As the devastating 2019–20 bushfire season showed, all Victorians are at risk from bushfires. The consequences include the loss of lives, homes, businesses and community infrastructure.Other adverse consequences can include the negative health impacts from smoke exposure, financial hardship and harm to mental health. Victoria’s bushfires also damage the state’s natural environment and can reduce its biodiversity.
This audit examined the operations of:
the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (Vic)
the Country Fire Authority (CFA)
Emergency Management Victoria
Energy Safe Victoria
a number of rural councils.
The audited agencies, particularly DELWP and CFA, are collaborating to reduce the risks that bushfires pose to life, property and the environment, and do so with strong commitment.
However, there is insufficient information available to understand the effectiveness and impacts of their risk-reduction activities.
Reducing risk across the state also requires a stronger focus on, and allocation of resources to, treating private land, to complement that applied to public land.