Flood Review Calls for Major Reform But Praises Volunteer Organisations
Thursday, 8th December 2011 at 3:43 pm
A review of flood warnings and emergency response efforts undertaken in the wake of severe flooding across Victoria last summer has called for a major overhaul of coordination structures and policies.
Former Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Neil Comrie has made 93 recommendations in his review of the flood warnings and response, which has been eleased by the Victorian Government today.
"The lack of robust policy to facilitate co-ordination and inadequate command and control arrangements resulted in an ad hoc response to the floods.
“This was despite the best endeavours of the many paid and volunteers emergency workers who responded admirably to the many challenges they faced."
"Victoria is well served by many committed and professional paid and volunteer personnel who make up our emergency services," Comrie said.
But he said the structure between services to co-ordinate a response needed major reform.
The report calls for a single body to be created to drive an overhaul of Victoria's emergency management system after the inquiry found that agencies struggled to cope with the floods.
The January floods covered one-fifth of the state and affected more than 100 towns.
The review examined the adequacy and efficacy of the state's arrangements for flood response and recovery, emergency warnings and evacuations. The review's work has included extensive consultation with members of flood-affected communities, emergency services agencies and related organisations; in addition to seeking advice and input from technical experts in relation to flood management.
The report can be downloaded here.