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2017 Emergency Prepare​​dness Report launched 

5 December 2017

The Minister for Emergency Services, the Hon. Francis Logan MLA tabled in Parliament the 2017 Emergency Preparedness Report on 28 November 2017. The report, prepared each year for the Minister by the Office of Emergency Management (OEM) on behalf of the State Emergency Management Committee (SEMC), is a state-wide assessment of Western Australia’s preparedness for emergencies. 

The data for the report is collected from Hazard Management Agencies, Emergency Management Agencies, Local Governments and Service Providers. Minister Logan said the 2017 report is the most comprehensive with 170 agencies receiving the survey and a 350% increase in data collected compared to 2016.

The EM environment in WA is diverse and complex, often involving the coordinated efforts of many State and local government agencies, public utilities, volunteers and community groups.

The EM sector is actively seeking and pursuing innovation and best practice. However, catastrophic emergencies are inevitable and have the potential to outstrip our available resources, knowledge and experience.

Emergencies are becoming more frequent and larger and some areas of society are becoming less resilient and increasingly reliant upon emergency services. 

Key findings of the 2017 report:

  • The Emergency Management (EM) sector in WA is highly functioning, collaborative and cooperative. 

  • There is a growing understanding about the risks that will be faced and realism about the capabilities that can be mobilised to confront them.

  • The sector is well equipped to deal with ​most ‘business as usual’ events. There is a developing acceptance and understanding of the need to improve the recovery process.

  • Agencies are actively preparing for the onset of major emergencies.

  • Agencies identify and seek to solve issues as they arise. This includes improved internal procedures and processes; and strengthening and broadening cooperation and sharing.

  • Proactive (mitigation) and post incident (recovery) funding can be insufficient or difficult to access. 

  • As the magnitude and scale of an emergency increases, the effectiveness of the response diminishes. 

  • There is a capability gap between where we are as a state and where we need to be. 

  • The next big challenge will be to broaden the preparedness message with better engagement and reach into the community.​

SEMC Chair Dr Ron Edwards:

“The theme of this year’s report is the need for a communal commitment to preparing for emergencies. This theme becomes evident throughout as the data shows that emergency management agencies continue to do their best, as do those in support roles. Encouragingly, an already mature and cooperative sector has further consolidated and enhanced service delivery. But their reach and influence can only go so far.

“In some areas EM is seen as a burden that imposes extra responsibilities without sufficient funding and resourcing. This mindset must change if we are to progress towards a safer and more resilient future for the people of WA.

“Emergency services will be there in times of crisis. But so too should we be able to rely upon industry, business, communities and individuals to do their part in mitigating known problems and preparing for the next emergency. This is the only practical path to catalyse change if we are to achieve our vision of a safer and more resilient state.”

​The Emergency Preparedness Report can be downloaded on the Office of Emergency Management website: