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Council flood concerns considered in emergency shake-up

Tuesday December 11, 2012 - 10:58 EDT

Councils have praised the Victorian Government for announcing a restructure of how emergency services work together before, during and after natural disasters.

The overhaul includes the appointment of an emergency management commissioner and the culling of 40 government emergency management committees down to four groups.

Northern Victorian councils had suggested changes last year to how emergency agencies respond, after they were hit with severe flooding.

The Municipal Association of Victoria's Rob Spence has described the changes as significant and positive but says councils know they will not take effect until after this year's bushfire season.

"Volunteers have been frustrated about their capacity to communicate to the top level about their concern and I think what this is doing is setting up a structure where the Deputy Premier indicated the volunteers will be involved in the development of the terms of reference," he said.

He says councils' concerns about how floods during the past two years were handled have been listened to.

"Under the current model, enormous obligation is put on local government to plan locally, where in a number of areas the skill set's not there," he said.

"What this model does is really bring all the agencies to the table."


© ABC 2012

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