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Section One - Overview

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Glossary | Acronyms | Introduction

Glossary

1.1 Table 1 shows the terms that are defined specifically for Tasmanian emergency management. These are additional to terms defined in the Emergency Management Act 2006(The Act), and have been developed incorporating current national terminology and concepts.

1.2 Both ‘emergency’ and ’disaster’ are used nationally and internationally to describe events that result in loss of/damage to life, property and the environment, and require special arrangements to address the consequences that arise from them. In Tasmania, the preferred term is ‘emergency’.

1.3 The Act uses shortened phrasing for a number of titles (e.g. Municipal Committee for Municipal Emergency Management Committee), and this practice is applied in this plan.

Table 1: Terms for Tasmanian Emergency Management

Term

In the Tasmanian emergency management context this means:

Affected Area Recovery Committee

A group established under the authority of The Act to assist Councils with longer-term recovery. It may also be referred to as a Recovery Taskforce (especially when its membership comprises State Government representatives).

assembly centre

An identified location where affected persons can assemble. Assembly centres are generally established for a short period to meet the immediate personal support needs of individuals and families.

Australian and New Zealand Counter Terrorism Committee

A national body comprising representatives from the Australian Government and State and Territory Governments that contributes to the security of the Australian community through the coordination of a nationwide cooperative framework for counter terrorism and its consequences.

biosecurity

Biosecurity is defined as the protection of the economy, environment and human health from the negative impacts associated with entry, establishment or spread of exotic pests (including weeds) and diseases.

capability

Capability is a function of human and physical resources, systems/processes, training and the supply chain (e.g. trained personnel with equipment ready for deployment).

capacity

The extent to which a capability can be applied to a particular task or function.

civil defence

Humanitarian tasks including the management of shelters, provision of emergency accommodation and supplies, and repair of critical/essential infrastructure in the event of armed conflict/hostilities.

combined area

2 or more municipal areas determined by the Minister to be a combined area under section 19 of the Emergency Management Act 2006.

command

The internal direction of an organisation’s resources in an emergency.

companion animal

A captive-bred animal that is not commercial livestock.

comprehensive approach

A way of thinking about emergency management by considering prevention and mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery (PPRR) aspects of emergencies and their consequences.

consequence management

Activities undertaken by Support Agencies to minimise recovery needs that emerge due to the emergency and /or the emergency response. It can include, but is not limited to measures that protect public health standards, restore essential services and provide relief financial assistance.

consultation framework

The various groups within the emergency management system and how they contribute to decision-making, through consultation and collaboration. These groups include established committees, sub-committees, and related stakeholder groups and can be supplemented by temporary working groups.

control

The overall direction and management of response/recovery activities for an emergency. The authority for control can be established in legislation or in an emergency plan and includes tasking and coordinating other organisations’ resources to meet the needs of the situation (i.e. control operates horizontally across organisations).

coordination

The systematic acquisition and application of resources (workers, equipment, goods and services) during response/recovery. Coordination can operate vertically within an organisation (as a function of command), as well as horizontally across organisations (as a function of control).

Councils

Tasmanian local governments. ‘Councils’ is the preferred term in this plan to provide consistency with the Emergency Management Act 2006.

counselling

Direct assistance by psychological services professional to those demonstrating or at risk of demonstrating poor coping skills in the aftermath of an emergency event.

debrief

A meeting of stakeholders to review the effectiveness of response/recovery operations.

Deputy Municipal Coordinator

Deputy Municipal Emergency Management Coordinator appointed under section 23 of the Emergency Management Act 2006.

Deputy Regional Controller

Appointed under section 17 of the Emergency Management Act 2006.

emergency

Further defined by the Emergency Management Act 2006. Simply explained, an event that endangers, destroys or threatens to endanger or destroy human life, property or the environment, or causes or threatens to cause injury or distress to persons; and requires a significant response from one or more of the statutory services.

Emergency Coordination Centre

A generic term for any facility or location where an identified group or team meets to address the consequences of an emergency. The work at Emergency Coordination Centres can be agency specific or community focused. This means multiple centres may be active for a single emergency, and they may be co-located with other centres depending on the situation (e.g. an Emergency Operations Centre). Municipal, Regional and State Emergency Management Committees manage the Emergency Coordination Centres that are focused on community-wide consequence management.

emergency management

Further defined in the Emergency Management Act 2006. Simply explained, emergency management is the framework that provides for planned and coordinated measures that reduce vulnerabilities and enhance capacities to withstand emergencies, as well as cope with and recover from their impacts.

