RCV has called on the government to triple funding for emergency management preparedness to ensure rural communities are ready for devastating natural disasters such as bushfires and major floods.
RCV made submissions to the Inspector-General of Emergency Management’s Inquiry into the 2019-20 Victorian Fire Season and the Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements.
In these submissions, RCV notes the extraordinary scale, intensity and breadth of this summer’s fires was matched by an extraordinary evacuation, response, relief and recovery effort. RCV contends local governments are best equipped to co-ordinate fire emergency responses, due to their local knowledge and networks.
However, in order to be able to meet the challenge posed by the increasing incidence of natural disasters such as bushfires, councils must be adequately resourced to prepare for, and respond to, these events. In the inquiry submissions, RCV calls for state and federal governments to properly fund emergency management preparedness, including substantial increases in the State Government’s funding of the Municipal Emergency Resourcing Program (MERP) as well as significant funds from the Federal Government.