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Blake Review Recommendations: Progress Report

November 2018

Background

The floods in Tasmania in June and July 2016 resulted in the deaths of three people and had a significant impact on communities around the state.

An independent review of the floods by former Auditor-General Mike Blake was released in June 2017.

Work to implement the recommendations started in November 2017, immediately after Government accepted the report.

Many of the recommendations are complex and require Tasmania to work with local government or the Australian Government to progress. Some will take years to fully implement.

Snapshot

The Blake Review provided 24 recommendations to improve Tasmania’s response and resilience to flood events.

  • 5 recommendations are complete
  • 6 recommendations are scheduled for completion this calendar year
  • The remaining 13 recommendations are underway and on schedule

Complete

  • Comprehensive whole-of-government arrangements have been established to support and enhance community recovery, including the Department of Premier and Cabinet taking on the role of Lead Agency for the coordination of state-level recovery activities.
  • The Flood Warning Consultative Committee has addressed the recommendation that it considers the merits of delineating the Ouse River as a separate catchment from the Derwent River Basin. While it does not propose changes to current BoM warning arrangements it recommends an education program for the community.
  • A new Recovery Partners Network has been established to facilitate closer collaboration and communication between government agencies and non-government organisations involved in the delivery of recovery support services.
  • The Department of State Growth has established new processes that support a coordinated, statewide approach to infrastructure restoration after significant emergency events.
  • The Government has developed statewide planning codes to support the management of risks to new developments in flood-prone areas. These codes have been integrated into the Tasmanian Planning Scheme.

Completion due this calendar year

  • The Tasmanian Government has invested $0.5 million per annum in a whole-of-government Flood Policy Unit, established within the State Emergency Service. Business planning for the unit is well-advanced and the recruitment of key staff is well underway.
  • SES working with councils to ensure that the public have access to Municipal Emergency Management Plans and community safety information.
  • All existing flood studies will be available on the Common Operating Platform for use by Tasmania’s emergency management agencies and local government authorities.
  • A Tasmanian Flood Warning Infrastructure Plan will be completed.
  • Regional and state activation protocols to ensure emergency management authorities react with heightened awareness and action in relation to BOM flood warnings, led by SES
  • A report will be made to the State Emergency Management Committee on Productivity Commission Report No. 74 (Natural Disaster Funding Arrangements) in December 2018.

Other flood resilience work

  • The Australian and Tasmanian Governments have jointly funded a $3 million Tasmanian Flood Mapping Project to deliver statewide flood modelling that will support land use planning and emergency management. The scope of the project includes development of detailed flood studies for communities areas affected by the 2016 floods.
  • The State Emergency Service Tasmanian Community Flood Education and Awareness Framework is being usedto support and inform flood education activities and encourage heightened awareness in communities around Tasmania.
  • The State Emergency Service is developing a Flood Alert System to complement the information provided by the Bureau of Meteorology, supported by community education initiatives.
  • Hydro Tasmania’s cloud seeding program has been on hold since June 2016 and the Tasmanian Government has announced a commitment to end all cloud seeding.

Blake Review recommendations – status report

Ref

Recommendation summary

Lead

Notes

Status

1

Municipal Committees in flood-prone areas develop/review flood plans within a Municipal Emergency Management Plan every two years

Municipal Committees

SES

To be supported by outputs of Flood Policy Unit & Flood Mapping Project

Underway

(Target: 2022)

2

Councils to publish a link on their websites to Municipal Emergency Management Plans

Councils

SES

  1. Councils currently have links

Underway

(Target: Dec 2018)

3

Flood studies and plans to be made available to councils through the whole-of-government Common Operating Platform (COP)

SES

All suitable flood studies and maps available for use; ongoing work with COP

Underway

(Target: Dec 2018)

4

Provide open access to flood studies undertaken by government agencies, based on the Australian Disaster Resilience Handbook 7

SES

Incorporated into Flood Mapping Project

Underway

(Target: June 2021)

5

Assess flood mapping; identify funding for data; explore use of technology to identify areas prone to riverine flooding

SES

Incorporated into Flood Mapping Project

Underway

(Target: June 2021)

6

Establish a central flood policy unit

SES

Funded; business planning/ recruitment well-advanced

Underway

(Target: Dec 2018)

7

Align community education programs across the State Emergency Service and Tasmania Fire Service

SES

Cooperating on alignment measures

Underway

Ongoing

8

Apply  best practice guidelines relating to cloud seeding

Hydro

DPIPWE

Government policy to end cloud seeding

Underway

9

Assess reports prepared by WMAwater and Alluvium and develop recommendations for Government

DPIPWE

Progressing

Underway

(Target: March 2019)

10

Examine Forest Practices Code for concepts relevant to business activities near waterways

DPIPWE

Anticipated review timeframe: two years

Underway

(Target: June 2020)

11

Clarify responsibility for river restoration and riparian management, and communicate to councils and landowners

DPIPWE

Progressing

Underway

(Target: March 2019)

12

Facilitate heightened community awareness and action when Bureau of Meteorology issues flood watches and warnings

SES

Community Flood Education & Awareness Framework developed and in use

Underway

Ongoing

13

Consider the merits of delineating the Ouse River as a separate catchment from the Derwent River Basin

Flood Warning Consultative Committee  SES

Considered and consulted; agreed to maintain status quo

Complete

14

Investigate hydrological advice received during the Review, subject to funding

Flood Warning Consultative Committee SES

Proposed actions to be incorporated into Tasmanian Strategic Flood Warning System Assessment Report

Underway

(Target: Dec 2018)

15

Review flood classification levels in relation to flood level triggers on gauges

Flood Warning Consultative Committee SES

SES is consulting and reviewing flood level classifications

Underway

(Target: March 2019)

16

Develop a program to update hydrologic modelling data, including gauge maintenance before and after floods

Flood Warning Consultative Committee SES

Initiation of BOM project to recalibrate hydrological models using historical flood data (including 2016)

Underway

(Target: March 2019)

17

Support the anticipated State Emergency Service’s Flood Alert System

SES

System will complement BOM information, supported by community education

Underway

(Target: May 2019)

18

Heightened awareness and action by emergency management authorities in response to flood watches and warnings issued by the Bureau of Meteorology

SES

SES operational protocols revised and updated

Underway

(Target: Dec 2018)

19

Department of Premier and Cabinet to take on the role of lead agency for the coordination of state-level recovery

DPAC

New state-level recovery arrangements implemented

Complete

20

Engage with non-government service providers to clarify terms for providing emergency support

DPAC

Recovery Partners Network established

Complete

21

Appoint a government agency to coordinate and oversee infrastructure repair in a major emergency

State Growth

State Growth, supported by DPAC

Complete

22

Review and update bridge design guidelines in consideration of flood impacts

Asset owners

State Growth

Phase 1 completed

Underway

(Target: June 2019)

23

Finalise the Tasmanian Planning Scheme, including the relevant riverine flood hazard code, as soon as practicable

DOJ

Statewide planning codes for flood-prone areas delivered

Complete

24

Allocate resources to review findings and recommendations in Productivity Commission Report No. 74, and take relevant action

SES

Report to the State Emergency Management Committee in Dec 2018

Underway

(Target: Dec 2018)