Emergency Management Act 2006

The Act that provides for the protection of life, property and the environment in the event of an emergency in Tasmania, the establishment of Tasmania's emergency management arrangements and the provision of certain rescue and retrieval operations.

emergency management plan

A document required by the Emergency Management Act 2006 that describes governance and coordination arrangements and assigned responsibilities for: a geographic area, identified hazard, or function relevant to Tasmanian emergency management. It includes descriptions of processes that provide for safe and effective operations for emergency situations.

emergency management worker

A member of a statutory service, whether for payment or other consideration or as a volunteer; or an authorised officer; or a person who does or omits to do any act in the assistance of, or under the direction or control of, an authorised officer; further defined by the Emergency Management Act 2006.

Emergency Operations Centre

A generic term for any facility or location where an identified group or team meets to give direction for agency specific work related to an emergency. This includes the acquisition and allocation of resources required by the agency. The way Emergency Operations Centres are used can vary depending on the situation.

emergency power and special emergency power

A power specified in Schedule 1 or Schedule 2 of the Emergency Management Act 2006.

emergency risk management

Emergency risk management is a process that involves dealing with risks to the community arising from emergency events.

environment

Components including: land, air and water; organic matter and inorganic matter; living organisms; human-made or modified structures and areas; interacting natural ecosystems; all other components of the earth further defined by the Emergency Management Act 2006.

evacuation centre

An identified location for persons of an affected area to be temporarily accommodated. This includes the provision of basic services to meet affected people’s immediate personal needs.

Executive Officer

A person who is responsible for providing administrative and secretariat services further defined by the Emergency Management Act 2006.

exercise

A scenario-based/simulated emergency usually designed to validate emergency management arrangements and/or familiarise workers with them.

hazard

A place, structure, source or situation, that may potentially endanger, destroy or threaten to endanger or destroy human life, property or the environment further defined by the Emergency Management Act 2006.

Incident Control System

A management system for resolving emergencies in a coordinated manner.

information centre

An identified location where information is made available for emergency-affected people. They can be virtual (e.g. call centres or web-based), or physical (e.g. at a community centre). Notwithstanding the structural arrangements, the importance of providing clear and consistent information is acknowledged.

interoperability

The establishment of relationships and arrangements to enable more effective management of emergencies, including the ability for organisations to provide resources to and accept resources from other organisations

Liaison Officer

A person nominated to represent his or her organisation for emergency management. Liaison Officers provide advice about their organisation’s resources, structures and capabilities; act as a conduit for information; and may be authorised to commit resources.

Management Authority

Management Authorities provide direction so that capability is maintained for identified hazards across the PPRR spectrum.

Municipal Chairperson

The person determined by Council, under section 21(2) of the Emergency Management Act 2006 to be the Municipal Chairperson.

Municipal Committee

A Municipal Emergency Management Committee established under section 20 of the Emergency Management Act 2006.

Municipal Recovery Coordinators

Council workers, who are authorised to coordinate, manage and advise on aspects of municipal recovery arrangements.

Municipal Coordinator

A person appointed as a Municipal Emergency Management Coordinator under section 23 of the Emergency Management Act 2006.

municipal/regional volunteer SES unit

A volunteer unit established under sections 47 and 48 of the Emergency Management Act 2006.

National Counter- Terrorism Plan

A national plan that outlines responsibilities, authorities and the mechanisms to prevent or, if they occur, manage acts of terrorism and their consequences within Australia.

occupier/owner

In relation to premises or a vehicle, means the person who is apparently in charge of the premises or vehicle at the relevant time, further defined by the Emergency Management Act 2006.

owner

Further defined by the Emergency Management Act 2006.

pastoral care

Spiritual support to those dealing with the impacts of emergency events.

personal support

Psycho social support using the principles of Psychological First Aid to enhance individual resilience in dealing with the impacts of emergency events.

PPRR

Refer to ‘comprehensive approach’.

premises

Includes land, any structure and a part of premises, further defined by the Emergency Management Act 2006.

preparedness

Planned and coordinated measures so safe and effective response and recovery can occur.

prevention and mitigation

Planned and coordinated measures that eliminate or reduce the frequency and/or consequences of emergencies

property

Includes an animal and any part of an animal; a plant and any part of a plant, whether alive or dead; further defined by the Emergency Management Act 2006.

recovery

A coordinated process of supporting emergency-affected communities in reconstruction of the physical infrastructure and restoration of emotional, social, economic and physical wellbeing

recovery centre

An identified location for affected persons to access information and assistance after an emergency has occurred. A range of Government and Non-Government Organisations operate from recovery centres (it can also be referred to as a ‘One-Stop-Shop’).

region

The northern region, the north-western region or the southern region further defined by the Emergency Management Act 2006.

