Managing burn-offs to protect the community

The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning fosters liveable, inclusive and sustainable communities that support jobs and growth in Victoria. It recognises the link between the environment and quality of life while maintaining world class liveability and heritage protection so that future growth may be accommodated and directed. In conjunction with Parks Victoria, the department also conducts fire mitigation work, such as fuel management, on Victoria’s public land to reduce the impact of bushfires on communities and the environment.


The Challenge

A Fuel Management System (FMS) to better manage planned burn-offs was one of the recommendations of the Royal Commission established after the Black Saturday Bushfire in 2009. With the department’s legacy equipment now being 15 years old a new system was needed that would allow all parties to follow an end-to-end workflow while enhancing the DELWP’s ability to engage the community in its work of identifying, delivering and assessing fuel mitigation strategies. Its ability to store and then retrieve all records of planned and conducted work would also improve the quality of information provision and review.

The Datacom Difference

A Datacom project team worked with senior DELWP staff on a discovery and analysis process to lay out how best to deliver a successful solution. This collaborative approach not only enabled the quick resolution of complex parts of the system, the demonstration of a working prototype for one of the FMS modules boosted the customer’s confidence that the final result would be robust, easy to maintain and highly functional.

The Results

In March 2016, Datacom was able to successfully complete and implement a system other vendors had failed to resolve while also restoring the department’s credibility around partnering with software providers on IT projects. It is expected that the improved workflow functionality in FMS will streamline processes and enable auditing and remedial measures from events where planned burns escape and spread such as in October 2015 when a burn broke containment lines, destroyed four homes near Lancefield in central Victoria and burned 3000 hectares of land.

“Datacom were able to show that they know how to deliver successful IT projects and work closely with the client to work in partnership. The planning, communication and collaborative engagement made me feel like this project was never risk and delivered the desired outcome.”

Francis Hines, Technology Solutions, Strategy, Capability and Innovation, Forest, Fire and Regions, DELWP