Bushfires in Gippsland pose a real threat to lives, homes, jobs, and the environment.

Managing bushfire risk is an ongoing and shared responsibility - a partnership in which everyone has a role.

Safer Together is the Victorian Government’s approach to reducing bushfire risk. Across Victoria local governments, the CFA, Parks Victoria, EMV and DELWP have been working together and with other agencies and communities to develop strategic plans that will guide bushfire management on both public and private land into the future.

In Gippsland we have developed a Strategic Bushfire Management Plan comprising:

  • A set of values and objectives for bushfire management in Gippsland that is shared across agencies and the community
  • A Fuel Management Strategy consisting of:
    1. fire management zoning (public land) and performance measure targets to ensure objectives are met
    2. priority fuel management areas (private and public land), and
  • Decision Support Tools for risk-based prioritisation of bushfire management actions in Gippsland including:
    • RISKIMAPS - web-based dynamic spatial maps and ranked lists for prioritising planning, engagement and fuel management actions within selected footprints across public and private land.
    • Suppression Priority Areas - static map showing areas where medium term investment in improving first attack suppression success will provide the greatest reduction in bushfire risk.
    • Prevention Priority Areas - static map showing areas where medium term investment in reducing human caused ignitions will provide the greatest reduction in bushfire risk.

    Phase Three Engagement Summary Now Available

    Please see the Phase Three report in the Document Library, which outlines the quantitative and qualitative summary of the community feedback received during phase three of our engagement.

    Regional strategies will be finalised and made available in October 2019.

    Phase 3 Engagement

    The Proposed Final Strategy

    By clicking on the links below, you will find detailed information about our chosen objectives, our proposed final fuel management strategy and the expected performance of our strategy. The maps below show how the strategy applies in the landscape.

    We sought feedback from community and stakeholders on the fundamental values and objectives for bushfire management, and asked them to help shape and select the components of the fuel management strategy.

    Below is a summary of the key things we heard throughout the engagement process and how this information has informed the final proposed strategy. You can also download the detailed engagement summary reports from Phase 1, Phase 2 and Phase 2A.


    What we heard

    A series of workshops with land and fire management agencies and an online consultation with the general public were held in July 2018 to identify the fundamental values and objectives for bushfire management in Gippsland.

    Fundamental values are the ultimate durable reasons we care about bushfires and fire management, and fundamental objectives are the core set of goals we want to achieve with fire management.

    The sector identified the fundamental values as Human life, Wellbeing: individual, social and cultural, and Nature: biodiversity and ecosystem function.

    The sector determined that the goals (objectives) needed to protect these values are:

    • Minimise human life loss and serious injury.
    • Minimise social, livelihood and economic disruption.
    • Minimise disruption to essential services and critical infrastructure.
    • Minimise loss of community and cultural assets.
    • Minimise decline in native plant and animal populations.

    Community opinion was sought on those values and objectives in the phase one Engage Victoria consultation. As the engagement summary shows, the community agreed with the values identified by the sector and that the objectives should guide the approach to bushfire management in Gippsland.

    The effectiveness of the Gippsland Strategic Bushfire Management Plan will depend on how well the actions under it meet the objectives for bushfire management that have been agreed on by the people of Gippsland.

    The fuel management strategy guides fuel management activities on public and private land. It comprises two mapped products, Fire Management Zoning (FMZ) on public land, and Priority Fuel Management Areas (PFMAs) on public and private land. These zones and priority areas ensure the location, frequency, type and intensity of fuel management actions will achieve the fundamental objectives of the strategy.

    Fire Management Zones articulate how much and what type of fuel management will take place in that area, as well as how often the fuel management activity will take place. Each of the four FMZs differs in its intended fuel treatment aims and associated performance measures:

    • Asset Protection Zone (red) - Aim to reduce fuel through planned burning or other methods approximately every 5 to 8 years.
    • Bushfire Moderation Zone (orange) - Aim to reduce fuel through planned burning or other methods approximately every 8 to 15 years. Length of time between planned burns in some areas can vary due to ecological considerations.
    • Landscape Management Zone (green) - Planned burning will focus on maintaining and improving ecosystem resilience, and fuel management will also be undertaken for risk reduction.
    • Planned Burning Exclusion Zone (turquoise) - No planned burning, mainly to protect particular areas that can’t tolerate fire.

    Priority Fuel Management Areas show where computer simulation indicates fuel management may most effectively reduce long-term bushfire risk to communities. Bushfire fuels include anything that can burn in a bushfire, such as dried grass, shrubs, branches, sticks, bark and leaf litter. Bushfire fuel treatments can include activities such as slashing, physical removal, grazing, mulching and planned burning. The choice of treatment will depend on the area’s risk, vegetation types, land use, community preferences and other values that are important. Not all land within PFMAs can or should be treated. Fuel treatments planned as part of PFMA implementation can only occur with the landowner’s consent. Treatments may be carried out by an individual landowner, a community planning together, and/or fire agencies such as the Country Fire Authority (CFA) and Forest Fire Management Victoria (FFMVic). More information of PFMAs is available in our frequently asked questions (FAQs).

