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Section Three - Emergency Management Arrangements

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This section describes the current all hazard emergency management arrangements in Tasmania for prevention and mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery.

3.1 Prevention and Mitigation

3.2 Preparedness

3.3 Response

3.4 Recovery

3.1 Prevention and Mitigation


3.1.1 Maintaining a proactive and rigorous approach to hazard research, risk assessment and risk management is an important investment that works to ensure the sustainability and long-term economic success of Tasmanian communities. These activities inform preparedness work that assists to reduce risk, damage/impact and losses (including social, infrastructure, economic and environmental) from emergencies for a safer Tasmania.

Legal Requirements

3.1.2 Broad responsibilities for mitigating the affects of hazards are generally allocated through State legislation, regulations and other regulatory instruments. Important examples include:

  • Animal Health Act 1995
  • Building Act 2000
  • Dangerous Goods (Road and Rail Transport) Act 2010
  • Electricity Supply Industry Act 1995
  • Environmental Management and Pollution Control Act 1994
  • Fire Service Amendment (Bushfire-Prone Areas) Act 2011
  • Food Act 2003
  • Gas Act 2000
  • General Fire Regulations 2010
  • Land-use Planning and Approvals Act 1993
  • Poisons Act 1971
  • Public Health Act 1997
  • Radiation Protection Act 2005
  • Security-sensitive Dangerous Substances Act 2005
  • Water Management Act 1999
  • Workplace Health and Safety Act 2012

A summary of other legislation relevant to Tasmanian emergency management is provided in Appendix 5.3.

3.1.3 The Emergency Management Act 2006 (The Act) and Local Government Act 1993 establish other provisions and powers to complement hazard-specific legislation. These are summarised in paragraphs 3.1.4 and 3.1.5.

3.1.4 The Act:

a. Provides emergency management arrangements for the protection of life, property and the environment in the event of an emergency. These arrangements include:

i. Emergency powers, special emergency powers and additional powers for inspections and risk assessments (Sections 36-39). These are described in more detail in Section 3.3 of this plan.

ii. A range of protections that are afforded to emergency management workers and committees (Sections 55, 56, 57 and 58).

iii. An outline of what a person must not do with respect to emergency management workers (e.g. impede, resist, obstruct workers etc.). See Section 60.

iv. Provision of delegation arrangements for the Premier, Minister, identified committees and authorised officers
(Section 31).

3.1.5 The Act and Local Government Act 1993 establish other provisions and powers to complement hazard-specific legislation:

3.1.6 The Local Government Act 1993 and the accompanying Local Government (Buildings and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1993 make Councils responsible for, inter alia, public health, safety, community well-being, sanitation, cleansing and some water supply matters. These requirements support the partnership between State Government and Councils to reduce risks to communities through prevention and mitigation activities.

Current Tasmanian Arrangements

Prevention and Mitigation

3.1.7 In Tasmania, the National Strategy for Disaster Resilience, National Partnership Agreement on Natural Disaster Resilience, and the SEMC Strategic Directions Framework provide the overarching desired outcomes and principles that guide decision-making in relation to the identification, assessment, selection, prioritisation, and implementation of prevention and mitigation treatments and strategies at State, regional and local levels.

3.1.8 Prevention and mitigation controls, treatments and strategies are selected and implemented as part of a comprehensive approach, working with complementary preparedness, response, and recovery treatments to manage risks effectively.


3.1.9 To further understand the risks to Tasmanian communities, the SEMC encourages research across multiple disciplines in an effort to inform risk assessment and risk reduction priorities.

3.1.10 Regional and Municipal Committees have research, risk assessment and risk reduction responsibilities in partnership with State Government and relevant local authorities.

3.1.11 There is a variety of funding programs available to assist with prevention and mitigation activities. In Tasmania, the SES coordinates access to funding programs for emergency management, and information about current funding programs, including application forms and guidelines that can be found on its website (

Risk Assessment

3.1.12 Management Authorities for prevention and mitigation are responsible for having processes in place so they can provide specialist advice to support hazard-specific risk assessments in Tasmania. At the municipal level, emergency risk management processes are used to understand and maintain awareness of local hazards, the risk they pose to the community and to prioritise risk treatment strategies.

3.1.13 Committees and sub-committees take this advice into account when setting their work programs and preparedness Management Authorities apply it when updating plans.

3.1.14 Risk assessment and risk management activities are completed in line with processes set out in:

a. Current national/international standards (e.g. AS/NZS ISO31000:2009 Risk Management Principles and Guidelines), and

b. National risk assessment guidelines for emergency management, including the National Emergency Risk Assessment Guidelines and Emergency Management Australia’s (EMA) Manual 5 Emergency Risk Management Applications Guide.

Risk Management

3.1.15 The identification and implementation of risk treatments, controls or mitigation strategies occurs after emergency risk assessments are conducted. Risk reduction strategies may be categorised in a number of ways. Appendix 5.6 provides more details about the categories summarised as:

a. levels of autonomy (e.g. behavioural, procedural and physical controls)

b. nature of control (e.g. process or physical), and

c. life cycle phases (e.g. PPRR, operational phases/elements)

3.1.16 Risk management programs and projects are managed between relevant stakeholders in line with research and risk assessment findings that have been validated and accepted. Outcomes of the programs and projects are reported progressively through the consultation framework by Management Authorities for prevention and mitigation and/or the SEMC Advisory Agencies.

Current Themes in Prevention and Mitigation

3.1.17 Currently research and risk assessment themes being considered in Tasmania are:

a. Climate change impacts on frequencies and intensity of flooding, storm surge and coastal
erosion and wildfire

b. Flooding

c. Land stability and debris flow

d. Storm surge and coastal erosion

e. Tsunami, and

f. Bushfire.

3.1.18 Current themes in risk treatment focus include, but are not limited to:

a. Business continuity management

b. Physical prevention works and activities

c. Building capacity, and

d. Land-use planning reforms.

3.1.19 Business continuity management augments comprehensive emergency management and enhances resilience by providing accepted methods for analysing critical inputs and process for operational continuity.

a. A significant investment is currently directed towards a range of physical preventative works and activities, including flood modification structures and levees, and strategic wildfire fuel reduction.

3.1.20 Building capacity is an important mitigation strategy. This can include but is not limited to developing skill and knowledge sets, and tangible resources related to:

a. Plan management, equipment and infrastructure enhancements

b. Developing and/or maintaining tangible assets and/or resources (e.g. stockpiles, hazard specific response equipment and deployable kits), and

c. Risk management, project management and business system integration, community education and awareness programs (e.g. psychological first aid).

3.1.21 Tasmania’s strategic and statutory land-use planning instruments, along with building control, include a range of effective prevention and mitigation strategies that can be used by State and local planning authorities to reduce communities’ exposure to emergencies resulting from natural hazards. The intent of this approach is to deliver long-term community safety outcomes and, by either requiring a greater consideration of the hazard for new development or strategically changing settlements patterns, to minimise the risks (financial, infrastructure, cultural) to the community. While climate change is not in itself a hazard, it is predicted to cause an increase in the sea level and to the frequency and intensity of natural hazard events. Incorporating consideration of the land-use planning system can help to mitigate climate change impacts. A range of complementary initiatives for achieving an integrated approach is currently being undertaken, including but not limited to:

a. State framework for the mitigation of natural hazards in land-use planning

b. Implementation guideline for risk in planning schemes

c. Natural Disaster Resilience Program

d. Regional Planning Initiative

e. Standard Schedules Project

f. State Coastal Policy

g. Tasmanian Emergency Management Spatial Information System Project, and

h. Tasmanian Framework for Action on Climate Change.

