Key achievements in 2010-2011
We are a lead agency responsible for delivering major
components of the Government’s Implementation
Plan in response to the 67 recommendations made
by the Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission.
We have enhanced our operational response capacity with:
- 155 new divisional command locations Regional Commanders appointed in each of our eight regions
- more than 2,000 additional pagers issued to our people.
Our community focus has been strengthened with:
- new localised Township Protection Plans for high risk communities
- a program of personalised advice to property owners about bushfire preparedness.
We have also:
- redesigned our website to increase useability
- identified 178 Neighbourhood Safer Places/ Places of Last Resort
- enhanced our children’s education program.
There was significant flooding across much of the State in September 2010 and January 2011, and in many areas CFA brigades played a critical role in responding to flood events. This was due to the isolation of some towns where there was no permanent Victoria State Emergency Service presence.
In a fire season with only two total fire ban days, there were fewer bushfires than previous years. The most significant bushfire was at Tostaree, East Gippsland, where two houses were lost. We tackled some large factory fires later in the year, including the Tritech Lubricants fire in Dandenong South that took eight hours to bring under control. At the height of the fire around 130 firefighters from CFA and Metropolitan Fire and Emergency Services Board worked together.
The Country Fire Authority Amendment (Volunteer Charter) Act 2011 was passed in the Victorian Parliament in May 2011. This legislation acknowledges that volunteers are our core strength. As signatories to the Charter we are committed to ensuring that volunteers are fully and fairly consulted on issues that affect them.
A review of the TFB boundaries ensured consistency
with municipal boundaries. There were several
misalignments in boundaries in western and northern
Victoria. This misalignment was compounded by
the Bureau of Meteorology’s weather districts that
are used to issue bushfire warnings. Some districts aligned with TFB boundaries, while others did not. Following discussions with the Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE) and the Bureau of Meteorology, TFB boundaries are now aligned with municipal and weather forecast district boundaries.
The Land and Buildings Program saw an unprecedented level of construction, with $36.2 million spent on 61 completed projects by the end of the 2010-11 financial year, including 51 new rural fire stations.
State Command and Control arrangements for bushfires in Victoria were signed off by the Fire Services Commissioner and chief officers of the fire agencies to provide clear and unambiguous command and control of, preparedness for, and response to bushfires in Victoria.