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Diversity addresses complexity
The blue-green algal (BGA) bloom in the Murray River and tributaries is a significant event. Its complexity in a scientific, technical and environmental context is matched by its impact on and involvement with industry and community.
Communities across northern Victoria are a resilient lot. Looking back over the past decade or so they have been hit with just about every type of emergency in the book.
The area has had a pretty rough time of it with significant floods, there have been a couple of nasty hurricanes and storms severely impacted some towns. Equine influenza had a negative impact across the board. Thankfully it’s been a good while since the last mouse or locust plague. Fires are; as we know, an ever present concern, not only during summer but what seems to be spring and autumn now!, and currently it’s Blue Green Algae!
Agricultural and tourism, water authorities and irrigation, local, state and interstate governments as well as communities, residents, transient workforce and tourists alike all have a significant stake in the BGA bloom and our management of this incident.
Emergency management in this working environment is extremely challenging. It’s fair to say that that this event has thrown the gauntlet at the feet of our emergency management agencies and our personnel.
Everyone involved with the incident management team is being challenged and these challenges are being met head on!
In taking a look at our IMTs and across the team working on the BGA event, it’s interesting to note the diversity that is within our industry and within our individual agencies. This diversity is undoubtedly providing an exceptional level of experience, perspective and agility. Qualities that are essential in modern day emergency management.
In many instances individuals bring with them several years, indeed decades, of emergency management experience from careers spanning multiple agencies.
This has certainly contributed to achieving excellent incident management results across an extremely diverse community and stakeholder network.
It’s both rewarding and encouraging to work within a team that can draw upon such a wealth of experience and skill.
This diversity and agility enables us to adsorb complex emergency management situations such as the blue-green algal bloom and deliver productive and progressive outcomes for impacted communities.