Protective Security Practices

3.1.22 The principal elements of Tasmania’s security strategy are:

a.Social cohesion and resilience: Working with communities to identify and limit pathways to social isolation and radicalisation, build resilience and provide early warning of security-related threats.

b.Intelligence: Collecting and analysing information regarding terrorist threats to inform decision-making, assist with planning and facilitate the prevention, disruption and mitigation of attacks.

c.Risk management: Continually assessing the likelihood that terrorist incidents will be planned or carried out in the State, including ongoing assessment of the vulnerability of potential targets, the consequences of an attack, and Tasmania’s capability and capacity to respond.

d.Partnership with industry: Working with industry to enhance the capacity to detect and prevent acts of terrorism.

e.Legislation: Enacting legislation to support PPRR arrangements that balance security with the needs of individuals and the community.

f.Response and recovery capabilities: Maintaining an appropriate response capability for terrorist incidents in terms of equipment and trained personnel.

g.Cooperation with national partners: Cooperation with the Australian Government and other jurisdictions to share experience, knowledge, facilities and equipment.

h.Aligning counter terrorism arrangements with other emergency management arrangements: Aligning arrangements for PPRR in relation to terrorist threats with arrangements and capabilities in relation to other hazards.

i.Public information: Ensuring members of the community are engaged actively in understanding the risks of terrorism and understand the role that they play in preventing attacks as well as in response and recovery activities following an incident.


3.1.23 Figure 2 shows a summary of prevention and mitigation processes for emergency management in Tasmania.

Figure 2: Summary Processes for Prevention and Mitigation in Tasmanian Emergency Management

Fig 2 summary processes flow chart

3.2 Preparedness


3.2.1 Maintain appropriate standards of preparedness to optimise interoperability in response and recovery.

Legal Requirements

3.2.2 The general legislative requirements relevant to preparedness in Tasmania are outlined here and incorporated in the arrangements described later in this section. A summary of other legislation that is relevant to Tasmanian emergency management is provided in Appendix 5.3.

3.2.3 The Tasmanian Government has the primary responsibility for providing protection for the lives and property of communities, including maintaining core emergency services such as Police, Fire, Ambulance, and Health Service. Implicit in this responsibility is the collaborative relationship with Councils and other Non-Government Organisations because of their unique relationship with their local community networks. Further, increasing privatisation/corporatisation means that industry and operators/managers of essential goods and services join this partnership as they are best placed to appreciate the consequences of emergencies on the community.

3.2.4 The Work Health and Safety Act 2012 establishes requirements so that workers are prepared adequately for their role in the workplace, including their relevant roles in emergency management.

3.2.5 The Act sets complementary requirements for preparedness including:

a. The preparation and maintenance of emergency management plans at municipal, regional and State levels (Sections 32-35) by the relevant committees.

b. Council responsibilities for:

c. Provision of resources and facilities for the management of emergencies in their municipal area in accordance with the municipal plan (Section 47), and

d. Provision of facilities and resources for the municipal SES unit as well as the storage and maintenance of the equipment used by the unit and areas for training (arranged in conjunction with the Director State Emergency Service Section 49).

e. Responsibilities for making appointments for emergency management functions including the State Controller, Regional Controllers, Municipal Coordinators and Deputies (Sections 10-11, 17-18, and 23-24).

f. Establishing a number of emergency management committees (Part 2).

g. State Emergency Service responsibilities in Section 26 to:

h. Provide advice and services in accordance with emergency management plans, and

i. Recruit, train and support a volunteer workforce.

Current Tasmanian Arrangements


3.2.6 Preparedness Management Authorities maintain processes and arrangements so they are able to report on relevant State preparedness activities (e.g. status of capability and outcomes from validation activities). Committees and sub-committees work cooperatively with the Management Authority in these activities.

3.2.7 Support Agencies and other organisations maintain processes and arrangements so that they are adequately prepared to fulfil their roles in emergency management and facilitate ‘business as usual’ for as long as possible, as well as manage organisational recovery of workers and services after the emergency. A memorandum of understanding template is contained in the Appendices for formalisation of agreements.

3.2.8 Owners/operators of specific facilities maintain processes and arrangements so they can manage emergencies at their sites and assist their emergency management partners to be effective in response and recovery.

Consultation Framework

3.2.9 The consultation framework outlined in Section 2 of this plan is coordinated by the SES with the SEMC and is maintained with the support of State Government, Councils, NGOs and other organisations.

3.2.10 The purpose of the framework is to enable information flow, consultation, and collaboration to maintain effective arrangements at State, regional and municipal levels. It can also support response and recovery operations due to its defined hierarchical nature, authority established in The Act and arrangements in plans.

3.2.11 This framework does not prevent or affect other groups forming for emergency management in Tasmania.

Capacity and Capability

3.2.12 Capacity and capability is the element of preparedness that maintains processes, systems, assets and supplies so that resources for response and recovery can be assigned in a safe and efficient manner. Factors that contribute to this include, but are not limited to:

a. Human resource management, specifically recruitment, retention, training and succession planning for roles and responsibilities across the PPRR spectrum (especially key decision makers, and temporary secondment during operations). Workers can be responsible for more than one function in emergency management as long as this will not lead to unmanageable gaps, or be likely to generate conflict in performance of duties

b. Stakeholder or relationships management with emergency management partners

c. Education, training and awareness programs for emergency management workers and the community (e.g. public and environmental health programs and services), and

d. Maintaining ‘fit for purpose’ resources. Where adequate resources are not maintained on stand-by, agreements with redundancy are maintained including arrangements for payment as required. Typical resources include, but are not limited to:

i. Response/recovery specific equipment and supplies/stockpiles

ii. Contact lists, forms/templates/pro formas for operations (including handovers), maps, location aids (including spatial locations for important areas or facilities) and access to GIS and desktop mapping services. A State contact guide across the PPRR spectrum is included in Appendix 5.7. This list is provided to support planning (not operations)

iii. Facilities and resources for Emergency Operations Centres, Emergency Coordination Centres and centres for recovery (e.g. evacuation, recovery, information etc.)

iv. Management of spontaneous volunteers, and

v. Management of donated goods referring to the National Guidelines for Management of Donated Goods.

Incident Management System

3.2.13 Response Management Authorities and recovery organisations must be in a position to implement an effective incident management (control) system during the management of an emergency. The system applied must be consistent with the Common Incident Control System (CICS) as detailed in Appendix 5.9.

Community Warnings and Public Information

3.2.14 Community Warnings and Public Information include processes for managing public enquiries, issuing warnings and providing public information.

3.2.15 Warnings are developed in line with the six criteria identified by the International Telecommunications Union. These are: coordination, consistency, multiple channels, completeness, coverage and control.

3.2.16 Specific consideration is given to providing community warnings and public information to community groups with special needs or vulnerabilities (e.g. sensory impaired, physical disabilities, language/cultural barriers) that can impair the capacity to access and understand the warnings/public information being provided.

3.2.17 ABC Local Radio has the optimum capacity to broadcast public warnings and a Commercial Radio Code of Practice exists to assist with the timely dissemination of public warnings in emergencies and authorised groups maintain relevant arrangements with broadcasters for this purpose.

3.2.18 Other methods for providing public warnings/information include, but are not limited to:

a. Social media (e.g. Facebook, Twitter)

b. Emergency Alert

c. TV ‘screen crawls’ with supporting announcements

d. Web-based information

e. Call centre services (e.g. Tasmanian Emergency Information Service) that ideally interface with the National Relay Service

f. Community meetings

g. Community based information centres, and

h. Messages provided in multiple languages as and when required.

3.2.19 Protocols for working with the media are maintained at all levels (municipal, regional and State) and national guidelines for the broadcast of emergency public warnings are available. The Government Communications Office within DPAC can support the development of protocols through its established arrangements with media.

Emergency Management Plans

3.2.20 Emergency management plans required by The Act are maintained at State, regional and municipal levels. They are reviewed at least every two years and describe the current PPRR governance and coordination arrangements for defined geographic areas and/or a defined scope (e.g. a specific hazard or function). Other State and Australian legislation also establishes requirements for emergency plans. Requirements for plans described in The Act do not prevent the development or maintenance of other emergency plans. Appendix 5.5 provides more detail about emergency management plans in Tasmania.

3.2.21 Arrangements in plans aim to be flexible and scalable for all hazards (from natural causes, accidents and other events with intentional causation) and are required to be comprehensive, clearly addressing the PPRR spectrum.

3.2.22 Specific planning lessons identified recently include, but are not limited to:

a. Further consideration of areas of specific vulnerability (e.g. aged care facilities, child care centres, culturally and linguistically diverse groups etc.)

b. Broader control and coordination arrangements between all levels of Government. This includes maintaining escalation processes that are triggered by both requests for, and offers of assistance as well as:

i. Mechanisms to enhance the integration and coordination of response and recovery operations, and

ii. Working with groups not traditionally associated with whole-of-government emergency response (e.g. industry/infrastructure owners and the media).

c. Communicating arrangements to a broader group of stakeholders (e.g. providing spatial locations to the GIS, web and desktop mapping services, and coordination of remotely sensed imagery on an ‘as needs’ basis), and

d. Maintaining arrangements to manage offers of assistance from groups that are not usually active in emergency management networks (e.g. the community, industry, private enterprises, community groups, celebrities etc.).

3.2.23 The SES maintains a management system for emergency management plans required by The Act, and Appendix 5.5 includes a summary list of the plans that are current at the time of issue of this plan. This list is updated at scheduled times and maintained on the SES website.

Emergency Management Framework for Vulnerable People (Framework)

3.2.24 The Framework is a Statewide policy framework to assist in development and maintenance of emergency management arrangements that:

a. Consider and prioritise the essential needs of vulnerable people before, during and after an emergency, and

b. Enable service providers to readily identify, locate and communicate with vulnerable people in an emergency.


3.2.25 Validation activities include debriefs, exercises and workshops/meetings where arrangements for emergency management are examined to assess the likelihood of the effectiveness of arrangements in emergencies.

3.2.26 Debriefs for operations and exercises are a standard component of validation programs. REMCs and response Management Authorities maintain processes and supporting resources so that debriefs for response and recovery can be facilitated, and the findings can be recorded and shared in a consistent and timely manner.

3.2.27 Exercises are conducted when:

a. The arrangements have not been activated since the last review of the plan. Where a plan or a set of arrangements within a plan are new, consideration is given to exercising them prior to issue, and

b. Substantial changes have occurred, or are imminent:

i. To the plan or interfacing plans/related legislation

ii. With key personnel, positions or functions across the PPRR spectrum, and

iii. Relevant to new/emerging sources of risk, and the subsequent likely exposure/vulnerability to them.

3.2.28 Delivery of exercises is guided by exercise management advice from EMA or the ANZCTC.

Lessons Identified

3.2.29 Processes for reviewing outcomes of operations and exercises include arrangements so that the findings are recorded and reported through the consultation framework (usually from debriefs).

3.2.30 It is the responsibility of each organisation to verify findings relevant to its activities and implement remedial action that could include:

a. Addressing gaps

b. Acknowledging excellence, and

c. Working collaboratively with other stakeholders to improve or strengthen emergency management capability.

Administration Systems

Information Management

3.2.31 Management Authorities and Support Agencies maintain processes so information is shared during operations in an appropriate and timely way. This includes but is not limited to processes for operational logs and situation reports.

3.2.32 For the Response Management Authority, this also includes arrangements for progressively conducting rapid impact and damage assessments and reporting the results so the State and Australian Governments can assess the need for financial assistance.

3.2.33 Rapid impact and damage assessments factors include, but are not limited to:

a. Number of injuries/deaths

b. Number of private homes affected

c. Number of private homes evacuated

d. Number of businesses and primary producers affected

e. Impacts on community assets/infrastructure

f. Impacts on Government property/premises (e.g. land, buildings, infrastructure etc.) and resources (especially Council and State Government assets)

g. Commitment of the resources of responding agencies (e.g. emergency services)

h. Likely clean-up and recovery timeframes, and

i. The current and/or likely media interest.

3.2.34 Facilities are maintained so that identified individuals and groups from the emergency can be registered. These can include, but are not limited to:

a. Affected persons (e.g. people who are evacuated/their families)

b. Casualties

c. Other stakeholder groups (e.g. businesses)

d. Spontaneous volunteers

e. Witnesses, and

f. Potential donors/sponsors (equipment, services, supplies).

Financial Administration

3.2.35 Organisations maintain processes for cost capture during response and recovery, as in the first instance these expenses are met from within existing operating budgets.

3.2.36 Ideally, cost capture systems are simple to use, widely accessible to those who require them, and can be aligned with each organisation’s existing cost capture, invoicing and payment arrangements, as well as relevant State financial arrangements (e.g. Request for Additional Funds (RAF) and Tasmanian Relief and Recovery Arrangements (TRRA)). They also include maintaining processes so liability claims made by individuals under The Act can be managed.

3.2.37 Any significant changes required for cost capture during response and recovery operations are included in relevant training and awareness programs.

3.2.38 The Department of Treasury and Finance provides State level advice for the recording and control of expenditure in emergencies.

Performance Management

3.2.39 The State Controller reports annually to the Minister on details about authorisations or declarations made for each state of emergency, and ‘any other matters required by the Minister’ (Section 63 Emergency Management Act 2006).

3.2.40 SEMC Advisory Agencies and Management Authorities provide reports and advice to the SEMC through the SEMAG as required.

3.2.41 Groups in the consultation framework are responsible for reviewing the effectiveness and progress of their own activities.

3.2.42 Committee chairpersons arrange for the review of outcomes from validations to inform the development/adjustment of relevant emergency management strategies.


3.2.43 Figure 3 shows a summary of preparedness processes for emergency management in Tasmania.

Figure 3:
Summary Processes for Preparedness for Tasmanian Emergency Management

fig 3 summary process preparedness flowchart

3.3 Response


3.3.1 Optimising interoperability in response to minimise the impacts of emergencies on the Tasmanian community.

Legal Requirements

3.3.2 The general legislative requirements relevant to response in Tasmania are outlined here and incorporated in the arrangements described later in this section. A summary of other legislation that is relevant to Tasmanian emergency management is provided in Appendix 5.3.

3.3.3 There are two main bodies of legislation related to response. First, there is specific State legislation that establishes responsibility for State agencies and departments to respond to a range of hazards. Second, The Act provides additional authorities and responsibilities for response in emergencies. These may be used with legislative powers provided in other acts and regulations but if there is an inconsistency or conflict, then The Act prevails.

3.3.4 The relevant provisions of The Act for response include:

a. Emergency powers (Schedule 1) and special emergency powers (Schedule 2) for authorised officers (Section 31)

b. Risk assessment powers
(Sections 36-39)

c. Functions and powers for identified roles including Municipal Coordinators, Regional Controllers, the Director State Emergency Service and the State Controller (Sections 23, 18, 28, 11 respectively), and

d. Additional support for response in Section 46 that establishes the responsibility of Councils to use their resources, and the authority to use resources made available to them, for managing emergencies in their area in accordance with their plan.

Current Tasmanian Arrangements


3.3.5 Organisations involved in response carry out their Management Authority and Support Agency roles:

a. Within existing command and control arrangements that aim to be interoperable

b. By applying existing arrangements and protocols where appropriate, and

c. Maintaining the safest possible working environment given the circumstances. This includes protective security practices along with occupational health and safety considerations.

3.3.6 Response actions are usually aligned with preplanned arrangements described in relevant emergency plans (see Appendix 5.5 for a summary list of State plans). Emergency plans may be activated at lower threshold events to practice arrangements and achieve a ‘hot start’ in escalating events. Tasmania has adopted an all hazards approach for response to counter terrorism events and other emergencies. Subsequently, similar arrangements apply irrespective of the cause of the event. These arrangements are scalable and flexible so that stakeholders can participate in response as required to address the unique nature of the emergency, its context and consequences.

3.3.7 Emergency powers exist to enable authorised officers to take action to resolve emergencies. Primary powers and responsibilities are generally established in hazard legislation, specific State legislation and then incorporated in hazard-specific plans. Additional powers are provided in The Act and can be applied when relevant criteria are met.

3.3.8 State authorities, including Regional Controllers or the State Controller can assume overall control of an emergency (this is explained in more detail later in this section). National authorities can also assume control in certain circumstances.

Finishing Response

3.3.9 As Support Agencies resolve the emergency, response activities can end/‘stand down’ (i.e. when there is no further threat to life, property or the environment). Usually, once the emergency is resolved the legislated authority provided to response agencies finishes, and unless control of the property/premises transitions to the control of another organisation under other authority, it reverts to the owner/manager to continue their recovery/and recommence operations.

3.3.10 Resolution of emergencies and ending response activities can happen quickly or in stages, depending on the complexity of the response.

3.3.11 Regardless of the timeframes involved, the response Management Authority provides advice to stakeholders that response activities have concluded or are about to conclude. Stakeholders can include, but are not limited to:

a. Organisations involved in response

b. The owners/managers of relevant property/premises

c. Regional/State Controllers as required, and

d. Organisations involved in coordinating recovery efforts.

3.3.12 These communications can include when operations/coordination centres are expected to close and when final situation reports will be issued. They constitute a handover from traditional frontline response activities and occur in a consultative manner so that transition to recovery activities occurs in a timely manner.

Command, Control and Coordination

3.3.13 The following paragraphs describe the general arrangements for response and provide the basic framework for response arrangements in Tasmania. The arrangements should be referred to when:

a. Arrangements for the situation are not in place and/or current arrangements are inadequate/overwhelmed, and

b. There is agreement to enhance/complement the arrangements that are already in place.

3.3.14 The response arrangements described in this plan are for all and/or any of two general scenarios:

a. An emergency occurs that affects people, property or the environment in Tasmania directly (e.g. road crash, storm, fire, and outbreak of animal disease), and

b. An emergency occurs outside of Tasmania that is likely to:

i. Have a direct impact on the Tasmanian community (e.g. outbreak of pandemic influenza, infrastructure failure in national electricity grid), and/or

ii. Require support from the Tasmanian Government emergency management authorities.

Emergencies in Tasmania

3.3.15 When an emergency occurs, initial response actions are usually carried out at the emergency site by those who have the primary responsibility for protecting the life, property or environment that is under threat. In the first instance, this is usually the asset owner/manager of the property/premises and/or the people at the emergency site. Where people are not present or able to respond effectively, specified agencies/organisations have responsibilities/authority to take control of the situation. In this plan they are identified as the response Management Authority. Control at the scene may alter during response as the situation changes. For example, control will revert to Tasmania Police for investigation of deaths that may have occurred in the emergency.

3.3.16 If further assistance is required, response Management Authorities can make requests to emergency management authorities (e.g. Municipal Coordinators, Regional/State Controllers). The need for enhanced coordination and more frequent situation reports increases as more organisations become involved in response, so stakeholders can provide support/assistance as required.

Emergencies outside Tasmania

3.3.17 When emergencies occur outside Tasmania and have significance to the State or part of it, response arrangements are usually coordinated from locations that are remote from the emergency site (e.g. from a State Emergency Operations Centre/State Crisis Centre). Coordination is achieved through ongoing liaison with centres at other levels (e.g. national, regional and municipal) until the emergency is resolved or assistance/liaison is no longer required.

3.3.18 These response arrangements can include combinations of hazard and function-specific state and national arrangements (e.g. electricity supply emergencies) and/or bilateral agreements (refer to Table 7 for more information). Where widespread community consequences of national significance and interest are anticipated/occur, the COMDISPLAN liaison arrangements and ANZEMC network usually also exchange/consider high-level jurisdictional information, certain consequence management matters, emerging national issues and support requirements. Unless otherwise advised, the primary Tasmanian liaison for these arrangements is the Executive Officer of the SEMC (Director, SES).

Interoperability Arrangements

3.3.19 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 through the Interoperability Skills Arrangements for the Sharing of Skilled Resources in Tasmania Plan.

3.3.20 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 and relevant organisations in terms of systems, terminology, training, skills, roles and functions.

Escalation of Response

3.3.21 Wherever the emergency occurs, additional support to assist with the response can be provided through liaison with other authorised officers from organisations identified in Section 2 of this plan, and/or from Emergency Operations Centre/s or Emergency Coordination Centre/s. Agencies and organisations may activate their emergency plans at lower threshold events to practice their arrangements and achieve a ‘hot start’ in escalating events.

3.3.22 A response Management Authority may request that a Municipal or Regional Emergency Coordination Centre be opened to address the community consequences of the emergency because they are outside the scope of that agency’s authority/capacity (e.g. restoring power and services, evacuation management, public information, clean-up, health and human services support etc.).

3.3.23 Centres may be co-located depending on the location, severity, and type of emergency. Appendix 5.9 shows the main differences between Emergency Operations Centres and Emergency Coordination Centres in Tasmania, as well as the standard arrangements for the activation and closure of coordination centres managed by emergency management committees established by The Act.

3.3.24 The Regional Controller can:

a. Offer assistance

b. Be requested to provide assistance, and

c. Assume overall control of response/recovery operations
(Section 18 of The Act).

Emergency powers from The Act do not need to be authorised for this to occur. Actions can include but are not limited to coordinating the resources and expertise of the Regional Committee and other relevant stakeholders. These actions are usually managed through the close working relationship with the SES Regional Managers and often take place at the Regional Emergency Coordination Centre. If further assistance is required, the Regional Controller can make requests to other regions or to the State Controller.

3.3.25 For a prolonged or significant State or national emergency, the State Controller can assume overall control of the response (Section 11 of The Act). Control assumed at the State level is focused on broader whole-of-government and community impacts of the emergency, rather than on the tactical management of the emergency itself. This may include (but does not necessitate) the use of emergency powers under The Act. This work usually takes place at the State Crisis Centre with the SEMAG/SEMC members and can include, but is not
limited to:

a. Providing policy and strategic advice to the Premier and other members of the Tasmanian Government (including the Ministerial Committee)

b. Coordinating/overseeing whole-of-government response and recovery activities of Tasmanian Government agencies

c. Coordinating/overseeing public information and media strategies, and

d. Making requests to the Australian Government and other states/territories for assistance, and managing any requests from them.

3.3.26 A summary of the State Crisis Centre facilities is provided in Appendix 5.10. Workers from the DPEM and the DPAC support the SEMAG/SEMC (secretariat and information management duties). Liaison Officers from other organisations may also be in attendance.

3.3.27 If the State Crisis Centre is opened:

a. Agency Emergency Operation Centres and the Regional Emergency Coordination Centres provide liaison officers at the State Crisis Centre

b. The State Crisis Centre provides liaison officers to the Regional Emergency Coordination Centre/s, and

c. Figure 4 shows a model for multi-agency response with participants at municipal, regional and State-level. Generic terms and functions are used, and are not specific to any one command or control system.

Offers of Assistance

3.3.28 Assistance can be offered from organisations that are not usually part of response arrangements (e.g. from the community, industry, celebrities, other regions/jurisdictions and interstate agencies). Where arrangements are not in place to manage offers of assistance, the Regional Controllers or State Controller manages them.

3.3.29 Refer to paragraph 3.3.78 for how coordination with the Commonwealth agencies is usually managed.

Figure 4: Command, Control and Coordination Summary

fig 4 State Crisis Centre flowchart

Emergency Powers Overview

3.3.30 Emergency powers for Response Management Authorities are established by specific State legislation or national arrangements (in some instances Australian legislation can also provide authority).

3.3.31 The Act provides additional powers so the State Controller and the Premier can take/direct action through specified authorised officers for the protection of life, property and the environment.

