Councils play an important role in Tasmania’s emergency management and have a long history in emergency response and community recovery. Councils play a critical role in emergency management prevention, planning, response and recovery. In recognition of this role Local Government is a key partner to the Tasmanian Emergency Management Arrangements (TEMA), established under the Emergency Management Act 2006. Additionally, Local Government plays a critical role in coordinating municipal emergency management committees.
Did you know?
Investment in mitigation saves money overall. For example, - cost benefit analysis of the City of Launceston flood levy showed the benefits of the levy significantly outweighed the costs that would have been incurred from flood damages.
According the Productivity Commission’s 2014 report, 97% of disaster funding in Australia is spent on post-disaster relief and recovery.
The costs associated with natural disasters are expected to increase to $39.3 billion per year nationally by 2050 – this equates to around $600 million for Tasmania.
How LGAT is advocating for our Members
As a key stakeholder in emergency management, the voice of Local Government is critical. LGAT supports councils through advocacy, guidance and practical assistance to enable councils to best undertake their roles and responsibilities in preparing communities for emergencies and supporting them in recovery. LGAT also represents Local Government on state level committees and working groups.
LGAT continues to actively engage with the sector and both levels of government on issues relating to emergency management, which is an area currently under heavy reform and review.
Some examples of outcomes LGAT has delivered emergency management include:
- State Government provision of ongoing funding for flood policy capability within the State Emergency Service;
- State Government funding for three State Emergency Service planning officers to support municipal committees and coordinators in emergency management;
- The inclusion of day labour as an allowable expense in the new Local Government Relief and Recovery Policy;
- Additional tools and support to councils in their application for reimbursement under the Local Government Relief and Recovery Policy;
- LGAT Representation on the State Emergency Management Committee;
- Support for councils in response to COVID-19; (see COVID-19 and Community Recovery page)
- Progress in ensuring that the roles and responsibilities of Crown land in emergency management recovery are documented and understood.
LGAT has also worked with the sector and stakeholders to embed new processes and develop tools to support their roles in emergency management. Some of the recent projects include:
A new registration process in evacuation centres
LGAT worked with the sector and State government to develop a new app to support councils registering evacuees in evacuation centres. Learning from the previous natural disasters demonstrated that the existing registration process was not fit for purpose and a new system needed to be developed to ensure efficient and safe management of evacuees within evacuation centres.
Municipal Emergency Management Guidelines
LGAT and the State Emergency Service updated the Municipal Emergency Management Guidelines to support Municipal Emergency Management Committees in fulfilling their roles and responsibilities under the Emergency Management Act 2006. The Guidelines provide a great resource for people involved in Municipal Emergency Management Committees and those who wish to get a better understanding of the role and responsibilities of the Committees.
Protocol for resource sharing in emergencies
The need for a resource sharing protocol for emergency response and recovery for Tasmanian Councils was identified in 2012 and was subsequently developed and supported. The original protocol was reviewed and updated in 2018 with councils recommitting to the protocol.
The intention of the Protocol is to have an agreed position between councils regarding the provision of council resources (human, equipment and facilities) to assist other councils with response and recovery tasks during emergencies.
The protocol for emergency response and recovery for Tasmanian Councils can be accessed on the LGAT Extranet
LGAT will continue to advocate on behalf of the sector on a number of issues, including:
- LGAT will work with the sector to inform legislative reviews which currently include the Fire Service Act 1979 and the Bushfire Mitigation Bill;
- Funding to support local mitigation projects, including improvements to the grant funding split to includ a 1/3 contribution from each tier of government;
- Additional support to building capacity and capability in emergency management at the municipal level;
- Commitment from the State government to fund the ‘State Resilience Strategy’;
- Increased direct investment by the State government in emergency management and less reliance on Federal Government funding to support state policy development; and
- Changes to recovery funding to support post-disaster asset betterment and funding to support the reconstruction of community assets