Regional Emergency Management Committee

A Regional Emergency Management Committee established under section 14 of the Emergency Management Act 2006.

Regional Controller

The Regional Emergency Management Controller appointed under section 17 of the Emergency Management Act 2006.

Regional Recovery Coordinator

A nominated State Service employee who is formally appointed and authorised to coordinate the delivery of recovery services (by functional area i.e. social, economic, environmental or infrastructure) within a region.

Register.Find.Reunite

Australian Government service operated by Red Cross that registers, finds and reunites family, friends and loved ones after an emergency. Previously known as the National Registration and Inquiry System (NRIS).

resources

Includes any plant, vehicle, animal, apparatus, implement, earthmoving equipment, construction equipment, other equipment of any kind, persons, agency, authority, organisation or other requirement necessary for emergency management further defined by the Emergency Management Act 2006.

response

Planned and coordinated measures that resolve emergencies.

SEMAG

The Security and Emergency Management Advisory Group is an advisory group to the SEMC (State Emergency Management Committee). It is responsible for assisting the SEMC with or providing policy advice to the SEMC relating to security and emergency management.

SEMC

The State Emergency Management Committee institutes and coordinates policy, arrangements and strategies for State-level emergency management; coordinates/oversees the management of emergencies that affect more than one region and other emergencies; and identifies and promotes opportunities for improvement in emergency management.

SEMC Advisory Agency

A State Government agency responsible for providing advice to the SEMC on the adequacy of the comprehensive arrangements for identified hazards relevant to Tasmanian emergency management. This is not an operational role in response or recovery, nor does it affect existing command, control and coordination arrangements.

Situational Awareness

Situational awareness involves not only an understanding of the current emergency incident but also forecasting how it could evolve to provide advance warning of impending threats and to facilitate the planning of response and mitigation strategies.

Standard Operating Procedures (SOP)

A set of directions detailing what actions are to be taken, as well as how, when, by whom and why, for specific events or tasks.

State Controller

The State Emergency Management Controller appointed under section 10 of the Emergency Management Act 2006.

State Crisis Centre

A location where whole-of-government emergency management policy and strategy is coordinated during operations and/or exercises.

state of emergency

A state of emergency declared under section 42 of the Emergency Management Act 2006.

State Growth

Department created through the amalgamation of the Department of Infrastructure, Energy and Resources (DIER) and Department of Economic Development, Tourism and the Arts (DEDTA).

statutory service

Includes: the SES; Ambulance Tasmania; Tasmania Fire Service; Tasmania Police; a Council; or another body constituted under an Act or a Commonwealth Act, a Government agency or a part of a Government agency whose role usually includes emergency management, or which is, or may be, in a particular emergency, required to participate in emergency management further defined by the Emergency Management Act 2006.

Strategic Directions Framework

The Framework provides the necessary guidance that is required for the many stakeholders involved in preparing for, responding to and participating in the recovery from disasters.

Support Agency – Assisting

Assisting Support Agencies have specific capabilities or resources that complement the Primary Support Agency in delivering the relevant support function.

Support Agency – Primary

Organisations that are responsible for the delivery and/or coordination of specific functional capabilities as agreed with Management Authorities. Primary Support Agencies command their own resources in coordination with the Management Authority, as required.

TasALERT

Tasmania Government’s official emergency website that brings together information from emergency services and government agencies.

TasNetworks

Government Business Enterprise that operates electricity transmission and distribution networks within Tasmania.

validation

Activities that are conducted to assess or review the effectiveness of emergency management arrangements. Standard validation activities include exercises, operational debriefs, workshops, and reviews.

vehicle

Includes: a car, truck, bus or other motor vehicle; or a ship, boat or other vessel; or an aeroplane or other aircraft; or a bicycle; trailer or wagon; or any other means of transport, however propelled, other than an animal, further defined by the Emergency Management Act 2006.

wildlife

Includes any animal or plant living or growing in the wild, including a feral animal; or any carcass, dead remains or part of any wildlife; or any egg, sperm, seed, flower, fruit or material obtained from any wildlife further defined by the Emergency Management Act 2006.

worker

A generic term used to describe people who perform defined functions for an organisation or system, including staff, volunteers and contractors/consultants.

