Arrangements for Flood Warning Services in Victoria
February 2001



5. State and Commonwealth Level Responsibilities

Victorian Flood Warning Consultative Committee

The Victorian Flood Warning Consultative Committee sets the statewide planning framework and identifies priorities for upgrading existing flood warning systems and the introduction of new systems. The Committee's role and terms of reference are presented in Appendix 1.

Victoria State Emergency Service

The Victoria State Emergency Service (VICSES) is the control agency for flood emergencies. VICSES provides a 24 hour flood warning dissemination service to local and relevant regional authorities who in turn disseminate warning information (Bureau and local content) in their community. VICSES also disseminate any other flood warning transmissions identified in the MEMP or as agreed to with State / Local Government.

Bureau of Meteorology

The Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) has responsibility for the monitoring of situations likely to lead to flooding and for the prediction of floods throughout the period of flooding in rural Victoria. The Bureau's responsibility only extends to where flood warning services are agreed to by the VFWCC. This involves meteorological input, collection of data from rainfall and streamflow data networks, the operation of flood prediction models and techniques and the preparation and issue of warnings to key agencies, selected media and other bodies.

The responsibility does not apply to the case of flash flooding where Local Government has the prime responsibility for flash flood warning and the BoM provides advisory support.

The BOM's activities in rainfall data collection networks may include purchase, installation and maintenance of equipment, data collection and storage; communications equipment where required for real time access, and data transmission costs. These activities will be in accordance with the roles and responsibilities set out for flood warning data collection networks in Appendix 5.

The BOM's activities in stream height data collection networks may include purchase, installation and maintenance of equipment, data collection and storage; communications equipment where required for real time access, and data transmission costs. These activities will be in accordance with the roles and responsibilities set out for flood warning data collection networks in Appendix 5.

The BoM is also involved in the establishment of new and improved flood warning systems in rural Victoria and can help develop various parts of the system. This may include data collection network design and equipment, development of flood prediction techniques and procedures, and warning dissemination processes. Advice can also be given in the development of the flood sub plan under the respective MEMP, interpretative tools such as flood inundation maps and flood information cards, community education, and system review after floods. The level of assistance would vary but it is important that extensive liaison with service stakeholders and other agencies involved in the total system is maintained.

The BoM will continue to provide input to flood management (especially floodplain management studies) throughout Victoria. The Bureau's expertise in flood warning and associated emergency management measures is accepted as an integral part of floodplain management through helping reduce social and economic losses.

The BoM will continue to meet the full costs of operating the existing flood warning facility in its Regional Office in Melbourne, and of maintaining its networks and systems. The network maintenance will be in accordance with the roles and responsibilities set out for flood warning data collection networks.

BOM support to Local Government for Flash Flood

In recognition of the principles for flash flood the BOM's role is to maintain a central source of expertise and development capability and to provide assistance to Local Government agencies in the form of:

  • Advice on data collection network design & equipment and its installation;
  • Advice on, and if agreed, provision of software for data acquisition and display;
  • Advice on stream flood simulation models for the basins concerned. Local Government is responsible for setting up and operating the models;
  • Guidance with system monitoring and forecast model calibration as required;
  • Advice with the development of an appropriate flash flood plan as a sub plan of the Council's MEMP; and
  • Assistance with post flood review activities.

For the urban area of Greater Melbourne where flash flooding can occur across a number of Local Government boundaries Melbourne Water, where appropriate, may be able to provide assistance to Local Government (Section 3.3 and Section 6)

Natural Resources and Environment

The Department of Natural Resources and Environment (NRE) is responsible for the installation, operation and maintenance of statewide stream height & flow data collection (and some rainfall) networks for the purpose of water resources assessment. This includes stage and discharge measurement, ratings, data processing and archiving.

NRE will support flood warning system development through its participation in the VFWCC. NRE will support flood warning data collection networks in accordance with the roles and responsibilities set out for flood warning data collection networks.

Emergency Callouts to Flood Warning Stations. NRE will continue to provide emergency callouts to State network stations currently used for flood warning. NRE will also provide emergency callouts to State network stations that are not currently used for flood warning but are subsequently incorporated as flood warning stations as part of network reviews or upgrades.

Rating Information. NRE will continue to provide available rating information for all stations in the State network used for flood warning purposes.

    
Satellite image showing the cloud associated with an east coast low. These weather patterns can produce large amounts of rain in south eastern Victoria. Image, Bureau of Meteorology

Satellite image showing the cloud associated with an east coast low. These weather patterns can produce large amounts of rain in south eastern Victoria. Image, Bureau of Meteorology





State Emergency Service members undertaking flood response training. Photograph, Victoria State Emergency Service

State Emergency Service members undertaking flood response training. Photograph, Victoria State Emergency Service





Weather radar image showing a storm front moving through Victoria and approaching Melbourne, 21 June 2000 at 4.42 pm. Image, Bureau of Meteorology

Weather radar image showing a storm front moving through Victoria and approaching Melbourne, 21 June 2000 at 4.42 pm. Image, Bureau of Meteorology





Maintaining a radio based raingauge. Photograph, Bureau of Meteorology

Maintaining a radio based raingauge. Photograph, Bureau of Meteorology



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