    The maps below show the proposed Fire Management Zones and Priority Fuel Management Areas for Gippsland and the table indicates how well the fuel management strategy meets the objectives for bushfire management in Gippsland. You are asked to indicate if you accept the strategy for the whole of Gippsland or not.

    At the end of this survey you have a further opportunity to provide feedback on the proposed fire management zones for areas of particular interest to you.

    The table below shows the performance of the strategy selected by participants in phase two.

    This is a balanced strategy that provides the best overall performance across all objectives, rather than favouring one objective at the expense of others.

    This table shows the expected performance of the draft fuel management strategy against Gippsland’s fundamental objectives. For minimise human life loss and serious injury, the strategy performs 4 out of 5. For minimise social, livelihood and economic disruption, the strategy performs 4 out of 5. For minimise disruption to essential services and critical infrastructure, the strategy performs 3 out of 5. For minimise loss of community and cultural assets, the strategy performs 2.5 out of 5. For minimise decline in native plant and animal populations, the strategy performs 3.5 out of 5.

    Please note that only the performance of the fuel management strategy on public land has been modelled, as it is unknown how much and where exactly private land fuel management will be undertaken in the implementation of the strategy. Private land fuel management will increase the overall performance of the strategy.

    Survey Questions

    We would like to hear your thoughts about our fuel management strategy. Your feedback will be helpful to understand how well our strategy reflects community expectations and help to inform future work as we move into implementation.

    1. How do you feel about the proposed fuel management strategy? Required
    You have 500 characters left.
    3. What element of the fuel management strategy most influenced your decision? Required
    4. Having considered the new fuel management strategy and seen the Priority Fuel Management Areas (PFMAs), how likely would you be to reduce bushfire fuels on your own property? Required
    Very unlikely
    Unlikely
    Reasonably likely
    Likely
    Very likely
    I have no fuels on my property
    Please choose the most appropriate answer
    5. Implementation of the fuel management strategy will involve fire management agencies (such as CFA and Forest Fire Management Victoria), local government and communities. How likely are you to be involved with fuel management activities in your area? Required
    Very unlikely
    Unlikely
    Reasonably likely
    Likely
    Very likely
    Unsure
    Please choose the most appropriate answer
    6. Were you involved in any previous engagement opportunities for this strategic planning process? Required

    Please tick all that apply

    7. If you have been involved in any previous engagement opportunity, do you feel that your feedback has been considered?
    Unsure
    Not considered at all
    Somewhat considered
    Moderately considered
    Well considered
    Considered to a great extent
    Please choose the most appropriate answer
    8. We are committed to improving our engagement with communities. How do you think we could have improved our consultation throughout this planning process?
    9. How confident are you in the overall process that was used to create this fuel management strategy? To answer, you could consider elements such as the science used, engagement undertaken, and final outcome.
    Not at all confident
    Slightly confident
    Neutral
    Moderately confident
    Very confident
    I am unclear about the process
    Please choose the most appropriate answer
    You have 300 characters left.

    Prevention and Suppression Priority Areas

    In the Gippsland region, we were involved in a pilot to identify priority areas relating to prevention of ignition and bushfire suppression (firefighting efforts when a fire has begun).

    Bushfire prevention actions are the things we can do to stop people from starting bushfires in the first place. They can relate to both deliberate and accidental human-caused fires, like campfire-escapes.

    In the Gippsland region, our bushfire prevention priority area pilot focuses on areas where we could:

    • upgrade campsites to have enclosed fire pits,
    • increase education campaigns,
    • prioritise compliance patrols.

    Bushfire suppression actions are the things we do to stop a bushfire from spreading and to reduce its potential impacts. Strategic planning for suppression is about what improvements we can make over the long term that can make us more effective when a bushfire starts.

    In the Gippsland region, our bushfire suppression priority areas pilot focuses on areas where we could:

    • upgrade roads, to make it safer and quicker to get a bushfire that has started,
    • build infrastructure to enable firefighting crews to be waiting closer to where bushfires might start, on bad days.

    Prevention and suppression actions still occur in all parts of our region.

    11. Thinking about our pilot prevention and suppression priority areas Required
    Very unimportant
    Unimportant
    Neutral
    Important
    Very important
    How important is it for you to understand these priorities in more detail?
    How important is it for you to know where our priority areas are?
    How important is it to you to be able to see these areas on a map?

    Please rank the following options by their level of importance to you from highest to lowest, by dragging from the left-hand column to the right-hand column

    1. Improving suppression (responding to bushfires) #
    2. Preventing ignitions (bushfires starting) #
    3. Improving evacuations #
    4. Pre-planning by agencies to support community recovery after bushfires #
    5. Other (please specify) #
    You have 150 characters left.

