​​​​​​​​Emergency Management


H​​​​istory

While the concept of emergency management has existed for a number of years, significant events throughout history have changed the focus on what the State’s emergency management priorities are and how Western Australia and the nation deal with emergencies.

The period between 1961 and 1974 saw Australia experience a number of significant natural disasters including the Dwellingup Fires in Western Australia (1961),​ the Black Tuesday fires in Tasmania (1967), the Brisbane floods in Queensland (1974) and Cyclone Tracey in Darwin (1974​). These events highlighted the need for a systemic manner in which to plan for, respond to and recover from natural disasters.

In 1972 the concept of Prevention, Preparedness, Response and Recovery (PPRR) was introduced in the US and was soon after adopted in Australia. This remains one of the underlying philosophies of emergency management today.

Perhaps one of the most significant changes to emergency management in WA was the implementation of the Emergency Management Act 2005 (EM Act). The EM Act establishes the creation of the current State Emergency Management Committee and the policy framework that supports all aspects of emergency management being, prevention, preparedness, response and recovery.

Today emergency management is very much a collaborative effort. With an increased awareness of cross-border hazards there are joint initiatives in place across state and federal agencies. The Law, Crime and Community Safety Council (LCCSC) are the ministerial council that provides national leadership in emergency management and disaster resilience policy. LCCSC is responsible for overseeing implementation of the National Strategy for Disaster Resilience.

Emergency management in WA is similarly a coordinated operation, as multiple organisations and all levels of government work together to maintain community safety and increase resilience against emergencies and disasters.

 

National EM Framework

Under Australia's constitutional arrangements, state and territory governments have primary responsibility for emergency management within their jurisdictions. However, all levels of government acknowledge that the impact of some emergencies could be particularly severe or widespread, and exceed the capability of a single state or territory.

When the total resources (government, community and commercial) of an affected state or territory cannot reasonably cope with the needs of the situation, the state or territory government can seek assistance from the Australian Government.

The Minister for Justice is responsible for disaster-related matters. A division of the Attorney-General's Department, Emergency Management Australia is responsible for planning and coordinating Australian Government assistance to the states and territories under the Australian Government Crisis Management Framework. Coordination of these functions is carried out from the Australian Government Crisis Coordination Centre (CCC) within Emergency Management Australia.

Additionally, a number of National plans exist, that can either be activated either in support of the State EM arrangements, or under which WA EM agencies may provide assistance in response to national and international emergencies.  

 

State EM Framework

The SEMC Emergency Management (EM) Framework consists of a range of documents, including legislation, policies, plans and procedures detailing information on EM in Western Australia (Figure below)

This fra​mework provides a State wide mechanism to ensure a coordinated approach to emergency response and commun​ity safety.​​​ 


 


District EM Framework

To facilitate EM in Western Australia, local governments are grouped into 11 geographical EM districts. EM districts are established by reference to the boundaries of local government districts in accordance with State EM Procedures.

The District Emergency Management Committee (DEMC) is to assist in the establishment and maintenance of effective EM arrangements in the district. DEMCs are to develop individual business plans that set out strategies to achieve key outcomes and are closely aligned to the SEMC strategic plan.

See the District Emergency Management Committee webpage for further information.

 

Local EM Framework

Local Emergency Management Committees (LEMCs) are to be established by the local government to assist and provide advice in the development, review and testing of local EM arrangements.

LEMCs have a planning focus and are not operational or response orientated. Significant EM issues that arise at the local level are to be escalated to the DEMC representative for the area.

See the Local Emergency Management Committee webpage for further in​formation.

 

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Legislation, Policy, Plans, Procedure and Guidelines


Emergency Management (EM) arrangements in Western Australia are established through the following legislative and policy framework, which incorporates the following suite of SEMC documents. Each document needs to be read in context of the other documents within the framework.

The current version of the State EM Policy, State EM Plan and State EM Procedures is v02.01.​  ​Some documents have alernate version numbers, which are located on the front cover and right hand side of each document footer. With regular updates to the documents ensure you are referring to the current version published on this website. 

Details of amendments for each version released are available on the Policy Amendments page

 



Emergency Management Legislation

EM in WA is underpinned by the State Emergency Management Act 2005 (the EM Act) and the State Emergency Management Regulations 2006.

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State Emergency Management Policy (State EM Policy)

The State EM Policy provides a strategic framework for emergency management in Western Australia and covers the aspects of Prevention, Preparedness, Response and Recovery.
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State Emergency Management Plan (State EM Plan)

Emergency Management Plans comprise of the State EM Plan, State Hazard Plans (Westplans), Support plans and National Plans.
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State Emergency Management Procedure

(State EM Procedure)

Click here to access the State Emergency Management Procedures
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State Emergency Management Guidelines

(State EM Guidelines)

In support of policy and procedures, these guidelines have been developed.


State Emergency Management Glossary (State EM Glossary)

The Emergency Management Glossary provides information on the range of terms and definitions encountered in emergency management, drawing together definitions from many existing sources.


EM Forms (password protected) 

Click here to access the Emergency Management Forms. These forms are restricted for authorised emergency management personnel.


For any further information or assistance email semc.policylegislation@dfes.wa.gov.au

 

 

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