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Black Saturday 2009 Kinglake
Release date
18 Dec 2017
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Loriana Bethune
Utilisation and DELWP Program Manager

Sharing the risk

Assessing risk ownership for managing natural hazards is complicated, particularly as natural hazard risks can resonate across long timeframes and have multiple organisations responsible. But research is helping government and emergency management agencies identify and allocate ownership of risks, how risk owners are responsible, and what they can do to manage them.

Through the Mapping and understanding vulnerability and risks project, led by Prof. Roger Jones and Celeste Young at Victoria University, a framework has been developed to support better allocation of risk ownership as part of strategic planning and risk assessment activities. Developed in consultation with CRC partners, the Risk Ownership Framework for Emergency Management Policy and Practice uses a values–based approach to provide a starting point for understanding and clarifying risk ownership as part of strategic risk planning and assessment activities.

Emergency Management Victoria is incorporating key elements of the framework into the emergency risk assessment process that is used to assess emergency risks across the state. Greg Christopher, Senior Officer Emergency Risk, believes the research enhances emergency risk management activities.

“It is applicable to all types of emergencies and consistent with the ‘all communities/all emergencies’ model,” Greg says.

“It provides clarity for shared responsibility; an important element of managing emergency risks, and provides a method for identifying disparate risk owners at different stages, beyond the agencies that have traditional emergency management roles.

“I would recommend the framework to anyone involved in emergency risk management.”

This means that the research will be helping to guide priority projects and programs for risk mitigation.

The research is also being referenced at the federal level, informing disaster policy work for Emergency Management Australia, and changing the way that people think about risk ownership.

Key elements of the process have been mapped to the risk assessment process in the National Emergency Risk Assessment Guidelines. Greater application of the risk ownership process is expected if the key concepts of the research are integrated into the guidelines. 

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