Overview

A new bushfire management strategy is being developed for Hume region. Our planning process will help determine where risk reduction activity (such as planned burning) takes place, as well as how often and how much land is burnt or modified.

The Hume region contains some of the most at-risk fire landscapes in the world. We have utilised the extensive knowledge and experience that exists within communities and bushfire management agencies to inform our planning. Our engagement activities have created conversations with key community members and other stakeholders, helping us to better understand how we can all work together to improve bushfire management, regardless of land tenure.

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 have heard throughout the engagement process and how this information has informed the proposed final strategy. You can also download the detailed engagement summary reports from Phase 1, Phase 2 and Phase 2A.

Who we heard from Feedback from 490 participants in the online consultations Monthly conversations with the Strategic Bushfire Advisory Reference Group comprising of community members, agency and local government representatives 12 workshops with subject matter experts, practitioners and fire agency staff What we heard from you 86% of total respondents perceived they had a high or medium risk of bushfire impacting their property on an average summer’s day. 90% of survey respondents indicated that they would see a benefit in land managers and fire agencies including forested private land in fuel management planning. 44% of survey respondents have experienced bushfire in their area and 90% of respondents felt a strong sense of responsibility to manage fuel levels on their property. A moderate fuel management program (Strategy B) was the most preferred Priority Fuel Management Strategy, having the greatest overall support (74%) with the lowest disapproval rating (6%). What we did with the information Community feedback from the phase one consultation determined five core values, which were used as performance measures to compare three potential Priority Fuel Management Area strategy options. Strong feedback from phase two supported the incorporation of forested private land in the three potential Priority Fuel Management Areas. The extent and location of the Priority Fuel Management Areas was determined by the public-preferred strategy from the phase 2a consultation. The zoning for fire management on public land was drafted to be consistent with the preferred strategy selected in the phase 2a consultation.

During phase one, the community told us the most important values to protect. We took the top six values and translated these into measures and objectives for our bushfire management strategy. These objectives are:

  • Minimise loss of human life from bushfire.
  • Minimise disruption of bushfires on critical infrastructure.
  • Maximise persistence of ecological communities.
  • Minimise impacts of fire on threatened species and fire sensitive flora, fauna and vegetation communities.
  • Minimise impacts of bushfire on water catchments.
  • Minimise smoke impacts from bushfire.

We are now at the stage where we are finalising the details of the proposed fuel management strategy. The strategy meets key objectives such as providing protection for human life by focusing our fuel management activity on protecting townships. The strategy achieves other objectives such as protecting environmental assets and critical infrastructure. Through public consultation phase 2A, respondents selected Strategy B, a plan with a moderate amount of fuel management, as the best representation of their priorities.

The fuel management strategy is a long-term guide for fire agencies to reduce bushfire risk through managing fuels. It uses Fire Management Zones (FMZ) on public land and Priority Fuel Management Areas (PFMAs) on public and private land to identify areas of land where fuel treatment will impact on bushfire risk and other values like endangered species and infrastructure assets.

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 7 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 bushfire fuel treatments will 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).

In this final phase of engagement, we have showed our proposed fuel management strategy on the map below. The map reflects Strategy B, which was chosen in the phase 2a public consultation, as the preferred strategy, with slight modification. Additional areas of Bushfire Moderation Zone (BMZ) were added to Strategy B to enable land managers to have greater flexibility when planning their fuel management programs. The strategy development is iterative and will evolve with the input of new data and improvements to scientific knowledge including modelling. Our strategic approach will also evolve with input from our communities and stakeholders. The Fire Management Zones and Priority Fuel Management Areas maps can be downloaded to see them in more detail.

The table shows the expected performance of the draft fuel management strategy. For protection of people, life and property, the strategy performs 4 out of 5. For protection of environmental assets and minimising impacts of fire on threatened species, the strategy performs 3 out of 5. For protection of critical infrastructure, the strategy performs 4 out of 5. For minimising smoke impacts from bushfires, the strategy performs 3 out of 5. For protection of water catchments, the strategy performs 4 out of 5.

The performance indicators for measuring the performance of the proposed strategy (a combination of the Fire Management Zones with the Priority Fuel Management Areas) against the key values is shown above. 5 stars refers to the greatest protection level, with 1 star offering the least protection.

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?
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?
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?
Very unlikely
Unlikely
Reasonably likely
Likely
Very likely
Please choose the most appropriate answer
6. Were you involved in any previous engagement opportunities for this strategic planning process?

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?
Not considered at all
Somewhat considered
Moderately considered
Well considered
Considered 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
Moderately confident
Fairly confident
Very confident
Please choose the most appropriate answer
You have 300 characters left.

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.
12. What is your interest in bushfire management in the Hume region?
13. How did you find out about this community consultation?

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

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 objectives. You can also download or read the full Hume Region Engagement Summary report from the Document Library.

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

Hume Engagement Phase 1 Summary

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 Hume Engagement Summary 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 Hume Engagement Summary Report in our Document Library.

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

Hume region summary