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Acronyms

1.4 Table 2 lists acronyms that are commonly used in Tasmanian emergency management.
This list is not intended to be exhaustive and not all of these acronyms are used in this plan.

Table 2: Acronyms for Tasmanian emergency management

Acronym

Stands for…

AARC

Affected Area Recovery Committee

ABS

Australian Bureau of Statistics

ACCC

Australian Crisis Coordination Centre

ADF

Australian Defence Force

AEMO

Australian Energy Market Operator

AGDRP

Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment

AHMPPI

Australian Health Management Plan for Pandemic Influenza

AIIMS

Australasian Inter-service Incident Management System

AMSA

Australian Maritime Safety Authority

ANZCTC

Australian New Zealand Counter Terrorism Committee

ANZEMC

Australian New Zealand Emergency Management Committee

AQUAVETPLAN

Australian Aquatic Animal Disease Plan

AT

Ambulance Tasmania

AUSCONPLAN-SPRED

Australian Contingency Plan for Radioactive Space Re-entry Debris

AUSVETPLAN

Australian Veterinary Emergency Plan

BoM

Bureau of Meteorology

CBRN

Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear

ChemPlan

National Marine Chemical Spill Contingency Plan

CIP

Critical Infrastructure Protection

COAG

Council of Australian Governments

COMDISPLAN

Australian Government Disaster Response Plan

COMRECEPLAN

Australian Government Plan for the Reception of Australian Citizens and Approved Foreign Nationals Evacuated from Overseas

DA

Department of Agriculture (Commonwealth)

DACC

Defence Aid to the Civil Community

DIAC

Department of Immigration and Citizenship (Commonwealth)

DFACA

Defence Force Aid to Civilian Authorities

DHHS

Department of Health and Human Services

DIBP

Department of Immigration and Border Protection (Commonwealth)

DMC

Deputy Municipal Coordinator

DoE

Department of Education

DoH

Department of Health (Commonwealth)

DoJ

Department of Justice

DPAC

Department of Premier and Cabinet

DPEM

Department of Police and Emergency Management Link to External Site

DPIPWE

Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment

DSL

Dangerous Substances Location

DSS

Department of Social Services (Commonwealth)

DTF

Department of Treasury and Finance

DVI

Disaster Victim Identification

ECC

Emergency Coordination Centre

EMA

Emergency Management Australia (Commonwealth)

EMP

Emergency Management Plan

EMSC

Emergency Management Steering Committee

EOC

Emergency Operations Centre

EPA

Environment Protection Authority (a division within DPIPWE)

FSST

Forensic Science Service Tasmania

GA

Geosciences Australia (Commonwealth)

GIS

Geographic Information Systems

ICS

Incident Control System

IMT

Incident Management Team

JOSS

Joint Operations Support Section (ADF)

