles and responsibilities before, during and after emergencies.
The SEMP replaces the State Emergency Response Plan and State Emergency Relief and Recovery Plan (detailed in Parts 2, 3, 4 and 7 of the EMMV). The current Part 7 of the EMMV will be further reviewed in mid-2020.
A copy of the guidelines can be found on the Emergency Management Planning Reform Program page.