National Bushfire Management Policy Statement - Objectives and KPIs

The IFA/AFG Forest Fire Management Committee (FFMC), led by Dr Kevin Tolhurst AM has released a draft of a new paper that aims to provide specific objectives, measurable outcomes and KPIs of The National Bushfire Management Policy Statement for Forests and Rangelands (Forest Fire Management Group 2014.) The FFMC are calling for feedback on the draft document from IFA/AFG members, to further progress this important work. 

The National Bushfire Management Policy Statement for Forests and Rangelands (Forest Fire Management Group 2014) was signed off by all States and Territories in 2014.  There is therefore a nationally agreed vision, set of principles and national goals defined for bushfire management in Australia.  However, little progress has been made in implementing this national policy.

For the goals of the national policy to be achieved, a set of specific objectives needs to be formulated and agreed to and the measureable outcomes of these objectives need to be specified as key performance indicators so that progress towards meeting the goals can be assessed, reviewed and reported on.  Without measureable outcomes, it will be impossible to systematically improve fire management performance and knowledge as required by the process of adaptive management.  Without measureable outcomes, it will also be difficult to attract the level of funding, resources and public support required to work towards the shared vision of fire management.

This paper aims to provide a “first cut” at specific objectives and KPIs that will move towards achieving the goals of the policy statement.  The objectives and their associated KPIs need to be based on the best available knowledge of fire and its role in the landscape.  Over time, the objectives and KPIs are likely to be refined as more becomes known.  As far as possible, the measureable performance criteria should be based on the best available evidence from research and operational monitoring.  The objectives that are finally used to evaluate bushfire management should also be refined through a public engagement process, especially where the values concerned are social in nature.

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