City of Wodonga


Council's responsibilities

Emergency management involves the plans, structures and arrangements which are established to bring together the normal endeavours of government, voluntary and private agencies in a comprehensive and co-ordinated way to deal with the whole spectrum of emergency needs, including prevention, response and recovery.

We have emergency management responsibilities because we are a local government organisation and are the closest level of government to our community. We also have access to specialised local knowledge about the environmental and demographic features of our district.

People also naturally seek help from their local council and emergency management agencies during emergencies and the recovery process afterwards.

The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) administers the Victorian Government’s Personal Hardship Assistance Program (PHAP), which includes two categories of assistance:

  • Emergency Relief Assistance
  • Emergency Re-establishment Assistance

The PHAP provides financial assistance to alleviate the personal hardship and distress suffered by eligible Victorians, as a result of an emergency.

This assistance is not intended to replace insurance or other compensation for loss.

For more information please go here.

The council has legislative responsibilities under the Emergency Management Act 2013 that include maintaining a Municipal Emergency Management Plan that provides information on risks, preparedness, response and recovery within our municipality.

All of the agencies and service providers likely to be involved in an emergency have an updated copy of the Municipal Emergency Management Plan and meet as a committee at least twice a year. 

Disasters of a large scale that are beyond the capacity of council resources will be escalated to a regional, state or national level.

Our key emergency management positions include:

Municipal Emergency Resource Officer (MERO)

Municipal Recovery Manager 

During an emergency the primary role of the MERO is to manage the supply of resources. The MERO will work closely with the police and will organise plant /machinery, labour and local contractors.

During an emergency the primary role of the MRM is to manage recovery functions. The MRM will receive advice from the MERO to set-up relief centres and arrange food and material support. MRMss also respond to other incidents where people need assistance such as single house fires.

PLEASE NOTE: A roster system provides for a MERO and MRM to be available after hours. 

The above information is for large emergencies only - ALL smaller incidents (for example, fallen trees, building damage) are to be reported to customer service on (02) 6022 9300. We have officers on duty all hours to deal with these incidents. All emergencies should be reported to 000. 

For emergency contacts including multilingual information, see emergency contact information.

How council prepares and protects it's reserves for fire

As the manager of a significant amount of land throughout the municipality, Wodonga Council takes a proactive approach to planning for and minimising the risk of bushfire in its reserves. This approach is summarised in the Fire Management Plan Factsheet.



PDFFire Management Plan fact sheet (PDF 2373KB)

Last updated: 18-02-2019

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