We are pleased to advise the Emergency Management Legislation Amendment Bill 2018 (Bill) passed Parliament on 9 August 2018. The planning reforms included in the Bill do not commence immediately and existing arrangements continue to apply until the changes in the Bill take effect.

Emergency Management Victoria (EMV) is leading reforms to Victoria’s arrangements that apply to planning for emergencies. Effective planning is vital in preparing for emergencies of all kinds that may affect the Victorian community.

Better planning for emergencies is the collective responsibility of agencies, businesses and communities. While legislation alone cannot deliver stronger and more effective planning, the reforms are an important step in driving a comprehensive and integrated approach.

The Emergency Management Legislation Amendment (Planning) Bill 2016 Exposure Draft (Exposure Draft) and Issues Paper were prepared to enable everyone with an interest in the proposed legislative reforms to have their say.

EMV considered all submissions in developing the reforms in the Bill.

We have prepared a table that summarises the issues raised and the outcomes of the feedback, which you can download below (see 'Related documents'). Emergency Management Victoria looks forward to working with stakeholders to collaborate on implementing the planning reforms in the Bill.

The planning reforms in the Bill are structured to be implemented in phases to facilitate a smooth and orderly transition to the new arrangements. Phased implementation also promotes an integrated approach to planning between the three planning levels.

In particular, the Bill provides that the State level emergency management planning arrangements would take effect first. During this phase, the Emergency Management Commissioner will develop and issue a new state emergency management plan. Once that plan is in place, the regional level arrangements can take effect.

A new Regional Emergency Management Planning Committee (REMPC) will be established for each region, which will be responsible for preparing a regional emergency management plan. After the new regional emergency management plans are in place, the municipal level arrangements can take effect.

A new Municipal Emergency Management Planning Committee (MEMPC) will be established in each municipal district, which will be responsible for municipal level emergency management planning.

Until the new framework is rolled out at a particular level, the existing arrangements for that level remain in place. At the municipal level, this includes the existing emergency management planning and audit arrangements under the Emergency Management Act 1986, and the fire prevention planning arrangements under the Country Fire Authority Act 1958.

The Bill will be implemented at all three planning levels by 1 December 2020 and you can see the Bill and associated materials here. You can download frequently asked questions about the Bill below.