3.3.32 Once the powers from The Act are authorised they are confirmed in writing, but in the short-term, authorised persons do not require a copy of the written authorisation to exercise the powers with which they have been provided. There are three types of powers that can be used in response and recovery:

a. Risk assessment powers

b. Emergency powers, and

c. Special emergency powers (under a declared state of emergency).

Risk Assessment Powers

3.3.33 Sections 36-39 of The Act provide the State Controller with the authority to:

a. Authorise inspections of any place, structure, source or situation that may be potentially hazardous

b. Have the risk/s that are identified, assessed, and

c. Direct that reasonable remedial action be taken to reduce the relevant hazards.

Emergency Powers

3.3.34 Section 40 of The Act provides for the State Controller to authorise emergency powers that can have effect for up to seven days, actioned by authorised officers. These powers are authorised on the basis of advice provided by Regional Controllers, which can be supported by information from the Senior Officer of the Response Management Authority. Ideally the State Controller notifies the Minister before the authorisation is made.

3.3.35 For emergency powers to be authorised, this advice must be in line with Section 40(1), of The Act and the State Controller must be satisfied that:

a. An emergency is occurring or has occurred in Tasmania, or that credible information shows that an emergency occurring elsewhere may impact on Tasmania, and

b. There are reasonable grounds for the exercise of the powers to protect:

i. Persons from distress, injury or death, or

ii. Property or the environment from damage or destruction.

3.3.36 The emergency powers available are listed in Schedule 1 of The Act, and authorised officers are identified in Section 31 of The Act.

3.3.37 The authorisation of emergency powers is confirmed in writing as soon as practicable to authorised officers and the Regional Controllers. The confirmation includes:

a. Authorised officers

b. Powers to be used and duration of use, and

c. The general area that is affected.

3.3.38 This authorisation can be amended or revoked at any time by the State Controller and can be extended with approval from the Minister for Police and Emergency Management. Amendments, revocations and extensions are confirmed in writing as soon as practicable.

Special Emergency Powers (Declaration of a state of emergency)

3.3.39 Section 42 of The Act provides for the Premier to declare a state of emergency, and authorise the use of special emergency powers by the State Controller and Regional Controllers, on the basis of advice provided by the State Controller.

3.3.40 For a declaration to be made and special emergency powers to be authorised this advice must be in line with Section 42(1) of The Act and the Premier must be satisfied that:

a. An emergency is occurring or has occurred in Tasmania, and

b. That circumstances require, or may require, the use of special emergency powers (i.e. that the authorisation of emergency powers alone may be insufficient to manage the emergency).

3.3.41 The declaration can have effect:

a. For up to 12* weeks for an emergency relating to disease in humans or animals, or

b. For up to two weeks for any other emergency.
*Where a declaration is made for an emergency relating to disease in humans or animals and it exceeds four weeks, the SEMC is responsible for reviewing the situation at the end of the fourth week, and then every two weeks after that; as well as providing advice to the Premier to amend or revoke the declaration.

3.3.42 Schedule 2 of The Act defines the special emergency powers.

3.3.43 Where a state of emergency is declared, a Regional Controller can use the emergency powers afforded under Schedule 1 of The Act. Should a conflict arise between the emergency powers being used by a Regional Controller and the use of special emergency powers, the State Controller is responsible for resolving the conflict.

3.3.44 The declaration of a state of emergency is confirmed in writing as soon as practicable to the State Controller for wider distribution and includes clarification of:

a. The special emergency powers given, and

b. The general area affected and duration of the powers.

3.3.45 Special emergency powers can be amended, extended or revoked at any time by the Premier.

Community Warnings and Public Information

Weather Warnings

3.3.46 In Tasmania, the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) issues severe weather warnings, flood warnings, and fire weather warnings to the community. The BoM also issues a range of forecasts, watches, alerts and other products to the community that can assist in responding to natural hazards.

3.3.47 The Tasmania Fire Service publishes fire danger rating forecasts issued by the BoM on a daily basis during the fire season.

3.3.48 Population Health issues public heatwave warnings. Population Health also provides information on preparing for and coping with extreme heat.

Emergency Alert

3.3.49 COAG enhanced Australia’s emergency management arrangements through the development of a telephone-based warning capability (Emergency Alert) The system is capable of delivering emergency warnings to landline telephones and mobiles by billing address within a selected geographic area, and also enables emergency warnings to be delivered to mobile telephones located within a selected geographic area.

Standard Emergency Warning Signal (SEWS)

3.3.50 There are Tasmanian guidelines for use of the SEWS. Generally, the use of the signal is limited to significant emergency situations and is only for providing urgent safety messages. The guidelines include four criteria that should all be present to confirm that the use of the signal is appropriate. These are:

a. Potential for loss of life and/or a major threat to a significant number of properties or the large-scale environment

b. Impact has occurred or is expected within 12 hours

c. A significant number of people need to be warned, and

d. One or more phenomena are expected to be destructive.

3.3.51 Responsibility for the management of the signal rests with DPEM Media and Communications Unit, in consultation with the Tasmanian Regional Director of BoM. This includes maintaining the initiating procedure for its use and community awareness of its purpose and sound.

3.3.52 Relevant media outlets are provided with a copy of the SEWS sound and it can also be downloaded from SEWS messages are broadcast in a preset format, without undue delay and, where possible, to the affected areas only. Television broadcasts are accompanied by text where possible and enquiries are referred to the media liaison officer for the initiating authority.

3.3.53 The following positions are nominated as SEWS initiating authorities:

a. State Controller (Commissioner of Police)

b. Deputy Commissioner of Police

c. Regional Controllers (North-West, Northern and Southern)

d. Chief Officer, Tasmania Fire Service

e. Director, State Emergency Service, and

f. Regional Director of the Bureau of Meteorology (weather and flood related events only).

Public Information

3.3.54 At the emergency site, the response Management Authority is responsible for providing public information about the emergency. This includes granting access for media representatives to visit parts of the emergency site (this is usually managed in conjunction with the land owner/manager).

3.3.55 Away from the emergency site, public information is usually provided in a variety of ways including, but not limited to:

a. TasALERT is the Tasmanian Government’s official emergency website that brings together information from emergency services and government agencies

b. Responding agencies can provide public information through the media and their websites
(e.g., alerts,

c. Councils can also arrange for releases of general information for the public (usually through the Mayor)

d. Other authorised organisations/groups with specific responsibilities (e.g. registrations of affected persons), and

e. Emergency operations, emergency coordination and recovery centres: the officer in charge of the centre is responsible for arranging public information to be provided.

Call Centres

3.3.56 Tasmania has a State call centre capability known as the Tasmanian Emergency Information Service (TEIS). This service provides an initial point of contact for the community to access self-help information following an emergency. The service is activated and deactivated by DPAC, through Service Tasmania after a request by the State Controller on the advice of Regional Controllers. Alternatively, it can be activated by the Secretary DPAC on the advice of the SEMAG. The decision to activate the service includes allocation of responsibility for clearing information and the service usually operates on a ‘fee for service’ basis.

3.3.57 A national call centre capability also exists (National Emergency Call Centre) to provide an initial point of contact for emergencies of national significance. It provides general information only and messages from national leaders as well as being able to gather information from the public. The Australian Government Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet manages this capability in partnership with the Department of Social Services. When the centre is to be activated, the public will be made aware through media releases.

Working with the Media

3.3.58 The following principles apply to all media arrangements:

a. An informed community is a resilient community, so it is a priority to provide timely and accurate information to the media

b. Commentary is limited to matters related to each agency’s own role in response/recovery, and

c. Comments outside an agency’s scope are referred to the response Management Authority in the first instance.

3.3.59 An effective model for community messages is:

a. What we know

b. What we don’t know

c. What we are doing (the authorities), and

d. What we want you to do (the community).

Other Elements of Response

Initial Actions

3.3.60 Effective emergency response is generally dependent on having effective command and control structures (including interoperable communications), unity of purpose, clear and realistic objectives and strategies, appropriate and sufficient capabilities, and the concentrated application of capabilities.

