Local Government Responsibilities
Western Australia is subject to a wide variety of hazards that have the potential to cause loss of life and damage to infrastructure and the environment.
The Emergency Management Act 2005 was proclaimed 'to provide for prompt and coordinated organisation of emergency management in the State, and for related purposes'. Local government have an important part to play in planning for, responding to and assisting local communities to recover for an emergency event.
The City of Albany aims to:
- have an active and well prepared community that is resilient to emergencies;
- collaboratively liaise with the Local Emergency Management Committee to develop local emergency management plans; and
- provide effective recovery services to our community if affected by disaster.
Local Government is recognised as the closest level of government to their communities and have access to specialised knowledge about their communities. It is therefore the function of Local Government under the Emergency Management Act 2005 to establish a Local Emergency Management Committee (LEMC), in consultation with the LEMC to prepare and maintain effective emergency management arrangements for its district and to manage recovery following an emergency affecting communities in its district.
The LEMC membership includes representatives from agencies that play a role in emergency management in the Albany region. This includes the City of Albany, WA Police, WA Country Health Service, Department of Fire and Emergency Services, St John Ambulance, Department of Parks and Wildlife, State Emergency Service, City of Albany Volunteer Bush Fire Brigades, Department of Transport, Department of Child Protection and Family Services, Main Roads WA, Western Power, Water Corporation, Telstra, Department of Agriculture and Food WA, Brookfield Rail, Albany Volunteer Marine Rescue, Atco Gas, Department of Education, Albany Ports, ABC Radio, Bureau of Meteorology, Department of Health and Albany Surf Life Saving Club.
At quarterly meetings, the LEMC takes a coordinated strategic approach to identifying the risk posed by emergency events and planning the prevention, preparedness, response and recovery activities that will assist in reducing the impact of these events on the local community.
This includes conducting regular emergency exercises to test the efficiency of the procedures of agencies responding to or managing recovery from an emergency and making improvements based on lessons learnt.
The BFAC membership includes one or two elected Councillors, the Chief Bush Fire Control Officer, the Chair of the Bush Fire Advisory Group and representatives from the Department of Fire and Emergency Service, the Department of Parks & Wildlife and City of Albany staff. The functions of the City of Albany Bush Fire Advisory Committee include:
- To consider operational matters received from Bush Fire Advisory Group (BFAG) and provide recommendations to Council.
- To consider nominations for the position of Chief Bush Fire Control Officer and Deputy Chief Fire Control Officer and make recommendations to the City of Albany’s Chief Executive Officer.
- Advise and assist the City of Albany in ensuring that local risk management plans pertaining to bush fire are established and maintained.
- Liaise with the Bush Fire Advisory Group, other emergency management agencies and other supporting agencies in the testing of local bush fire risk management plans.
- Support the City of Albany to ensure appropriate and timely training programs are developed and delivered to volunteer bush fire brigade members, including on-going scenario-based training.
- Advise the City of Albany on operational and administrative matters relating bush fire prevention, preparedness, response and recovery, as per relevant legislation and policies.
- Advise and assist the City of Albany in the development of bush fire community engagement and education programs.
- Facilitate and foster open communication and cooperation with other fire and emergency agencies and neighbouring local governments.
Under the Bush Fires Act 1954, local governments may establish and maintain bush fire brigades. The City of Albany administers 16 Volunteer Bush Fire Brigades comprising around 700 members, who respond to bush fires emergencies and assist residents in preparing and planning for bush fire prevention.
Volunteer bush fire brigades carry out a vital community service for the City of Albany. Brigades are always seeking new members and welcome people who are prepared to join, carry out training and assist in fire prevention, firefighting or incident support. It is a great way to make friends, get to know your community and make an important contribution. To join visit the Become a Volunteer page.
The City of Albany Strategic Bush Fire Plan 2014 - 2019 documents the City's plans in relation to prevention, preparedness and response to bush fires within the municipality. The plan aligns with the contents of the State Emergency Management Plan WESTPLAN - FIRE.
Click here to view the City of Albany Strategic Bush Fire Plan 2014 - 2019.