Review to examine 2010-11 Victorian floods

The Coalition State Government today announced a comprehensive review of flood warnings and emergency response efforts to be undertaken in the wake of severe flooding across Victoria.

Premier Ted Baillieu said Victoria had endured some of its worst floods in living memory, with the impact from the deluge expected to be felt for months, and in some cases, years.

“Some communities have been devastated by successive floods which have caused repeated damage to homes, businesses and the agricultural sector,” Mr Baillieu said.

“In January alone, more than 20 per cent of Victoria was affected by floods, including 1,800 properties and 5,000 people in 83 towns across the state.

“The Coalition Government will continue to support flood-affected communities in their cleanup efforts, and today the Coalition is also announcing an extensive review to examine every aspect of flood mitigation management and recovery and to identify the best way to manage major flood events in the future,” Mr Baillieu said.

Mr Baillieu said the review would be led by Mr Neil Comrie, AO APM, former Chief Commissioner of Victoria Police and current Bushfires Royal Commission Interim Report Implementation Monitor.

In the latter role Mr Comrie has gained significant expertise and understanding of Victoria’s emergency management arrangements.

There are a number of similarities between the two roles, particularly in terms of the agencies and systems involved, and the government believes Mr Comrie’s understanding of emergency services agencies and their systems will prove invaluable in leading the flood

“Neil Comrie will be supported in his new role as he is similarly supported overseeing the rollout of the 2009 Victorian Bushfires Royal Commissions 67 recommendations,” Mr Baillieu said.

The 2010-11 Flood Warnings and Response review will examine:

  • the adequacy of flood predictions and modelling;
  • the timeliness and effectiveness of warnings and public information;
  • emergency services command and control arrangements;
  • the adequacy of evacuations of people most at-risk, including those in health and aged-care facilities;
  • the adequacy of clean-up and recovery efforts;
  • the adequacy of service delivery by federal, state and local governments; and
  • the adequacy of funding provided by state and federal governments for emergency grants.

“This review will seek advice from experts in the field of flood management and will involve extensive community consultation, especially with regard to emergency warnings and evacuations,” Mr Baillieu said.

An interim report will be submitted to the Premier by June 30 and a final report is due on December 1.

“The findings of the review will help guide the Coalition Government’s response and planning to make sure Victoria is better equipped to deal with similarly severe flooding events in the future,” Mr Baillieu said.


Useful numbers

Police, Fire or Ambulance: Triple Zero (000)

VICSES Flood and Storm Assistance: 132 500

VICSES Flood and Storm Information Line: 1300 842 737

VicRoads Road Closures: 13 11 70