3.3.61 Response actions are intended to protect people, property and the environment. The emergency defines the specific actions required in each instance and arrangements in existing emergency plans and established SOPs are used where appropriate.

3.3.62 For catastrophic events, the immediate focus on consequence management is to support the provision of basic survival needs, including casualty rescue and treatment, and provision of drinking water, shelter and food.

3.3.63 Where a multi-agency/organisation response evolves, there is an increased need for briefings and situation reports.

3.3.64 Security of the emergency site/s and preservation of evidence are common considerations in the initial stages of response. The response Management Authority is responsible for making appropriate arrangements to secure the site/s and preserve evidence (often in conjunction with the owner/manager of the property/premises).

Operational Information

Notification, Logs and Situation Reports

3.3.65 Responding agencies primarily use radio networks to coordinate operational information. Other telecommunication methods are also used in a variety of combinations, depending on the emergency and the facilities available.

3.3.66 Responding agencies maintain operations logs and provide situation reports in accordance with internal requirements.

3.3.67 Prompt notification of stakeholders about the situation is always an objective of emergency response. The guiding principle for determining priority of notification is the ‘need to know’. Stakeholders/emergency management partners can include, but are not limited to:

a. Organisational leaders/managers

b. Supporting agencies and service providers

c. Regulators (where appropriate), and

d. Workers and stakeholders (local community, supply chain, media etc.)

3.3.68 The Regional Managers from the SES usually advise the Regional Controllers of situations that are likely to have communitywide consequences. The SEMAG/SEMC are usually briefed by the State Controller or Director of the SES.

3.3.69 Situation reports are circulated regularly between Response Management Authority Control Centres, Support Agency Command Centres and Emergency Coordination Centres and include updates of rapid impact and damage assessments. If the State Crisis Centre is activated, situation reports between regional Emergency Operations Centres and the Regional Emergency Coordination Centre are exchanged regularly/as agreed.

GIS and Desktop Mapping Services

3.3.70 Response efforts are supported by Geographic Information Services (GIS) and desktop mapping. In municipal areas, Councils use their existing capacity and, if additional assistance is required, local industry or regionally-based State Government agencies can be approached for assistance. An on-call capability to assist with GIS and desktop mapping services exists within DPIPWE on a ‘fee for service’ basis.

3.3.71 DPIPWE has established a coordinating role to facilitate the delivery of ongoing, Statewide program of data capture, with regional and urban coverage

a. Coordinate data across all tiers of government

b. Standardise data capture

c. Deliver data through the LIST infrastructure

d. Centralise the storage and distribution of data, and

e. Reduce cost to stakeholders

During emergencies, this coordinating role applies to requests for remotely sensed imagery. A request for access to remotely sensed imagery over an area affected by an emergency is made to AGDs Crisis Coordination Centre where a decision may be made to activate the International Charter on Space and Major Disaster. DPIPWE Emergency Services GIS and desktop mapping will support preparation of such a request in close collaboration with Geosciences Australia and the requesting agency.


3.3.72 The decision to evacuate or exclude people from an area is made with due consideration of the dangers and difficulties inherent in evacuation and the likelihood of evacuated people being injured.

3.3.73 The decision to evacuate people is made by the Incident Controller, who should consult with TASPOL and other experts. In the instance of fire or potential fire, the TFS is responsible for making decisions with respect to evacuation of people. TASPOL is responsible for the overall coordination on an evacuation. The way this is managed for bushfire is described by the Joint Bushfire Arrangements between TASPOL and TFS in 2014.

3.3.74 Evacuated people are taken or directed to a place of relative safety, which can include assembly or evacuation centres, as identified in municipal plans.

3.3.75 DPEM is the responsible agency for evacuation. To assist TASPOL in this role emergency management planning should consider the identification and needs of vulnerable groups within communities as outlined in the Emergency Management Framework for Vulnerable People.

Rapid Impact and Damage Assessments

3.3.76 Under the Rapid Impact Assessment State Special Plan, the response Management Authority is responsible for arranging rapid impact and damage assessments of the affected area/s. These assessments include reporting the most credible information available at the time for the items listed in paragraph 3.2.32 that are relevant in the situation. The assessment usually needs to be conducted progressively with support from other attending agencies.

3.3.77 Unless other arrangements exist, rapid impact and damage assessments are included in situation reports and findings of the assessments are reported promptly.


3.3.78 Registration of stakeholder groups that emerge as a result of the emergency can be required in response and recovery. Typical groups are identified in paragraph 3.2.33, and established responsibilities for registration of these groups is included in Section 2.

3.3.79 Registrations are usually managed at the lowest level of the emergency response/ recovery management structure. Where no other arrangements exist, the Regional Controllers are responsible for assigning responsibilities for registrations and, in the first instance, may approach any combination of response Management Authorities, Support Agencies and Councils for assistance. The State Controller can give directions for registration responsibilities where a need for Statewide consistency in registrations is identified.

3.3.80 At any level of response Register.Find.Reunite may be activated where authorised by TASPOL, as either a registration data management tool for emergency managers or as a publicly accessible service to reduce human impacts arising from uncertainty over the safety of family and loved ones separated in a restricted communications environment. At all levels registration should be, as far as practical, undertaken in a format consistent with subsequent inclusion in Register.Find.Reunite.


3.3.81 Each organisation is responsible for debriefing its workers. Debriefs should be held as soon as possible after the response/recovery operations, while demonstrating due respect for the outcomes of the emergency. Organisations are responsible for arranging ongoing support of their workers (in addition to debriefs), as required.

3.3.82 The Regional Committees and the Senior Officer for the response Management Authority are responsible for making arrangements for multi-agency/combined debriefs to be conducted with other responding agencies. This responsibility includes recording the findings of debriefs and sharing them in the consultation framework.

3.3.83 The Regional Committees and the SEMC review the management of relevant emergencies to identify and promote opportunities for improvement in emergency management.

Finance and Records Management

3.3.84 In the first instance, organisations are responsible for absorbing their own expenses for response. In some instances these may be able to be recovered if State/Australian Government relief/cost recovery arrangements are activated, and records show the appropriate details (Refer to Appendix 5.8).

3.3.85 Records related to response are subject to the usual records management provisions and State archiving legislation and are treated accordingly. Logs, reports and briefings from response and recovery are collated progressively, and stored centrally for future reference

Arrangements between Tasmania, other Jurisdictions and the Commonwealth

Summary of Arrangements

3.3.86 Tasmania can request assistance from the Australian Government under a variety of plans and arrangements (see Appendix 5.5). Beyond established hazard-specific arrangements between Tasmania and the Australian Government, the Executive Officer to the SEMC and the State Controller are authorised to request assistance from the Australian Government using COMDISPLAN and the NCTP. Tasmania can also be requested to provide assistance in support of the Australian Government under a variety of other Australian Government plans through established liaison points. Some response Management Authorities maintain bilateral agreements for the provision of support or resources. Table 7 provides a summary of these arrangements.

