​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Emergency Management Arrangements

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Hazard Management Structure

The Emergency Management Act 2005 (EM Act) allows the prescription of Hazard Management Agencies (HMAs). HMAs are prescribed due to their functions under written law or because of their specialised knowledge, expertise and resources in respect to a particular hazard. HMAs will nearly always be responsible for leading a response to an emergency in relation to the type of hazard for which they are prescribed.

A combat agency or support organisation may also be prescribed because of the agency's function under a written law or because of specialised knowledge, expertise and resources in dealin​g with a par​​ticular type of hazard or emergency management activity. They will work alongside and at the direction of the relevant HMA in response to an emergency and undertake the specific emergency management activities or support functions for which they are prescribed.

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Hazard Management Agencies (HMAs)

Hazards are defined in ​both the EM Act and the EM Regulations to include specific events. Currently there are 27 prescribed natural and man-made hazards.​ 

Hazards are managed by des​​ignated Hazard Management Agencies (HMAs), which includes:

 

  • Fire and Emergency Services Commissioner

  • State Human Epidemic Controller

  • Commissioner of P​olice

  • State Health Coordinator

  • Agriculture Director General

  • Marine Safety General Manager

  • Public Transport Authority

  • Brookfie​​ld Rail Pty Ltd

  • ​Coordinator of En​​ergy

 

The term 'HMA' is used in the context of identifying the agency responsible for specific actions as detailed within the EM Act, such as:

  • Declaration of an emergency situation

  • Appointme​nt of Hazard Management Officers

  • Preparing, reviewing, and amending Westplans

     

Other responsibilities associated with appointment as a HMA are listed in Annex A of the State EM Policy​.

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The table below displays the prescribed ​hazards, the Hazard Management Agency, the associated organisation and the controlling agency: 

​Hazard​Hazard Management Agency​Organisation
1​​Air Crash​Commissioner of Police​WA Police
​2Animal or plant, pests or diseases​Agriculture Director General​Department of Agriculture and Food WA
​3Injury or threat to life of persons trapped by the collapse of a structure or landform (collapse)​Fire and Emergency Services Commissioner​Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES)
​4​Cyclone​Fire and Emergency Services Commissioner​​DFES
5​Earthquake​Fire and Emergency Services CommissionerDFES
6Loss of or interruption to the supply of electricity that is capable of causing or resulting in loss of life, prejudice to the safety, or harm to the health, of a person (electricity supply disruption)​Coordinator of Energy
Public Utilities Office, Department of Finance
(Note: Infrastructure Operators are considered the Controlling Agencies for physical restoration of supply.)​
​7​​Fire​Fire and Emergency Services Commissioner​•​ DFES within gazetted fire districts or where DFES brigade or unit established;
• Department of Parks and Wildlife (P&W) on land it manages outside gazetted fire districts; and
• Local government in local government districts outside of gazetted fire districts and P&W land.
​8​Flood​Fire and Emergency Services Commissioner​DFES
​9Loss of or interruption to the supply of natural gas, that is capable of causing or resulting in loss of life, prejudice to the safety, or harm to the health, of a person (gas supply disruption)​Coordinator of Energy​Public Utilities Office
(Note: Infrastructure Operators are considered the Controlling Agencies for physical restoration of supply.)
​10Actual or impending spillage, release or escape of a biological substance that is capable of causing loss of life, injury to a person or damage to the health of a person, property or the environment.​State Health Coordinator​WA Health
​11/12/13Actual or impending spillage, release or escape of a
(a) chemical,
(b) radiological or
(c) other substance (HAZMAT)
 
