Emergency Management Australia

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Emergency Management Australia
Agency overview
Jurisdiction Commonwealth of Australia
Headquarters Canberra
Minister responsible
Parent department Attorney-General's Department
Website www.ag.gov.au/EmergencyManagement

Emergency Management Australia (EMA) is an Australian Government agency responsible for emergency management coordination. EMA currently sits within the Federal Attorney General's Department. Emergency Management involves the plans, structures and arrangements which are established to bring together the normal endeavours of government, voluntary and private agencies in a comprehensive and coordinated way to deal with the whole spectrum of emergency needs including prevention, preparedness, response and recovery.

Until late 2001, EMA was an agency within the former Australian Defence Force Support Command and then the Department of Defence Corporate Support Group.[1][2]


Australian state and territory authorities have a constitutional responsibility, within their boundaries, for coordinating and planning for the response to disasters and civil emergencies.[3] 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.

On request, the Australian Government will provide and coordinate physical assistance to the States in the event of a major natural, technological or civil defence emergency. Such physical assistance will be provided when State and Territory resources are inappropriate, exhausted or unavailable. The Australian Government accepts responsibility and prepares plans for providing Commonwealth physical resources in response to such requests. Emergency Management Australia is nominated as the agency responsible for planning and coordinating Commonwealth physical assistance to the states and territories under the Commonwealth Government Disaster Response Plan (COMDISPLAN).


The Commonwealth Government Disaster Response Plan (COMDISPLAN) provides the framework for addressing state and territory requests for Commonwealth physical assistance arising from any type of emergency. COMDISPLAN is normally activated when Commonwealth assistance for emergency response or short-term recovery is requested or likely to be requested.


After the 2009 restructure of the Federal Attorney-General's Department, responsibility for the Australian Emergency Management Institute (formerly the Emergency Management Australia Institute) was taken over by the National Security Capability Development Division. The Institute conducts extensive emergency management education and training courses from the vocational education and training (VET) Public Safety Training Package. The programs delivered include eleven competencies which make up the Advanced Diploma in Public Safety (Emergency Management) including Emergency Coordination Centre Management, Exercise Management, Undertake Emergency Planning and Recovery Management as well as three nationally accredited short courses: Risk-based Land Use Planning, Business Continuity Management and Emergency Management for Local Government. Program participants are drawn from the range of the emergency response agencies: fire, police, ambulance, State Emergency Service (SES) as well as local, state and Federal Government; NGOs such as the Red Cross and representatives from the private sector deemed "critical infrastructure" (i.e. water/power/transport).

EMA is made up of the Security Coordination Branch, Crisis Coordination Branch, Crisis Support Branch and the Natural Disaster Recovery Program Branch.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Commonwealth Emergency Management Arrangements Performance Audit" (PDF). Australian National Audit Office. 28 April 2000. Retrieved 7 August 2017.
  2. ^ "Emergency Management Australia". Australian National Audit Office. 16 April 2008. Retrieved 7 August 2017.
  3. ^ "Response". Geoscience Australia. 7 December 2011. Retrieved 20 June 2012.
  4. ^ "Emergency Management Australia: Organisational structure". Attorney-General's Department. 29 September 2011. Archived from the original on 6 July 2012. Retrieved 20 June 2012.

External links[edit]