The recent parliamentary inquiry into last year’s local flood event has proven there are significant shortcomings in Victoria’s Emergency Management warning systems.
Member for Euroa Anabelle Cleeland MP said the State needed to stop ignoring the problem and find a real fix soon.
“In light of more recent flooding and the upcoming bushfire season it is deeply concerning that the State Government has failed to make any improvements with emergency warning systems,” she said.
“There is also a disconnect between water management and emergency responders, with no facilitation from the government.
“This has to be fixed – and it is a matter of urgency.”
Evidence provided to the hearings this week highlighted how poorly informed and exposed regional communities were during emergency flood events.
The committee found that that the Vic Emergency App had been plagued with inaccuracies.
It also heard that emergency alerts were not issued to many residents whose homes subsequently experienced flooding.
There was also a lack of regular updates on the app, particularly regarding road closures, which kept residents in the dark about potential dangers.
The inquiry also discovered that local knowledge about past floods was disregarded, and messages were frequently disorganised or failed to reach those in jeopardy.
Member for Eastern Victoria, Melina Bath is a member of the inquiry committee and said the Labor Government has learned nothing between the 2021 Latrobe Valley floods and the 2022 northern Victoria floods.
“Government agencies spruik ‘continuous improvement’ of the warning system but clearly that is not the lived experience of flood affected victims,” Ms Bath said.