that is capable of causing loss of life, injury to a person or damage to the health of a person, property or the environment​
​Fire and Emergency Services Commissioner​DFES
​14​Heatwave​State Health Coordinator​WA Health
​15​Human Epidemic​State Human Epidemic Controller​WA Health
​16Land Search – for persons lost or in distress, that requires a significant coordination of search operations​Commissioner of Police​WA Police
​17Loss of or interruption to the supply of liquid fuel as defined in the Liquid Fuel Emergency Act 1984 (Cwlth) section 3(1), that is capable of causing or resulting in loss of life, prejudice to the safety, or harm to the health, of a person (liquid fuel supply disruption)​Coordinator of Energy​Public Utilities Office
(Note: Infrastructure Operators are considered the Controlling Agencies for physical restoration of supply.)​
​18Actual or impending spillage, release or escape of oil or an oily mixture that is capable of causing loss of life, injury to a person or damage to the health of a person, property or the environment (marine oil pollution)​Marine Safety, General Manager​Department of Transport (DoT), Marine Safety
   • State waters;
   • shipping and pilotage waters; and
   • port waters (Level 2/3).
Port Authority
   • port waters (Level 1).
Petroleum titleholder
   • State waters (Level 1).​
​19​Marine Search— for persons lost or in distress on inland waterways within the limits of a port or in a fishing vessel or pleasure craft within the limits of a port or at sea​Commissioner of Police​​WA Police
​20​ Actual or impending event involving a ship that is capable of causing loss of life, injury to a person or damage to the health of a person, property or the environment (marine transport emergency) Marine Safety, General Manager
DoT Marine Safety
   • State waters;
   • shipping and pilotage waters; and
   • port waters (Level 2/3).
Port Authority
• port waters (Level 1).​
21Radiation Escape from a Nuclear Powered Warship​Commissioner of Police​WA Police
​22 ​​​​Rail ​Crash 
PTA Network (passenger)
- ​Public Transport Authority (PTA)
​• PTA; or
• WA Police or DFES, by agreement, following the declaration of an emergency situation or state of emergency or circumstance where the demands of the situation are deemed to exceed the capacity or capability of the PTA.​
Brookfield Rail Network (freight)
- ​Brookfield Rail Pty Ltd
• ​Brookfield Rail; or 
•​ WA Police or DFES, by agreement, following the declaration of an emergency situation or state of emergency or circumstance where the demands of the situation are deemed to exceed the capacity or capability of Brookfield Rail.​​
​23​Road Crash​Commissioner of Police​WA Police 
​24​Space Re-entry Debris​Commissioner of Police​WA Police
​25​Storm​Fire and Emergency Services CommissionerDFES
​26​Terrorist ActCommissioner of PoliceWA Police​
​27​Tsunami
​​Fire and Emergency Services Commissioner​DFES​

 

​For more information about the​se prescribed hazards, visit our hazards pages.


 

Controlling Agency

The term 'controlling agency' is used to refer to an agency nominated (through legislation other than the EM Act or by agreement with the HMA) to control the response activities to an ​emergency. The controlling agency appoints an Incident Controller and may convene an Incident Support Group if required. 

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Combat Agencies and Support Organisations

​A combat agency or support organisation may be prescribed because of the agency's function under a written law or because of specialised knowledge, expertise and resources in dealing with a particular type of hazard or emergency management activity. They will work alongside and at the direction of the respective HMA or controlling ag​ency in response to an emergency and undertake the specific emergency management activities or support functions for which they are prescribed.

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Support Services

There are a number of support services that enable HMAs to undertake their role effectively and on which HMAs are dependant. Support services that are considered to be of greatest sig​nificance are welfare and health.  At times of major emergency there are often large numbers of people displaced and/or injured. The effectiveness of the manner in which these groups are dealt with is critical to the level of State preparedness.  ​

 

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Emergency Welfare Support Services

Under current Western Australia emergency management arrangements, the Department for Child Protection and Family Support (CPFS) has been assigned responsibility for the provision of emergency welfare support services. CPFS's support role is prescribed in EM Regulations, State Emergency Management Policy and  in SEMC approved Westplans. CPFS provides a range of services (such as emergency food and clothing, providing counselling services and a range of other personal support services).

CPFS has a number of key organisational, human and infrastructure capacities required to effectively deliver emergency welfare services, including access to trained specialist staff and human resources, regional offices and staffing with established human services community networks, and physical infrastructure such as vehicles and emergency response kits.

One of the major requirements in an emergency is the provision of welfare services to those who have been displaced, disadvantaged or had their lives and/or​ livelihood disrupted. The Department co​ordinates agencies that have capacity to assist in delivering emergency welfare services through the State Welfare Emergen​​cy Management Committee (SWEC).

The arrangements for welfare services in Western Australia are set out in the State Emergency Welfare Plan and it’s annexes of Reception, Registration and Reunification and Disaster Information Support and Care Centre.   ​​

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Health Arrangements

​Healthcare is defined in the emergency management context as a support function to a range of disasters. While the Department of Health has a role as a HMA​ for specific Hazards (Human Epidemic, Release of Biological Agents, Heatwave), its principal emergency management role is providing health support to HMAs in dealing with human injuries and illnesses that arise from emergencies, including mass casualties. 

As such, the Department of Health support remains a key function, which is appropriately represented on both the State Emergency Management Committee and State Emergency Coordination Group. Health activities may commence during or after the response to an emergency and, in some cases, as part of recovery, may continue for months to years.

In support of WA Health, St John Ambulance (WA) is a prescribed combat agency responsible for the emergency management activity of providing health services in the pre-hospital setting.

The arrangements for health emergency response in Western Australia are set out in the EM Act, EM Regulations, and the State Health Emergency Response Plan.