Table 7: Arrangements with the Commonwealth and other Jurisdictions



National Counter Terrorism Plan

Bilateral Agency Agreements

Hazard or Function-Specific Arrangements

Tasmanian Liaison

Executive Officer, SEMC (Director, SES)

Commissioner of Police

Head of Agency

Refer relevant State plan (See Appendix 5.5)

Commonwealth or Other Jurisdiction Liaison

Attorney-General’s Department Emergency Coordination Centre

Attorney-General’s Department Emergency Coordination Centre

Head of Agency

Refer relevant national plan (See Appendix 5.5)

What kind of assistance

Commonwealth Government physical assistance in any emergency

Commonwealth Government physical assistance arising from a terrorist event

Hazard or function- specific assistance (e.g. additional fire fighting personnel)

Commonwealth assistance relevant to the hazard


Verbal advice is confirmed by fax or email with details required by COMDISPLAN

Under the COMDISPLAN the Executive Officer SEMC is the initial contact point by the AGCCC for any matters relating to emergencies involving Tasmania. The Executive Officer SEMC should keep the AGCCC informed of any significant emergencies in Tasmania unless direct liaison with AGCCC is established through another official

Director State Emergency Service and Emergency Management Australia are informed where there is a ‘need to know’ (usually related to the coordination of supporting resources)

Heads of Tasmanian Government organisations update the Director State Emergency Service when bi- lateral agreements are used (Director State Emergency Service refers to this information to enhance overall coordination)

Director State Emergency Service is informed where there is a ‘need to know’ (which is usually related to the coordination of supporting resources)

Civil Defence and Australian Defence Force Assistance

3.3.87 Under The Act, the SES is responsible for coordination of civil defence measures in Tasmania. When required, the Director SES leads this coordination in consultation with the State Controller and the Senior Officer, Joint Operation Support Section of the ADF based at Anglesea Barracks, Hobart.

3.3.88 The ADF maintains capabilities to assist civil authorities (e.g. TASPOL, TFS etc.) and other organisations on a by-request basis under two sets of arrangements enabled by the Defence Act 1903, known as:

a. Defence Force Aid to the Civil Authority (DFACA) where force is likely to be required in threat/terrorist situations, and

b. Defence Assistance to the Civil Community (DACC) where force is not likely to be required in emergency and non-emergency situations. Appendix 5.11 provides more details on these arrangements.

National Coordination

3.3.89 National coordination for response to emergencies is dependent on efficient and effective communications between the Prime Minister and the First Ministers and is underpinned by the following principles:

a. The states and territories have primary responsibility for the management of emergencies within their jurisdictions

b. When emergencies occur, the Australian Government provides certain forms of physical and financial assistance to the states and territories when requested, and may also provide financial or other assistance to individuals directly affected by an emergency

c. The Australian Government has specific responsibilities in relation to national security and defence, border control, aviation and maritime transport, quarantine, astronomical and meteorological observations, enforcement of Australian legislation and international relations, and

d. The Prime Minister and affected First Ministers will:

i. Communicate where appropriate to coordinate response to emergencies that require intergovernmental effort and resources, and


iii. Consult in relation to policy, strategy and public messaging (including key leadership messages).


3.3.90 Figure 5 shows a summary of response processes for emergency management in Tasmania.

Figure 5:
Summary Processes for Response for Tasmanian Emergency Management

Fig 5 Response for Tas emergency mgmt flowchart

3.4 Recovery


3.4.1 Effective recovery involves whole-of-government, along with its recovery partners, in planned and coordinated activities for social, economic, infrastructure and the environmental elements applying the national principles for disaster recovery (Detailed in Appendix 5.12).

Legal Requirements

3.4.2 The general legislative requirements relevant to recovery in Tasmania are outlined here and incorporated in the arrangements described later in this section. A summary of other legislation that is relevant to Tasmanian emergency management is provided in Appendix 5.3.

3.4.3 The Act outlines emergency powers (Schedule 1) and special emergency powers (Schedule 2) for authorised officers (Section 31).

3.4.4 The SEMC (Section 9) and the State Controller (Section 11) can request debrief reports for the benefit of emergency management.

3.4.5 Section 46 requires Councils to use their resources and make them available for managing emergencies in their municipal area, in accordance with the municipal plan (this includes recovery).

Current Tasmanian Arrangements


3.4.6 Recovery is an integral part of emergency management. It occurs through effective communications with emergency affected communities and can provide an opportunity to improve these aspects beyond previous conditions, contributing to a more resilient community (i.e. restoration of facilities and services may not be the most valuable course of action).

3.4.7 Initially, recovery is usually managed in close collaboration with emergency response efforts and then, if needed, transitions into a longer-term, community-centred effort that enables the community to actively participate in its own recovery. This can take time, and may even occur over the course of a number of years. It is also acknowledged that full recovery does not always occur.

3.4.8 Recovery requires a holistic approach that includes consideration of the following elements:

a. Social

b. The economy

c. Infrastructure (including the restoration/resupply of goods, services, and conditions), and

d. The environment.

3.4.9 The Tasmania Recovery State Special Plan provides information about recovery services that are provided through partnerships between local, State and Australian Governments and Non-Government Organisations, and generally include the following activities:

a. Management of recovery at the municipal level with the affected community/s

b. Ongoing assessments of consequences affecting the community, and

c. Maintenance of transparent and flexible relief assistance packages.

3.4.10 Tasmania also supports recovery of other communities by maintaining broad arrangements to complement activation of COMRECEPLAN by the Commonwealth.

3.4.11 Councils are responsible for maintaining recovery arrangements, including appointing workers to coordinate recovery activities. Often the workers holding community/economic development roles are appointed as Municipal Recovery Coordinators and Deputies. The Municipal Recovery Coordinator usually chairs the Municipal Recovery Committee (which is a sub-committee of the Municipal Emergency Management Committee). These roles provide a conduit between emergency affected people and State Government agencies for recovery support, usually in collaboration with Regional Emergency Management Committees and sub-committees. Where a Council worker is not nominated for recovery coordination, the Municipal Emergency Management Coordinator is the initial point of contact for recovery matters.

3.4.12 Regional Recovery Coordinators can be formally appointed by the Regional Emergency Management Controller and authorised to coordinate social, economic, environmental or infrastructure based service delivery. Where appointed, these Coordinators work closely with the State Emergency Service Regional Managers, Municipal Recovery Coordinators, State Service Agencies, Government businesses and relevant Non-Government Organisations and, where appropriate, chair the relevant sub-committee of the Regional Emergency Management Committee.

3.4.13 Typical considerations in recovery include, but are not limited to:

a. Assessing recovery needs across the four elements and prioritising the actions required

b. Developing, implementing and monitoring the provision of recovery activities that are aligned as much as possible with municipal long-term planning and goals

c. Enabling communication with the community and community participation in decision-making, and

d. Where possible, contributing to future mitigation requirements or improvements to planning requirements (e.g. through debrief processes).

Immediate Recovery

3.4.14 In the immediate aftermath of an emergency, recovery is mostly focused on supporting affected persons to deal with the immediate consequences of the event, and in particular to meet basic personal needs (e.g. food, water, shelter). Regional Controllers are to ensure that suitable facilities are established from which to effectively control and coordinate immediate recovery operations.

3.4.15 Councils undertake the primary role in providing recovery services in the immediate aftermath of an emergency and can be supported by a number of State Government agencies and Non-Government Organisations, depending on their capacity and the presence of support services in the area. Council assistance is usually provided in any of three main ways by:

a. Providing required assistance

b. Coordinating and prioritising provision of assistance required from external parties, and

c. Requesting that the relevant Regional Recovery Coordinator coordinates provision of the required services/support.

3.4.16 Requests for assistance from a government agency/s are made by Council to the Regional Controller or their delegate.

3.4.17 Assistance is delivered, wherever possible, from recovery centres and Councils may establish a community-based recovery group to deliver these activities (usually chaired by the Municipal Recovery Coordinator). The TEIS can also be activated to support the provision of information to affected communities, especially where they are spread over substantial geographic areas or in isolated situations. See paragraph 3.3.50 for more information.

3.4.18 Rapid impact and damage assessments that were initially coordinated by the response Management Authority provide indicators of the impact on the community and can assist to prioritise recovery activities. Ongoing assessments are carried out as required by Councils/Regional Controller, and these assessments inform the need to consider an appropriate governance structure that will assist Councils in the longer-term recovery process.

Longer Term Recovery

3.4.19 Longer-term recovery focuses on assisting the community to manage its own recovery (governed by an Affected Area Recovery Committee) through a coordinated and planned process that draws together relevant recovery partners to address the needs created by the emergency..

