Strategic Action Plan (SAP): Priority one

Work with Victorians to understand and reduce the risk of emergencies

What success will look like: The sector has a clear understanding of the likelihood, severity, and potential consequences for future and concurrent emergencies. The Victorian Government will work with all levels of government to strengthen sharing of risk information and delivering risk reduction projects to protect and preserve life, minimise suffering, reduce impacts and recovery costs of emergency events, and unlock broader economic and social benefits for communities. 

Achievements from the 2022-25 SAP:

  • Victoria implemented the Australian Fire Danger Rating System, to provide an accurate and nationally consistent system for calculating and communicating information about fire danger. 

  • The Department of Health established the Syndromic Surveillance system to enhance the department’s surveillance capability to detect public health epidemiology trends in the community for monitoring and response purposes. The system offers rapidly acquired data from Emergency Departments and Nurse On Call and provides a better understanding of the health impacts of emergencies such as epidemic thunderstorm asthma, smoke and drinking water contamination events. 

Please note: SAP numbers with an asterisk (*) are new actions.


*1.1. Review and refine the Australian Fire Danger Rating System (AFDRS) in Victoria

This action will refine and extend the implementation of the AFDRS by: 

  • reviewing and refining initial systems, products and processes developed for the launch of the AFDRS for the purpose of public fire danger ratings (Phase 1-3), and 
  • supporting the initiation of the Fire Ignition, Suppression and Impact Indices (FISI) for fire prevention and industry regulation as well as agency readiness and initial response to fires (Phase 4). 

Delivery date: June 2024

Lead agency: Emergency Management Victoria (EMV)

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1.2. Implementation of the Victorian Emergency Risk Assessment (VERA) project to provide a contemporary and systemic approach to identifying and mitigating state-level emergency risks 

This action will develop a revised Victorian Emergency Risk Assessment, based on a contemporary and systemic approach to identifying and assessing emergency risks across Victoria. Under this project, Emergency Management Victoria (EMV) will create a repeatable state emergency risk assessment process informed by partnerships with other states and territories.

Delivery date: December 2023

Lead agency: Emergency Management Victoria (EMV)

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1.3. 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)

This action relates to:


1.4. 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: December 2026

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

This action relates to:


1.5. Delivering Victoria’s Bushfire Management Strategy

This action will deliver a whole of sector Bushfire Strategy to guide land and fire management in a changing climate and to drive future delivery of key bushfire risk management programs with communities. It will build on the success of the delivery of the Safer Together program, which continues to work with high-risk bushfire communities to identify and deliver programs that support community resilience.

Delivery date: March 2024

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

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1.6. Review of bushfire risk management performance targets through the Office of Bushfire Risk Management (OBRM)

This action includes providing advice to government on: 

  • Options for new targets (life and property and ecosystem resilience targets) to guide the Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action's (DEECA's) fuel management program.
  • A roadmap to expand bushfire risk management targets across agencies and tenures. 

Delivery date: August 2024

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

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*1.7. Implement the Water Safety Action Plan 2022-25


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

This action will support climate change adaptation by updating planning provisions to help reduce exposure to urban heat, 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 supports the Health and Human Services Adaptation Action Plan 2022–26’s key risk of heat health and the impacts of urban heat. 

Delivery date: June 2024 

Lead agency: Department of Transport and Planning (DTP)

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1.9. 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.

Delivery date: December 2025

Lead agency: Department of Health (DH)

This action relates to: