Emergency arrangements

Emergency Planning Arrangements

The ACT Emergency Plan describes the responsibilities, authorities and the mechanisms to prevent, or if they occur, manage emergencies and their consequences within the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) in accordance with the requirements of the ACT Emergencies Act 2004.

The objectives of ACT Emergency Plan are to:

  • outline the principles for emergency management in the ACT;
  • describe how the components of ACT emergency management work together under a single, comprehensive and flexible framework;
  • identify roles and responsibilities related to identified hazards and associated emergencies;
  • identify, in relation to each different form of hazard, the lead response agency primarily responsible for controlling the response to the emergency;
  • provide for the coordination of the activities of other agencies in the Territory and elsewhere in support of a lead response agency in the event of an emergency; and
  • identify the key roles and responsibilities that may be activated during an emergency.

Hazard Specific Plans, Supporting Plans and Operational Plans are developed to underpin the strategic arrangements in the plan and may be prepared when the management arrangements necessary to deal with the effects of the hazard or the supporting function:

  • differ from the routine operational and coordination arrangements of agencies;
  • has the potential to have a significant impact on life, property or the environment of the ACT;
  • require the application of the resources and capability of multiple ACT directorates or cross jurisdictional resources

Hazard Specific Plans

Hazard Specific Sub Plans are prepared to ensure the delivery of comprehensive emergency management arrangements relevant to a particular hazard. Examples of hazards requiring sub plans include Bushfires, Flood, Extreme Heat, Animal Disease or Hazardous Materials.

Agencies are identified for specific hazards for the coordination of resources, information and knowledge for each hazard and undertake the appropriate level of emergency planning. In general, this Agency will be Lead Response Agency for the particular hazard.

Supporting Plans

Supporting Sub Plans will also be prepared where operational arrangements and functions may required as part of the response to range of hazards, such as arrangements for recovery, mass casualty and fatality management.  These plans will generally be focussed on functional arrangements to provide support to lead response agencies.

Operational Plans

As required, operational plans, procedures and doctrines may be prepared to support emergency management arrangements in the ACT. These arrangements will usually be agency specific, and do not form specific sub plans to the Plan.

They may include operational plans for significant events, such as mass gatherings and major community events or operational procedures and doctrine to assist agencies in responding to incidents

The ACT has a number of strategic forums responsible for the development and maintenance of crisis and consequence management policy.  These include:

Governance Arrangements

Security and Emergency Management Committee of Cabinet (SEMC)

The Security and Emergency Management Committee of Cabinet (SEMC) provides general strategic direction to the ACT Governments prevention and preparedness arrangements for emergencies under the all-hazards planning framework.

Membership and governance of SEMC is established in the ACT Government Cabinet Handbook (2009), or subsequent revisions.

Security and Emergency Management Senior Officials Group (SEMSOG)

SEMSOG is the forum for ensuring cooperation and coordination of activities between ACT Government directorates in planning for and responding to emergencies.

In exercising its functions, SEMSOG seeks to:

  • enhance emergency management capabilities, reduce community vulnerability to the effects of emergencies, and improve emergency management awareness and training;
  • coordinate and develop whole of government emergency management policy arrangements and related sub plans;
  • provide for the coordination and review of specific emergency management matters between government entities for consideration by the SEMC;
  • provide advice to the Minister for Police and Emergency Services and the Chief Minister about security and emergency management, and support the Emergency Services Commissioner in emergency management; and
  • provide policy advice to the Emergency Controller and Cabinet during emergencies.

Security and Emergency Management Planning Group (SEMPG)

The Security and Emergency Management Planning Group (SEMPG) comprises officials from all relevant ACT Government directorates. SEMPG is tasked with developing, implementing and reviewing specific protective security, counter terrorism and emergency management plans and procedures.

Where appropriate, SEMPG may review the management of emergencies that have occurred in the region to identify and promote opportunities for improved emergency management.

SEMPG reports to SEMSOG and may be supported by sub committees or working groups as required.

Contact for emergency management matters

Emergency Management Officer
Emergency Management, Risk & Spatial Services
GPO Box 158
Canberra City ACT 2601

Tel: (02) 6207 7920
Email: emergencymanagement@act.gov.au