3.4.20 Affected Area Recovery Committees can be established through the functions and powers provided in the Emergency Management Act 2006 at State/regional level (Section 9, 11/18). The decision to establish an Affected Area Recovery Committee can result from advice/requests from:

a. The SEMC members, and

b. The Regional Controller

3.4.21 Affected Area Recovery Committees operate under the protection of The Act when the Regional/State Controller accepts the Terms of Reference developed by the committee. Appendix 5.4 provides guidance for this and a model Terms of Reference for Affected Area Recovery Committees is available at

3.4.22 The Affected Area Recovery Committee’s role is to coordinate recovery activities through information sharing and collective decision making. Typical membership of this committee is outlined in Appendix 5.4. It is usually chaired by the Mayor of the affected Council.

3.4.23 The Affected Area Recovery Committee’s priority focus is to identify appropriate processes and structures to fully engage the community during the recovery process.

3.4.24 The committee is responsible for arranging and monitoring a communications program for the duration of the recovery program. It can include, but is not limited to:

a. Forums/information sessions for the community

b. Debriefs for recovery workers, and

c. Progress reports for Council, the community, the SEMC, and any other agency/organisation as agreed. As appropriate, this includes progressive summaries/analysis of records (financial and information).

3.4.25 DPAC can coordinate State Government recovery efforts to assist Affected Area Recovery Committees.

Elements of Recovery

Social Recovery

3.4.26 Social recovery focuses on assisting the community to manage its own recovery, rebuilding emotional, social and physical well-being through a coordinated and planned process that can also include other recovery partners.

3.4.27 Councils deliver or coordinate a range of services to meet the emotional, social and physical well-being needs of emergency affected people within the municipality under the guidance of the Municipal Recovery Coordinator. The Regional Social Recovery Coordinators support Councils’ arrangements and can coordinate additional services from within the region or within the State.

3.4.28 The Regional Social Recovery Coordinators have arrangements in place to coordinate a range of services to support the emotional, social and physical well-being of emergency affected people. Through the Regional Social Recovery Committees, a state of preparedness is maintained with specific plans, training and exercises. Typical services provided and the relevant Support Agencies are noted in Section 2 of this plan (Table 5).

3.4.29 The Tasmanian Relief and Recovery Arrangements include a Personal Hardship and Distress package that can provide individuals and families with financial assistance (in line with established criteria and guidelines) following an emergency. See Appendix 5.8 for more details.

Infrastructure Recovery

3.4.30 The need for coordinated infrastructure recovery efforts (including the restoration/resupply of goods, services, and conditions) varies with each emergency. This includes, but is not limited to:

a. Water quality (especially the supply of potable/drinking quality water)

b. Waste and storm water systems

c. Other infrastructure that supports environmental and public health

d. Electricity, liquid fuels and natural gas

e. Telecommunications

f. Transport networks (repairs to roads, bridges, rail, air and sea ports)

g. Public/Government owned and operated facilities (e.g. schools, health care)

h. Points of sale for food and water for households and livestock

i. Postal, banking, medical

j. Garbage disposal

k. Public transport

l. Community radio and television

m. Management of demolition and clean-up processes, and

n. Provision of temporary replacement services so that environmental health and workplace standards can be maintained.

3.4.31 Environmental health conditions are an important component of recovery as they address health issues that can arise as the consequence of an emergency (e.g. disease, acute illness and infections) from any number of sources including, but not limited to:

a. Failure of wastewater infrastructure

b. Contamination of drinking water

c. Polluted waterways

d. Waste that can decay

e. Loss of power affecting the capacity to store food safely

f. Decreased air quality, including noxious fumes/radiation issues from leaks/spills, and

g. Deceased stock and other vermin (e.g. small animals/other pests).

3.4.32 Environmental health considerations have particular consequences for populations with existing vulnerabilities, or those that develop vulnerability due to the emergency.

3.4.33 DHHS and local Councils are responsible for overseeing and monitoring environmental health standards.

Economic Recovery

3.4.34 The Department of State Growth coordinates economic recovery arrangements as required. DPIPWE administers compensation arrangements that may be applicable in some biosecurity emergencies subject to established criteria and guidelines. DPAC and DoTF support these activities.

3.4.35 These activities are usually undertaken in consultation with affected Councils, businesses, industry groups and other relevant stakeholders and can include:

a. Provision of information to the business sector

b. Development and implementation of an economic recovery strategy, and

c. Delivery of relevant relief packages activated as part of the Tasmanian Relief and Recovery Arrangements.

3.4.36 The Tasmanian Relief and Recovery Arrangements include Local Government and Emergency Works and Recovery Assistance packages. See Appendix 5.8 for more information.

Environmental Recovery

3.4.37 As required, arrangements for environmental rehabilitation are coordinated by DPIPWE, in consultation with owners/managers of relevant property/premises, affected Council/s and the community. This includes, but is not limited to consideration of:

a. Flora

b. Fauna

c. Air/water/soil conditions, and

d. Historic and Aboriginal heritage sites.

Other Assistance and Mechanisms

3.4.38 There is a range of financial relief and assistance mechanisms that can support recovery following an emergency, including:

a. Private insurance arrangements and Insurance Council of Australia’s response arrangements

b. Guided self-help

c. Australian Government assistance, and

d. Public donations to recovery funding through community or State-coordinated appeals.


3.4.39 Individuals and businesses arrange private insurance on a risk basis. Maintaining appropriate private insurance is encouraged.

3.4.40 Insurance Council of Australia maintains a set of arrangements to coordinate insurance-related information following a significant emergency to:

a. Increase the effectiveness of insurers' efforts for their clients, and

b. Improve and simplify liaison with jurisdictional emergency management systems.

3.4.41 In the preparedness phase, the Insurance Council of Australia’s work is mostly achieved through the membership on State sub-committees. In the response phase, the plan is triggered largely by monitoring the number of client claims. For State emergency management purposes, the Insurance Council of Australia provides the Tasmanian Government with valuable early advice of likely costs incurred by emergency events.

Guided Self-Help

3.4.42 As noted in the response section, information services promoting self-help and recovery can be delivered through the range of media described in 3.3.50 and supplemented by activation of the Tasmanian Emergency Information Service (refer to paragraph 3.3.51).

Australian Government Assistance

3.4.43 While the primary responsibility for recovery rests with state and territory governments, the Commonwealth Government, working within the parameters of the Australian Government Disaster Recovery Arrangements, administered by the Australian Government Disaster Recovery Committee, supports the states and territories through tailored assistance, appropriate to the circumstances. Based on advice from the Tasmanian Premier, the Prime Minister may activate Commonwealth arrangements and develop an assistance package (with communication and/or financial elements).

3.4.44 The Minister for Social Services, in consultation with the Prime Minister, has the authority to activate the Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment when considered appropriate. This payment provides one-off financial assistance to Australians adversely affected by a major disaster (currently $1000 to an eligible adult, and an additional amount for each child for whom the adult is the principal carer). Usually, Centrelink arranges these payments and details of the payment’s availability (or otherwise) will be advertised on Factors relevant to consideration are the:

a. Scale of the emergency

b. Impact on individuals

c. Extent to which the emergency is unusual, and

d. Capacity of the State/Territory to respond.

3.4.45 The Commonwealth Government also administers a system of financial assistance to states and territories for natural disasters, known as the Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements, which are usually triggered once a state’s expenditure on natural disasters exceeds established thresholds. Tasmania’s Relief and Recovery Arrangements are aligned with these thresholds. Council recovery arrangements provide the conduit for this assistance to be delivered with a State Government partnership. The Department of Treasury and Finance is responsible for collating eligible costs for emergency events and submitting claims to the Attorney-General’s Department.

3.4.46 Where agencies incur extraordinary expenditure during recovery efforts, established State arrangements for the Requests for Additional Funds process are used to seek supplementary assistance.


3.4.47 Figure 6 shows a summary of recovery processes for emergency management in Tasmania.

Figure 6: Summary Processes for Recovery for Tasmanian Emergency Management

Fig 6 Recovery flowchart