Overview

The Metropolitan region encompasses all of Melbourne, its suburbs, its growth corridors and surrounding rural areas including the Mornington Peninsula, Yarra Ranges, Dandenong Ranges and the western grasslands. The region is home to a growing population of over four million people.

The large and varied landscape contains inner metropolitan parks, large mixed Ash forests in the east, drier foothill forest, redgum woodland and grasslands in the west, and coastal vegetation communities around the bays.

Local governments, the Country Fire Authority and Forest Fire Management Victoria are working together with communities to develop fuel management strategies that will guide bushfire management on both public and private land. Vegetation on private land carries a considerable proportion of bushfire risk in Metropolitan region. For the purposes of bushfire management planning, private land includes council managed and owned land.


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.

With the assistance of science and field knowledge, and input from the community and partner agencies, we developed a range of draft fuel management strategies. During phase 2A of the engagement process, we asked the community and stakeholders to tell us which strategy they preferred. Each of the draft strategies had different impacts on the things the community said were important.

In the Metropolitan region we were only consulting on private land as we had done a full rezoning of the public land only three years ago.

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

Who we heard from • Feedback from 934 participants in the online consultations • Regular conversations with the Bushfire Strategy Advisory Group, comprising of community members, agency and local government representatives • 5 workshops with subject matter experts, practitioners and operational agency staff What we heard from you Online respondents preferred PFMAs in the top 30% of localities where vegetation management would reduce bushfire risk. The main reason was that it had the greatest potential to reduce loss of human life and some felt that any option with a lower potential should be disregarded. 14% of respondents commented on the responsibility of agencies for bushfire management on public and council-managed land, and that agency priority should be given to managing vegetation to reduce risk to communities. Members of the Bushfire Strategy Advisory Group preferred including the top 15% of localities. The main reason was it helped prioritise efforts while balancing the practicalities of implementation and impact to the environment. Some people noted that doubling the area treated would only lead to a 5% increase in benefit between the 15% and 30% options Personal responsibility and the desire to be autonomous in decisions about fuel management on private land were strong themes. These people want more freedom to undertake actions on their land, and want stronger rules to require individuals and government to undertake those actions on private or public land. What we did with the information What matters to communities helped shape the objectives, and provided insight into how the community expects agencies to deliver these objectives by considering research, science, and what communities value, and strong community engagement and education. Responses reiterated what agencies and council already understand about bushfire management discussions - that they are complex, wide ranging, and that there is more we can do to improve both the information we provide, and the way we provide it. The final option selected for PFMAs in the strategy is the 30% option. In considering the final strategy consultation we took in the feedback from the community as well as feedback from agencies. We considered the importance that the community feedback was supporting a stronger life and property strategy.

During phase one, the community told us the most important priorities were:

  • Minimise human life lost in bushfires.
  • Minimise declines in plant and animal populations through bushfire and fire management actions.
  • Minimise social impacts of bushfire and fire management actions.
  • Minimise cost of bushfires and maximise efficiency of fire management actions.
  • Minimise bushfire and fire management impacts on cultural heritage.

We translated these into objectives for what we want to achieve and can measure through our bushfire management strategy. These are:

  • Minimise loss of human life, house and property.
  • Minimise impacts of major bushfires on essential community infrastructure.
  • Minimise social impacts of bushfire and fire management actions.
  • Minimise bushfire and fire management impacts on cultural heritage.
  • Increase community understanding and ownership of bushfire management.
  • Minimise decline in the condition and persistence of ecosystems in landscape management zone.
  • Minimise declines in plant and animal populations through bushfire and fire management actions.
  • Minimise decline in threatened species and communities.
  • Avoid decline in carbon storage.
  • Maximise water yield and quality.

The strategy that was selected was strategy option 3, this was the option that included the highest potential risk reduction for life and property with the top 30% of townships included in the Priority Fuel Management Areas. The selected strategy's Priority Fuel Management Areas cover a wide area across the region, however are not inclusive of any area in the North West Metropolitan area due to its low bushfire risk.

The fuel management strategy is a long term guide for fire agencies to reducing 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.
  • Prescribed 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).


The Fire Management Zones and Priority Fuel Management Areas maps can be downloaded to see them in more detail.

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 Metropolitan 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 Metropolitan Region Phase 1 Engagement Summary report from the Document Library.

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

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

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

Metropolitan region summary