The Municipal Emergency Resourcing Program (MERP) provides funds to rural, regional and peri-urban councils across the state which helps councils plan and prepare for emergencies. It has supported changes in response to recommendations made by the 2009 Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission and the 2011 Victorian Floods Review. Annual funding of $4.6 million is shared between 64 councils within the Country Fire Authority (CFA) districts.
The MERP supports the development of capability and capacity within local councils to plan, prepare and deliver activities that will assist their communities in an emergency. The program has three objectives:
- Effective delivery of emergency management responsibilities established in legislation, state plans and policies including the Emergency Management Manual of Victoria (EMMV) and the Vulnerable people in Emergencies Program;
- Contributing to better prepared and more resilient communities; and
- Embedding emergency management as a core component of council business.
In May 2016, Local Government Victoria (LGV) established a Reference Group, including a representative of each MEMEG/collaboration group to review the MERP guidelines and establish a new reporting framework to improve the quality of councils' emergency management planning and documentation.
LGV, through the program, aims to support councils to:
- communicate and collaborate with emergency management stakeholders;
- improve their engagement and capacity building with local communities;
- coordinate work to support vulnerable people in emergencies;
- engage in more strategic work and take on more of a leadership role; and
- improve the structure and organisation of emergency management within their councils.
For more information on the MERP, please contact Claire Spicer.