26 September 2023

Bushfire agency to move up to recovery tasks

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Bushfire Recovery Victoria (BRV) is to get a new name along with expanded responsibilities to lead the State’s recovery from major disasters.

Announcing the change, Minister for Emergency Services, Jaclyn Symes said BRV would soon be known as Emergency Recovery Victoria.

“The Agency will lead the long-term recovery process following all major emergencies, such as delivering key services to affected communities, planning, grants and investment, understanding local needs, and empowering communities to shape their recovery journey,” Ms Symes said.

“Victorians will be supported by one agency throughout the period of recovery – no matter what the emergency,” she said.

“This will make it easier for those going through the recovery process by having a one-stop shop for whatever they need to get their lives back on track.”

Ms Symes said the move was in response to a recommendation of the Inspector-General for Emergency Management’s inquiry into the 2019-20 bushfire season.

The Minister said the Inquiry called for the establishment of an all-emergencies entity to drive system and statewide improvements for recovery from fire, flood, storm and other events.

She said BRV would continue to be within the Department of Justice and Community Safety, with Mariela Diaz to continue as Chief Executive.

“This change simply builds on the excellent work that BRV have already done establishing themselves in communities and helps them expand those efforts across Victoria,” Ms Symes said.

She said BRV was established in January 2020 amid a catastrophic bushfire season and had the experience and track record to lead future recoveries.

Ms Symes said BRV delivered the clean-up effort across fire-affected areas in 2020, rolled out innovative short-term modular housing, and coordinated millions of dollars in grants for people, businesses and communities.

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