LAEIRP

Live Animal Export Incident Response Plan

LCCSC

Law, Crime and Community Safety Council

MAST

Marine and Safety Tasmania

MC

Municipal Coordinator

MRC

Municipal Recovery Coordinator

MECC

Municipal Emergency Coordination Centre

MHF

Major Hazard Facility

MRT

Mineral Resources Tasmania

NCTP

National Counter Terrorism Plan

NECC

National Emergency Call Centre

NEM

National Electricity Market

NEMEP

National Electricity Market Emergency Protocol

NGERAC

National Gas Emergency Response Advisory Committee

NGERP

National Gas Emergency Response Protocol

NGO

Non-Government Organisation

NLFERP

National Liquid Fuel Emergency Response Plan

NMOSC

National Marine Oil Spill Contingency Plan

OPSMAN 1

Defence Operations Manual: Visits to Australia by Nuclear Powered Warships

PPRR

Prevention and Mitigation, Preparedness, Response and Recovery

RAF

Request for Additional Funds

RCR

Road Crash Rescue

RSRC

Regional Social Recovery Coordinator

RECC

Regional Emergency Coordination Centre

REMC

Regional Emergency Management Committee

SCC

State Crisis Centre

SDF

Strategic Directions Framework

SEMAG

Security and Emergency Management Advisory Group

SEMC

State Emergency Management Committee

SES

State Emergency Service

SEWS

Standard Emergency Warning Signal

SHHSEC

State Health and Human Services Emergency Committee

SIT REP

Situation Report

SOP

Standard Operating Procedure

SRCTU

Special Response and Counter Terrorism Unit

TASPOL

Tasmania Police

TasPorts

Tasmanian Ports Corporation

TEIS

Tasmanian Emergency Information Service

TEMP

Tasmanian Emergency Management Plan

TFS

Tasmania Fire Service

THS

Tasmania Health Service

TRRA

Tasmanian Relief and Recovery Arrangements

WOG

Whole Of Government

WST

WorkSafe Tasmania

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Introduction

Authority

1.5 This plan is issued under the authority of the Minister for Police and Emergency Management in accordance with the requirements of Section 32 of the Emergency Management Act 2006 ( The Act ).
It is maintained by the SES on behalf of the SEMC.

Aim

1.6 The aim of this plan is to describe the current governance and coordination arrangements, and roles and responsibilities for emergency management in Tasmania.

Objectives

1.7 The objectives of the Tasmanian Emergency Management Plan are to:

a. Outline the principles for emergency management in Tasmania

b. Record roles and responsibilities related to identified hazards and functions

c. Outline the arrangements for prevention and mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery (PPRR), and

d. Describe how the components of Tasmanian emergency management work together under a single, comprehensive and flexible framework.

Scope and Application

1.8 This plan sets the framework for all hazard arrangements in Tasmania based on requirements of State legislation, existing arrangements and accepted practices that support emergency management. They are intended to be broad, scalable and flexible so they can be adapted as required. More specific arrangements for identified hazards or functions are in supporting emergency plans (See Appendix 5.5 for more information).

1.9 While the arrangements are always active across the PPRR spectrum, they may be formally activated during response and recovery by a range of positions/authorities that include but are not limited to the:

a. Premier and the Minister for Police and Emergency Management

b. State Controller (Commissioner of Tasmania Police)

c. Regional Controllers (North-West, Northern, Southern) (Tasmania Police Commanders)

d. Director, State Emergency Service

e. Regional Managers, State Emergency Service

f. Municipal Coordinators and Municipal Recovery Coordinators, and

g. Responsible Officers from organisations identified in Section 2 of this plan.

Context Statement

About Tasmania

1.10 Emergency management arrangements in Tasmania are in part influenced by its geography and location. Geographically, Tasmania is the smallest State of Australia, located south of the Australian mainland. Its population is relatively small and dispersed, having one of the higher median ages in the nation. Additionally, Tasmania’s population fluctuates with the tourist seasons with more than one million visitors recorded for the 12-months ending September 2014.

1.11 As an island State, transport networks are of critical importance with numerous seaports and airports enabling access to other parts of the country, as well as internal road and rail networks. Combined with Tasmania’s reputation for eco-tourism, its diverse topography and weather conditions, it means that a range of response and recovery arrangements are maintained for road crash rescue, search and rescue, and managing environmental pollution on land and at sea.

1.12 Tasmania’s relatively low humidity, temperate weather and forest and tourism industries mean that bushfire is Tasmania’s most prominent natural hazard. Storms, flooding, landslip and tsunami are also identified natural hazards affecting the community.

1.13 Tasmania has relatively low levels of animal, plant and marine disease and maintaining this status is important for Tasmania’s rural communities and primary production industries. As an island State, there is an inherent capacity to control movements through the air and seaports and maintain its relatively pest/disease-free status.

1.14 As an island State, security of Tasmania’s energy supply is important. Tasmania is part of the National Electricity Market and the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) manages the market and power system from two mainland control centres. Generation of electricity in Tasmania is principally by water (hydro generation) and wind and is supplemented by a gas-fired thermal plant, and Basslink (a sub-sea inter-connector). TasNetworks own Tasmania’s transmission and distribution assets. Natural gas is supplied from the mainland via a transmission pipeline, and petroleum products are supplied to the State via sea tankers from mainland refineries and terminals.

Current Security Context

1.15 The current national counter terrorism alert level is ‘high’, which means that a terrorist attack is likely. The national terrorism public alert level is determined by the Australian Government in close consultation with states and territories. The alert level helps to inform planning and preparedness as well as the appropriate level of precaution and vigilance to minimise the risk of a terrorist act. The alert level is not likely to be lowered in the foreseeable future; it could be raised if a specific and credible threat is identified. Tasmania works with other jurisdictions to maintain consistent and robust national security arrangements. The Tasmanian Government works with the community to promote social cohesion and limit pathways to social isolation and radicalisation.

