Below is a summary of the draft State Bushfire Management Plan 2021-2025.
The Plan summary is also available as a PDF download.
Communities, individuals and agencies working together to deliver coordinated management of bushfire risk in South Australia.
To build a safer, better prepared and more bushfire resilient South Australia, by facilitating coordination of bushfire risk management arrangements through developing and reinforcing successful partnerships among fire, land management and allied agencies together with representative organisations; and by engaging and sharing responsibility with the community.
Purpose and introduction
This State Bushfire Management Plan (the SBMP) has been prepared by the State Bushfire Coordination Committee (SBCC) for South Australia in accordance with the requirements of the Fire and Emergency Services Act 2005 (SA) (‘the FES Act’).
Role of the State Bushfire Coordination Committee
The SBCC is a State-level South Australian Government Committee made up of representatives of fire and land management and allied agencies and representative organisations*, with executive support provided by the South Australian Country Fire Service (SACFS). The SBCC is tasked under the FES Act (s.71A) with the following functions:
Coordination and integration among fire and land managers and allied agencies to manage bushfire risk.
‘Coordination’ in this context is focused on enabling and facilitating partnerships among individuals and organisations with responsibilities for bushfire management – promoting shared responsibility.
The SBCC cannot direct agencies to undertake activities or adopt policy. Instead, the Committee brings together key stakeholders in bushfire management at a State level to share information and encourage collaboration in a formal setting. Bushfire Management Committees also have this function at a regional level throughout the State.
Oversight, guidance and assurance at a state level regarding bushfire management and of Bushfire Management Committee (BMC) processes and activities, including the preparation and implementation of Bushfire Management Area Plans (BMAPs) for all areas of the State at risk from bushfire.
The SBCC has the direct responsibility for:
- the development and implementation of the SBMP
- the development of standards governing the development and implementation of BMAPs as an integral part of the SBMP
- overseeing the implementation of the SBMP, and reporting to the Minister on any failure or delay in this process. The SBCC is required to report annually through the Minister to the Parliament on its activities.
Promoting public awareness of bushfire risk and management, and bringing the community with us on the journey to build understanding of risk and resilience.
Community engagement in bushfire management occurs through the Bushfire Management Area Planning process, which occurs under the auspices of the SBCC and BMCs. While the SBCC may convene public forums, it will generally delegate activities supporting public awareness of bushfire risk and management to the Hazard Leader, the South Australian Country Fire Service (SACFS).
However, it is the role of all agencies with responsibilities for aspects of bushfire management to promote public awareness of bushfire risk within their area of responsibility.
Bushfire management in South Australia is governed through a two-tiered structure established under the FES Act: at the State level through the SBCC, and across nine Bushfire Management Areas through Bushfire Management Committees (BMCs).
Both levels of Committees include representatives of fire and land management and allied agencies and representative organisations.
*'Allied agencies’ – agencies that do not necessarily have direct land management responsibilities but have responsibilities to manage bushfire risk; 'Representative organisations' – organisations with an identified interest in bushfire management who do not have regulatory responsibilities for the implementation or oversight of bushfire management activities.
Scope of the State Bushfire Management Plan
The SBCC is required under s.73 of the FES Act to prepare a SBMP to support:
- identification of major bushfire risks in South Australia, with a focus on understanding existential risks from bushfire at the strategic level
- appropriate levels of hazard reduction
- strategic coordination of bushfire management activities among fire and land managers and allied agencies across the Prevention, Preparedness, Response and Recovery (PPRR) spectrum
- requirements for preparation and implementation of Bushfire Management Area Plans, which provide for the management of landscape risk at the regional scale.
The Plan sets out:
- legislation and governance arrangements for bushfire management in South Australia
- the context for bushfire risk in the State and the initial scope for a state-level bushfire risk assessment, focusing on existential risks, and the relationship between these high-level strategic risks and landscape risk
- coordination actions treating bushfire risk across the PPRR spectrum
- reporting and Review processes for the SBCC against the SBMP
- includes the Bushfire Management Area Plan Handbook as part of the Plan itself, reflecting the requirement of s.73(4)(c).
The actions in this Plan are divided into 2 groups:
- ‘SBCC Actions’ – these are actions that are the direct responsibility of the SBCC - It is envisaged that annual works plans will be developed to support the implementation of the SBCC Actions.
- ‘Coordination Actions’ – these include existing and ongoing actions, as well as new actions resulting from the Government’s Response to the Independent Review, or other reforms, being undertaken by SBCC Member and allied agencies.
It is important to note that the SBCC has no authority to direct the implementation of these coordination actions, but it does have a function in supporting their coordination through encouraging information sharing and collaboration among the agencies responsible for their delivery.
Priorities for bushfire risk management
The SBMP priorities for bushfire risk management reflect:
- primacy of life protection (focusing on community and firefighter safety)
- protection of all classes of asset at risk from bushfire, namely: human settlement, economic, cultural and environmental assets
- well informed and prepared Government agencies, organisations, businesses and communities
- timely transition to recovery operations.
The SBMP seeks to support and align with the following:
Reporting and Review
As the first Plan of its type, in addition to annual review following the annual reporting process, there will be a mid-term (2 year) review of this 4-year plan.
The mid-term review will consider progress against the Plan’s objectives, and identify areas for improvement.
Objectives and SBCC Actions
SBCC Members undertake a range of activities supporting bushfire prevention.
The following activities will continue, together with new activities as mandated by the Government’s Response to the Independent Review or other new activities, as noted in the table's included in the link below.
Note that where the actions are mandated in the Government’s Response to the Independent Review, these are annotated as ‘(Government’s Response Action #)’.
Support agencies are indicated in brackets following the lead agency/agencies.
The objectives and SBCC actions are included within our Plan summary PDF.