State of Disaster extended for 48 hours

9 January 2020

With bushfire conditions expected to deteriorate across Victoria from tomorrow, the current State of Disaster has been extended by the Premier Daniel Andrews for parts of the State for the next 48 hours.

The declaration is made where the Premier agrees there is an emergency that constitutes, or is likely to constitute, a significant and widespread danger to life or property.

This declaration will continue to give the Victorian Government the powers and resources it needs to keep Victorians safe. This extension continues from last week’s initial declaration of a State of Disaster. Last week’s declaration was the first time such powers have been used since they were included in the Emergency Management Act 1986 following the 2009 Victorian Bushfires.

The declaration applies to the local government areas of East Gippsland Shire, Mansfield Shire, Wellington Shire, Wangaratta Rural Shire, Towong Shire, Alpine Shire, and Mount Buller, Mount Hotham, Falls Creek and Mount Stirling Alpine Resorts.

With 23 fires currently active across Victoria and approximately 1.2 million hectares burnt, tomorrow’s heat spike day brings an added elevated fire risk. Those in at risk areas of the North East and East Gippsland should leave while it is still safe to do so. Emergency Services are encouraging communities to prepare and leave.

“Our biggest role in this is helping the community, but we’re in for another tough time and although we’ve been through this before, it is very much a shared responsibility," said Emergency Management Commissioner, Andrew Crisp.

"We need your assistance with this, as we don’t want anyone in those high risk areas and if you currently are, please leave. We’ve been really strong around the safety messaging and we will continue to push this.”

A State of Disaster:

  • may be declared to exist in the whole, or parts, of Victoria
  • exists immediately upon the making of the declaration and remains in force for one month (unless another declaration is made)
  • can be revoked or varied by the Premier at any time.

People in these areas must follow advice from emergency services. Do not travel to these areas and if you are in any of these areas, leave now if it is safe to do so. The community should monitor advice and warnings at emergency.vic.gov.au (External link).