1.16 A range of security related events have resulted in all Australian jurisdictions reassessing the nature and immediacy of the terrorist threat to Australia. The Tasmanian Government participated in the development of a new national counter terrorism framework, which included an Inter-Governmental Agreement that was signed by all Australian jurisdictions in October 2002. This agreement established the Australian New Zealand Counter Terrorism Committee (ANZCTC), (on which Tasmania has two representatives), which is responsible for maintaining the National Counter Terrorism Plan (NCTP).

Current Emergency Management Context

1.17 The Emergency Management Act 2006, reflects a comprehensive approach to emergency management and incorporates lessons identified from various past emergencies in Tasmania, Australia and overseas.

1.18 A range of events have heightened focus on emergency management and security arrangements and capability across all governments. Coupled with emerging issues (e.g. pandemic, climate change), these have led to a renewed comprehensive and all hazards approach. Significantly, in Tasmania this has included the integration of security arrangements with emergency management arrangements so that similar arrangements apply to emergency events, irrespective of cause.

1.19 In November 2008, the Ministerial Council for Police and Emergency Management – Emergency Management agreed that the future direction for Australian emergency management should be based on achieving community and organisational resilience. The National Strategy for Disaster Resilience was endorsed by the Council of Australian Governments in February 2011. The Strategy provides high-level guidance on disaster resilience to federal, state, territory and local governments, business and community leaders and the not-for-profit sector. The Strategy recognises that disaster resilience is a shared responsibility for individuals, households, businesses and communities, as well as for governments and focuses on the following strategic priorities to build disaster resilient communities:

a. Leading change and coordinating effort

b. Understanding risks

c. Communicating with and educating people about risks

d. Partnering with those who effect change

e. Empowering individuals and communities to exercise choice and take responsibility

f. Reducing risks in the built environment, and

g. Supporting capabilities for disaster resilience.

1.20 Rapid onset/catastrophic events have led to a revised application of response arrangements to be more flexible and provide clarification about authorities and responsibilities to offer assistance from a variety of points of control, as well as the more traditional models for requesting assistance (escalation).

1.21 In the recovery area significant reviews have occurred nationally, including the Community and Disability Ministers’ Advisory Council Review of Recovery in 2004, and the review of the National Principles for Recovery in 2007 (accepted by the former Community and Disability Services Ministers Advisory Council and the former Australian Emergency Management Committee). The Tasmanian Government also conducted a review of recovery arrangements following the 2013 Tasmanian Bushfires with key learnings forming the basis for enhancing the State’s ability to recover from significant emergency events.

1.22 The management of a sustained or complex emergency may require the combined strengths of multiple agencies. Formal interagency arrangements for the sharing of capability in support of the Management Authority are in existence. Any agency may request resources, including skilled emergency management personnel, from other agencies or organisations within Tasmania to enable more effective management of the emergency. To facilitate the adaptability and scalability of emergency management arrangements the Tasmanian Government will ensure interoperability between agencies in terms of systems, terminology, training, skills, roles and functions.

1.23 Tasmania’s capacity to respond to emergencies is developed and shaped by experience gained and lessons learnt from prior events. Table 3 summarises a number of events that have contributed to the management of emergencies in this State. In listing these events it is acknowledged that they represent pain and suffering of many individuals and communities—acknowledgment is made here of this—and the subsequent contribution to the development of Tasmania’s capacity to manage future events.

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Table 3: Significant Emergencies in Tasmania

Event

Consequence Summary

August 1875
Ship sinking
King Island

408 dead. The sinking of the Cataracqui represents the largest number of lives lost in a peacetime emergency in recorded Australian history

October 1912
Copper mine fire
Queenstown

42 deaths and 30 injuries. Of 170 miners underground, 70 escaped up the main shaft. Another 58 miners survived (rescued after spending about 107 hours underground after the fire started). Interjurisdictional support for the rescue came from Ballarat and Bendigo. Diving equipment and expertise supported the search. Contributing factors for the consequences included the lack of a warning system and limited egress points.

March 1918
Pandemic influenza
(‘Spanish Flu’)
Australia (All jurisdictions)

Estimated to have infected half of the world’s population and killed over 40 million people with a mortality rate of greater than 2.5%.

