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Emergency Management News
february 2017
Issue 2

In this issue...

ESL Review Update
The State Government recently released the Terms of Reference for the review of the ESL by the Economic Regulatory Authority (ERA)
Important Information
The ERA have released an issues paper which provides background information on the ESL, along with explaining the purpose of the review and the issues the ERA will examine. The due date for submissions is by 4:00pm Friday, 10 March. This is a short timeframe providing the Association five weeks to consult with the sector and prepare a submission.

For the sector to have any impact on the future of the ESL, it is critical that all Local Governments participate in further consultation and are able to provide appropriate data as requested. 

WALGA acknowledges there will be differing needs between Councils and will be framing the submission to reflect the individual needs of your communities. WALGA accepts that this is not a one size fits all approach. As such, it is important to hear from all Local Governments so that an overall picture is reflective of Local Government requirements.

How you can assist:

Thank you to the 87 Local Governments who have provided a key contact. If your council has not done this yet, please email Manager Emergency Management, Melissa Pexton with your nominated representative. If you have not had time to review the issues paper developed by the ERA, you can read it here.

WALGA Survey 
  • A survey has been circulated to all local governments via nominated key contacts.
  • Remember, the ERA are interested in the challenges, issues and any successes with the ESL, so do not hold back. We welcome all feedback and will use this to demonstrate to the ERA the breadth and depth of the issues.
  • At this stage, it is important to understand the perceptions within your organisations, so give us any feedback you can and we can validate through other processes. Naturally if you have data to inform your responses, please use this to respond.
  • Closing date for the survey to be submitted to WALGA is Monday, 27 February.
Zone Meetings
  • Some councils have queried whether this matter will be discussed at the zone meetings. There is an item paper within the State Council agenda and we strongly encourage discussion on this item, the ERA issues paper and survey. The more discussion and information we receive the better the submission will be.
WALGA’s role
The Association have adopted a campaign approach to inform the sector and coordinate the submission. 

WALGA has put in place milestones that will govern our actions leading to our formal submission to the ERA on Friday, 10 March.
Should your Council decide to make an individual submission, we would like to hear from you.
Please email Manager, Emergency Management Melissa Pexton with this advice to ensure your views are included in the whole of sector submission.
Changes to the Kimberley Fire Weather boundaries and Fire Danger Rating for the Gascoyne
The Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) recently made changes to Fire Weather District Boundaries and Fire danger Ratings for Kununurra and The Gascoyne.
The Kimberley Fire Weather District now encapsulates the whole of Kununurra where the previous 2014 boundary bisected Kununurra.

The Gascoyne Fire Danger Ratings (Coastal and Inland) will now be determined by the Grass Fire Danger Index (GFDI) and not the Forest Fire Danger Index.

This should result in less Fire Weather Warnings being issued for the Gascoyne and aligns with Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) Total Fire Ban (TFB) indicators using GFDI rather than the Forrest Fire Danger Index (FFDI). FFDI will still be used for areas other than Gascoyne.
New State Bushfire Coordinating Committee
The SBCC will be chaired by the Director Office of Bushfire Risk Management (OBRM).
In response to Recommendation 16 of the Ferguson Report, the State Bushfire Coordinating Committee (SBCC) was established as a subcommittee of the SEMC on Sunday, 1 January 2017.

Establishment of the SBCC has meant that the Interagency Bushfire Management Committee (IBMC) set up in response to the Keelty Report following the Perth Hills bushfires has now been disbanded.

The first meeting of the new committee has been scheduled for late February.
Further information is available of the OEM website.
Third Edition of the Map of Bushfire Prone Areas to be Released
The Office of Bushfire Risk Management (OBRM) will be collecting the data.
The Local Government review period to support the development of this edition is now open and will run until Wednesday, 1 March.

The next edition of the Map of Bushfire Prone Areas is due for release in May 2017.
Local Governments can submit information by emailing OBRM.
Local Government Permit to Burn Review Project
The OBRM has been engaging with Local Governments to review the Permit to Burn.
The aim is to assist stakeholders to develop a better document that can be tailored to local needs. The Stakeholder Reference Group is in the process of drafting the Permit to Burn.

In early 2017, OBRM (Office of Bushfire Risk Management) surveyed Local Governments issuing Permit to Burn, seeking feedback on the local use of permits, and the idea of an on-line ‘Design Permit to Burn’ system.

OBRM is currently collating the survey information which will be presented to the working group in late February.
If you would like to keep up-to-date on the latest Stakeholder Reference Group information, it is available to view here.
Mapping Fire in the Kimberley
This video is a realistic picture of how landscape was affected by fire.
Kimberley members may find the link to the 2016 Kimberly Bushfire Season particularly interesting. This link comprises of fire hotspots and burnt areas as mapped from satellite imagery.
You can view the video here.
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