VolunteersEmergency management in Western Australia is based on an "all hazards" approach. The roles and responsibilities of agencies and organisations are defined under the Emergency Management Act 2005 and the Emergency Management Regulations 2006.

State Emergency Management Policies and Procedures (Westplans) are prepared by the State Emergency Management Committee (SEMC) to support the emergency management legislation.

The SEMC has identified the seven natural hazards that are most likely to impact on Western Australia as storm, earthquake, bush fire, tsunami, heatwave, cyclone and flood.

In addition to natural hazards, Western Australia could also be subject to a series of other such as transport emergencies, health related emergencies such as pandemics or animal and plant bio-security hazards, infrastructure failure and technical hazards such as chemical and marine oil spills.

For more information regarding emergency management legislation in Western Australia visit the State Law Publisher website.

For more information regarding Western Australian state emergency management policies visit the Office of Emergency Management website.  

The Emergency Management Act 2005 (EM Act) allows for the prescription of Hazard Management Agencies (HMAs). HMAs are prescribed given their functions under written law or because they have specialised knowledge, expertise and resources in respect to a particular hazard. HMAs will nearly always be responsible for leading a response to an emergency involving a hazard for which they are responsible.

Combat agencies or support organisations are those organisation that, because of their specialised knowledge, expertise and resources, work alongside and under the direction of the an HMA in response to an emergency. These organisations may undertake the specific emergency management activities or support functions for which they are prescribed under the emergency management legislation.

HMAs will nearly always be responsible for leading a response to an emergency relating to a hazard for which they are prescribed.

The term “Controlling Agency” is used to refer to an agency nominated (through legislation or by agreement with the HMA) to control the response activities to an incident. This is usually, but not always the HMA. The Controlling Agency appoints an Incident Controller who is in charge of the incident and may appoint an Operational Area Manager for strategic management of a Level 3 emergency.

Following table lists the agencies responsible for the following hazards:

Hazard

HMA

1

Road Crash

WA Police

2

Air Crash

WA Police

3

Terrorist Act

WA Police

4

Land Search and Rescue

WA Police

5

Marine Search and Rescue

WA Police

6

Radiation Escape (Nuclear Powered Warships)

WA Police

7

Space Re-Entry Debris (SPRED)

WA Police

8

Collapse (Structural)

Dept Fire and Emergency Services (DFES)

9

Cyclone

DFES

10

Earthquake

DFES

11

Flood

DFES

12

Storm

DFES

13

Tsunami

DFES

14

Fire

DFES

15

HAZMAT - Chemical

DFES

16

HAZMAT - Radiological

DFES

17

HAZMAT - Biological

WA Health

18

Human Epidemic

WA Health

19

Heatwave

WA Health

20

Marine Transport Emergency

Dept Transport - Marine

21

Marine Oil Pollution

Dept Transport - Marine

22

Gas Supply Disruption

Public Utilities Office

23

Liquid Fuel Supply Disruption

Public Utilities Office

24

Electricity Supply Disruption

Public Utilities Office

25

Animal and Plant Biosecurity

Dept Agriculture and Food WA

26

Rail Crash (PTA Network)

Dept Transport

27

Rail Crash (Brookfield Rail Network)

Brookfield Rail

A combat agency or support organisation may be prescribed under a written law or because of specialised knowledge, expertise and resources in dealing with a particular type of hazard or emergency management activity.

They work alongside and under the direction of the Controlling Agency in response to an emergency and undertake the specific emergency management activities or support functions for which they are prescribed under the legislation. Combat agencies are listed in the Emergency Management Regulations 2006.

Examples of combat agencies include Department of Parks and Wildlife and local government both of whom have combat agency responsibility for fire suppression. They will work alongside the Department of Fire and Emergency Services who is the HMA for fire. However, each one of these agencies could be the Controlling Agency of the fire emergency, depending on the location and other circumstances of the fire.