April 1929
Flooding
Northern Tasmania

22 dead. The flooding resulted in the greatest loss of life for any single Tasmanian flood event. 4500 people in Launceston were evacuated. Infrastructure destroyed/damaged included Duck Reach Power Station, suspension bridge in the Cataract Gorge and numerous road and rail bridges. Serious flooding also occurred elsewhere in the State.

March 1946
Aviation crash
Hobart

25 dead, 1 aircraft destroyed.

February 1967 Bushfires Southern Tasmania
(‘Black Tuesday’)

64 dead, 900 injured, 80,000 animals dead, 1400 homes destroyed, 264,270 hectares burned.

September 1974
Boiler explosion
Mt St Canice Convent
Sandy Bay Hobart

Seven dead. Convent partially destroyed.

January 1975
Structural collapse
Tasman Bridge Hobart

12 dead. The Tasman Bridge repair took two years and cost approximately $44 million. It was officially re-opened on 8 October 1977, however, more wholistic recovery took some 20 years to address the significant social dislocation and psychological affects.

February 1981
Bushfires
West Coast Tasmania

39 homes, one community hall and one caravan destroyed, 13,500 hectares burnt. Significant recovery effort mounted by the State Government.

February 1982
Bushfires
Tasmania (All regions)

One fire related death, two houses, one shack and 38 outbuildings destroyed. In addition to 3000 sheep killed, there was damage to farm equipment, fences, 5000 hectares of pastures, large areas of forest and some construction equipment. ADF troops deployed to assist from 5/7 Battalion from the Royal Australian Regiment. Special State of Emergency declared, which was the only declaration of this kind made under the Emergency Services Act 1976.

July 1995
Oil Spill ‘Iron Baron’
Hebe Reef
Northern Tasmania

Between 325-550 tonnes of heavy fuel (or bunker) oil were spilled in Bass Strait over a 20-day period, which included the initial grounding as well as the salvage operations. This resulted in significant environmental impact to wildlife, especially sea birds, with a large number affected. The full financial cost is unknown, but BHP and insurers lost over $30 million (the ship was valued at $21 million).

April 1996
Mass shooting
Port Arthur

35 dead, 37 injured

Australians reacted to the event with widespread shock and horror, and psycho-social recovery has been incredibly challenging. The political effects included dramatic changes to firearm controls and licensing, increased profile of mental health in the community and ongoing debate about the role of the media in covering such tragedies.

April 2006
Mine collapse
Beaconsfield

One dead. Significant lessons identified related to working with the media, and multi-agency/organisation response operations involving State agencies with the privately owned mine management over an extended period (approximately two weeks).

December 2006
Bushfires
East Coast Tasmania

One dead. 27 homes destroyed and 50 damaged. Forestry Tasmania lost approximately $50 million worth of production timber. There was significant damage to State road assets at St Marys Pass with recovery continuing into 2009 at an estimated cost of $1.5 million.

September 2007
Structure fire (Myer)
Hobart

A structure fire destroyed the historic 1836 building and resulted in significant and ongoing disruption to trade in the central business district. It is estimated that the fire cost $100 million (damage to buildings and lost trade), with more than 200 local businesses registering for information in the days after the fire. A significant number of these required additional support to clean up and re-open. While Myer relocated its stores and recommenced trading within a couple of months of the fire, the original site remained empty more than sevenyears after the event.

2009 Influenza A/H1N1 Pandemic

Over 500,000 confirmed cases worldwide, including more than 37,000 in Australia. Tasmania experienced more than 1000 confirmed cases, more than 100 hospitalisations, and seven associated deaths. The largest and longest health led multi-agency response in Tasmania in recent times.

January–August 2011
Floods

Flash flooding and major riverine flooding across the north of the State caused an estimated $26 million damage to property.* Record rainfall was associated with one of the top three La Nina events since records commenced in 1876.

*(Does not include private property damage.)

2013 Bushfires
(Dunalley-Forcett)

More than 60 bushfires burnt across Tasmania and spread across 40,000 hectares, resulting in widespread loss of homes, businesses, public infrastructure and flora and fauna and causing an estimated $150 million of damage. The municipalities of Sorell and Tasman were particularly affected with 320 properties either damaged or destroyed. The recovery effort was the most significant seen in Tasmania since the 1967 bushfires and was formally captured in the ‘Transition to Long Term Recovery Report’ produced by the Bushfire Recovery Taskforce and the ‘Review of Recovery Arrangements’ produced by the Tasmanian Government.

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