Action Plan

First Response (0-1 Day) Incident Assessment

The Risk Assessment Team Meeting Template (available here) should be used to conduct the following:

When the plan is triggered, Wine Victoria will engage the Risk Assessment Team (RAT) to:

  • Conduct an initial Risk Assessment.
  • Verify the veracity, nature and extent of the fire and its smoke to Victorian Grape and Wine producers.
  • Objectively evaluate the level of risk associated with the incident and determine whether the situation should be either:
    • managed within normal business operations of those effected, with regular updates to the risk assessment team, or
    • escalated to a crisis response with the Crisis Management Team (CMT) called upon as indicated below.
  • RAT to nominate the participants of the CMT, a Team Leader, and Deputy Team
  • Leader, including:
    • Member/s from Wine Victoria’s Technical committee;
    • Member/s from Agriculture Victoria;
    • Member/s Local Winegrower Association (if possible); and
    • Other identified skills i.e.; communications if not in above.

Crisis Response – First Meeting CMT


The CMT Meeting Template (available here) should be used to conduct the following:

  1. Team Leader to make the following points in the introduction:
    1. Follow the instructions of the Team Leader.
    2. Each person must be familiar with their respective roles and responsibilities in the CMT.
  2. Ensure the imperative elements of managing a CMT are in place.
  3. Ensure the person who gathered the facts firsthand is at the meeting and briefs the team.
  4. Follow the First Response Protocol.
  5. Determine if there is a need for external assistance.
  6. Review roles and task allocation.
  7. Ensure clear understanding of allocated roles.
  8. Determine level of communication internally and externally – prepare holding statement.
  9. Appoint spokesperson.
  10. Determine meeting frequency.
  11. Ensure the RAT are briefed on all aspects noted above.
  12. Set a date in the future for the debrief.

Throughout the incident

  1. Meet on an agreed cycle of frequency (as determined at the first CMT meeting) to allow people time to execute action items. Time must be allocated to act, not just to meet and discuss.
  2. All CMT members to remain on standby and be contactable.
  3. Ensure all relevant Chief Executives and relevant industry stakeholders are updated.


Step What Comment Responsibility
1 Roles & Responsibilities Confirm respective roles and responsibilities Team Leader
2 Capture the facts What do you know? What can you confirm? Maintain a chronology. Define the situation. Is the situation contained or uncontained? Is it likely to escalate? Team Leader
3 What Regions are potentially affected? What Regions are affected by the fire and its smoke? What other issues such as phylloxera will impact industry whilst responding? Does the region have capability to respond without assistance? What is the size and impact of the region to the larger industry? Team Leader
4 Identify worst case, and most likely scenarios Worst Case and Most Likely (Consider individually then share with the Team. Don’t discount anything). Team Leader
5 Identify Priorities Immediate actions and information needed to make sound decisions and to appropriately respond to the situation. Team Leader
6 Objectives Determine objectives of the response. Support Industry How? Team Leader
7 Response Options Consider the range of options available. What needs to be done now and what can wait? Consider positive and negative implications for each option. Team Leader
8 Recruitment Consider whether the team needs to source additional members from the wider industry or specialist service providers i.e., Laboratories/Universities/Government. Team Leader
9 Confidentiality Ensure members of the CMT understand confidentiality in relation to incident management and confidential third-party data accessed as part of incident data. Team Leader
10 Stakeholders Identify the range of stakeholders. Can include employees, suppliers, customers, regulators, media and industry bodies, consumers. Maintain a contact list. Team Leader
11 Inform Ensure all relevant organisations are advised of the nature of the incident and proposed strategy, ask them to refer media inquiries to the nominated CMT spokesperson. Ensure any producers local associations, or exporters potentially involved in the incident are contacted and their cooperation sought. CMT
12 Key messages Identify key messages. Craft 2-3 key points you want people to remember. These broadly express facts, concern, and co-operation. These messages should be repeated in all communications with stakeholders including the media. CMT
13 Media Release Issue media release/social media/website updates – text to be approved by CMT leader and CEO of Wine Victoria. CMT and Spokesperson
14 Inquiries Aside from media inquiries is there a need for a helpline/hotline. Team Leader
15 Record Record all CMT decisions, actions, and information updates. Admin support

Standing down the CMT

The Crisis Management Team Leader will declare the crisis over and stand down the CMT when, in the event of an incident, the situation is deemed by the Crisis Management Team Leader to be contained and manageable within normal operations.

Debriefing and review

All CMT members must be debriefed at the end of the emergency response.
Key lessons learnt must be captured from the debrief. This should be done at the earliest opportunity.

A report on the incident, including the lessons learnt and how it was managed, should be prepared at the conclusion of any incident handled by the CMT. Lessons learnt during the response should be incorporated into the Crisis Management Plan where relevant and communicated to all potential CMT member and the relevant industry group boards.

Embedding the crisis learnings

The debrief outcomes are to be documented and retained with other information pertaining to the crisis. For the debrief to have any ongoing value, it is crucial that its outcomes are systematically embedded. This could be through changes in the overall Crisis Management Plan, specific edits to a given scenario’s response or through enhancements in training processes. Consequently, any necessary corrective actions are to be clearly defined and tracked to closure.

Imperative Elements of Managing a CMT

  1. Ensure that in assigning actions and conducting meetings there is clarity around:
    • Context,
    • Purpose, and
    • Defining quality, quantity, resources, and timing.
  2. Meetings of the CMT should not conclude without clarity around:
    • who has responsibility for actions?
    • timeframes for actions, and
    • timing of next meeting.
  3. The Team Leader must be an appropriate CMT Leader and must always have a deputy team leader.
  4. Always have the facts chronologically documented so that new joiners are updated quickly.
  5. Ensure there are sufficient communications expert “doers”.
  6. Except in extreme crises, CMT member organisations Chairs should not be permanent members of the CMT. However, they may need to be a spokesperson and are often more effective when removed from the responsibility of being a CMT member.

Responsbility Matrix

Grower/Producer Agriculture Victoria Wine Victoria Local Associations
Consider fire/smoke risk in commercial contracts X
Assess Fire events and determine if they warrant response RAT member X X
Actively participate in a CMT response when called on by the RAT X X X
Facilitate any regional information sessions required as determined by CMT X
Organise local information Sessions as determined by CMT X X
Maintain Links and responsibilities within this plan annually X
Advocating for additional funding and Support for members X
Linking Research opportunities to potentially effected grapes/wine X

Communications and Coordination

Media and trade interest during a fire is understandable and to be expected as is their need to get quick answers as the situation unfolds, however ensuring those answers are accurate, constructive, balanced and kept in perspective is critical.

For these reasons, a co-ordinated approach is outlined in the first response protocol (Steps 10-14 of the First Response Protocol) this outlines how the CMT will identify stakeholders, propose a message position and spokesperson, and then communicate this position back to the identified stakeholders. This will allow growers, wineries, local associations, and the Wine Victoria team to all be aligned and have a cohesive, constructive message.

If contacted by anyone for comment during a crisis effecting more than your own business, we highly recommend growers or wineries to refer them to your local Winegrowers association or Wine Victoria who will be well versed in the industries/CMT’s position.

A simple statement such as the following is enough to show concern but allow the industry to put forward a message with the right amount of alarm and or confidence in the outcome.

“We are currently focused on ensuring all our staff and visitors are safe and supported as this event unfolds, please contact our local winegrower’s association for further comments on how it is effecting the winegrowing industry as a whole.”

Flow Chart

Crisis Flow Example

Campaign Bushfire Declared Near a Large Wine Region