Community-based bushfire management (CBBM) brings together members of the public, state government agencies and local governments to discuss bushfire risk. It’s giving the community input into how fire is managed in the landscape. It’s a partnership approach to bushfire management that gives people in the community an equal voice. Instead of starting with what’s important to the government, the starting point is what’s important to the community.

‘There’s a shift that occurs when you allow space for others to have a say.’

‘The make-up of the group is really interesting. At the start, some of the relationships were really tense. Now, people are talking to each other. It’s brought people together into the same room, having civilised conversations. It doesn’t mean people always agree, but there’s a lot more respect and understanding.’

‘We might say with community-based bushfire management that the entry point into that conversation is bushfire, but I think bushfire is just a gateway to an effective conversation about building resilience.’

There are now 18 active CBBM communities: Benloch, Strathbogies, Mallacoota/Buchan, Wye River, Lorne, St Andrews, Harrietville, Healesville, Macedon Corridor, Daylesford/Hepburn Springs, Latrobe Valley, Yellingbo, Clonbinane, Briagolong, Timboon/Peterborough, Airey’s Inlet, Balmoral, Bolwarra Complex (Bolwarra, Gorea, Gorea West, Heathmere). A further 5 communities will be established in 2018–19.

In 2018–19 the CBBM team will grow  to eight, with three FFMVic-based project officers in the Port Philip, Barwon South West and Gippsland regions, and five CFA-based project officers.

Page last updated: 16/10/18