DEPI's roles in emergencies
Emergencies can threaten people, property or the natural environment. Government responds, in accordance with the Emergency Management Manual Victoria (EMMV).
In each type of emergency each agency plays an appropriate role, in a consistent way. This approach is known as 'all hazards all agencies'.
DEPI's role may be either a Control Agency or a Support Agency, as described below.
DEPI also helps prevent emergencies, plan and prepare for emergencies, and recover after emergencies.
DEPI's roles are described below for emergencies relating to bushfires, chemical incidents, diseases and pests, wildlife and marine, and water.
According to the emergency risks report, Victoria's highest priority emergency risks are bushfire, flood and pandemic influenza.
Bushfires can injure or kill people and animals. They can damage or destroy property, livelihoods and natural values. DEPI responds as control agency to bushfires in forests and parks, and as support agency to the CFA for bushfires on private land. See bushfire risk and learning and firefighting and employment.
DEPI also reduces bushfire risks via an extensive program of planned burning.
Agricultural and veterinary chemical incidents
Wrong use of agricultural or veterinary chemicals can damage or contaminate land, animals, plants or produce. As control agency DEPI responds to incidents. DEPI also helps reduce the impacts of chemical misuse. See also emergency response to agricultural and veterinary chemical incidents.
Disease and pest emergencies
Exotic animal disease
Animal diseases can threaten Victoria's livestock, dairy and food industries and Victoria's economy. As control agency DEPI manages outbreaks within Victoria and works with national partners through the Emergency Animal Disease Response Agreement (EADRA).
To help prevent outbreaks and lower their impacts, DEPI runs programs such as the National Livestock Identification System (NLIS).
Plant diseases and pests, and weeds
Plant diseases, pest insects and mites and weeds impact on Victoria's horticulture and grain industries and damage trade at a state, national and international level. Wildlife may also experience outbreaks of disease.
As control agency DEPI manages outbreaks within Victoria and works with national partners through the Emergency Plant Pest Response Deed. See also:
To help minimise the impact of possible pests and diseases DEPI has introduced a property identification code system for the plant industries.
Vertebrate pests and plagues
Plagues of mice or other vertebrate pests can impact agricultural industries or public amenity. DEPI responds as control agency. See also weeds and vertebrate pests.
Marine pest incursions
Marine pests may invade the marine waters around Victoria and damage native marine ecosystems and industries. As control agency DEPI manages the response.
The Australian and state governments, marine industries and marine scientists, are implementing Australia's National System for the Prevention and Management of Marine Pest Incursions.
- National System for the Prevention and Management of Marine Pest Incursions
- NIMPIS – the National Introduced Marine Pest Information System
Wildlife emergencies and marine pollution
Emergencies may affect wildlife – see wildlife emergencies.
Bushfires may injure wildlife or destroy their habitat. DEPI responds as control agency. See wildlife affected by fire.
Oil or other marine pollution may affect wildlife. DEPI responds as support agency. See wildlife affected by marine pollution.
Whales or dolphins, which are 'cetaceans', may become stranded or entangled. As control agency DEPI coordinates a response, for either living or deceased animals, under the Victorian Cetacean Emergency Plan. See strandings and entanglements.
Water, wastewater, floods and dam emergencies
Water supply and wastewater (sewerage)
A water supply or wastewater (sewerage) service that fails can impact significantly on people and the environment. As control agency of these incidents, DEPI works closely with water corporations to maintain service continuity, minimise impacts and ensure services are restored as soon as practicable. See emergency management.
Floods can kill, damage and disrupt, sometimes with little warning. DEPI responds as a support agency. DEPI contributes flood data, flood mapping, information and advice, and provides staff who work in incident management teams.
DEPI also develops floodplain management policy, develops standards, helps local governments to manage floodplains and oversees flood warning systems and data. See:
A dam that fails can cause extensive flooding and impact on those who rely on the water supply and those who live along the flood path. DEPI works with the larger dam owners and managers to promote good practices in managing dam safety. See dam safety management.