    Your background and experiences

    Collecting a small amount of non-identifying information is valuable in helping us understand the perspectives of different groups of people.

    13. Have you had personal experience of bushfire? Required
    14. Have you assisted with bushfire response or recovery? Required
    15. Are you a Gippsland resident or land owner? Required
    16. Which local government area (shire) in Gippsland do you live in? Required
    17. What is your main source of income? Required
    18. What activities do you regularly participate in? Required
    19. How did you find out about this community consultation? Required

    The survey form is now closed. Thanks for your contributions.

    Closed

    Fire Management Zones

    If you would like to provide feedback or advice relating to a specific area or areas of the proposed Fire Management Zoning, please add pins to those areas on this map, as follows:


    - Agree with zoning to show support for the draft zoning in an area.


    - Prefer APZ in areas where you would prefer to see fuel treated most frequently (generally every 5 to 8 years).


    - Prefer BMZ in areas where you would prefer to see fuel treated between 8 to 15 years.


    - Prefer LMZ in areas where fuel treatment should generally be less frequent with the highest focus on ecologically appropriate fire regimes.


    - Prefer PBEZ in areas where you would prefer planned burning is excluded altogether.


    More details on Fire Management Zones and their purpose can be found in the Code of Practice for Bushfire Management on Public Land.


    You may place as many or as few pins as you wish. These pins will be visible to other users of this map, along with your comments.


    Your contributions to this map, along with feedback and advice from land managers and other stakeholders, will be used to inform the final Fire Management Zoning (due September 2019). The final version is anticipated to remain substantially as indicated here, but will address specific local issues where possible. Other feedback will be retained to inform future discussions with land managers and communities.


    Please note that map layers may not display on Internet Explorer. To view, please use either the Chrome or Firefox browsers.

    155 contributions

    Please note that some pins may not appear until they have been moderated. Please do not drop the same pin again if it does not immediately appear on the map.

    The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning is committed to protecting personal information provided by you in accordance with the principles of the Victorian privacy laws.

    Purpose

    This Privacy Collection Statement relates to all submissions collected in relation to the strategic bushfire management planning process being conducted across Victoria. Agencies involved in fire management across Victoria have been charged with undertaking a strategic planning process to guide bushfire management actions on public and private land into the future. The agencies involved in this process are Forest Fire Management Victoria (FFMVic), CFA, Local Government and Parks Victoria.

    Forest Fire Management Victoria is providing administrative services to the consultation. FFMVic is part of the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (the Department) and submissions will be managed in accordance with the Department’s Information Privacy Policy. The Department’s Information Privacy Policy can be viewed at www2.delwp.vic.gov.au/privacy.

    Use of your submission

    The information you provide will be made available to the Strategic Bushfire Management Planning Teamsinvolved in the planning process, including representatives from FFMVic, CFA, Local Government and Parks Victoria.

    This consultation is intended to give the community an opportunity to be involved in the strategic bushfire management planning process by providing information that informs the development of bushfire management strategies across Victoria. The consultation will be conducted in three phases:

    • Phase 1: Strategic planning objectives
    • Phase 2: Fire management strategies and actions
    • Phase 3: Feedback on final results of planning process

    If you freely and voluntarily provide any sensitive information under the Act in your submission DELWP will consider that provision to be consent to collect the information and will then protect it under the Information Privacy Principles in the Act. Sensitive information is information relating to racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, membership of a political association or trade association/union, religious or philosophical beliefs or affiliations, sexual preference or criminal record.

    You have the right to access and correct your personal information about you that is held by DELWP. Requests for access should be sent to the Manager Privacy, P.O. Box 500 East Melbourne 3002.

    Results of Past Engagement

    We have undertaken a number of engagement phases for our strategic bushfire management planning process. You can read an overall summary of what we heard and what we did with it the feedback from community and stakeholders in the phase 3 tab. See below for more information about each phase and to download detailed summary reports.

    Phase 1

    A summary of what we heard during phase one of our engagement, which sought feedback on regional values objectives. You can also read or download the Gippsland Phase 1 Engagement Summary or the full Gippsland SBMP Survey #1 Report - Community Views, which are both available in the Document Library.

    This infographic outlines what we heard through the phase one Engage Victoria survey.

    Gippsland Phase 1 Engagement Summary Infographic

    Phase 2

    A summary of what we heard during phase two of our engagement, which sought feedback on strategy options. You can also download or read the full Gippsland Phase 2 Strategy Options Report in our Document Library.

    This infographic outlines what we heard through the phase two Engage Victoria survey.

    This summary outlines what we heard through the phase two Engage Victoria survey.

    Phase 2A

    A summary report of what we heard during phase 2A of our engagement, which sought feedback on Priority Fuel Management Areas. You can also download or read the full report in our Document Library.

    This infographic outlines what we heard through the phase 2A Engage Victoria survey.

    Gippsland summary