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Emergency law and the Emergency Management Act 2005 (WA) Michael Eburn Senior Lecturer School of Law (UNE, Armidale, NSW)

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Presentation on theme: "Emergency law and the Emergency Management Act 2005 (WA) Michael Eburn Senior Lecturer School of Law (UNE, Armidale, NSW)"— Presentation transcript:

1 Emergency law and the Emergency Management Act 2005 (WA) Michael Eburn Senior Lecturer School of Law (UNE, Armidale, NSW)

2 Federal

3 Role of the Commonwealth Provides money (Social Security Act 1991 (Cth)) Provides resources – military and commonwealth assets May help coordinates interstate and international assistance (see COMDISPLAN). No direct management responsibility for EM – terrorism aside.

4 State

5 State level Primary responsibility for EM Establishes the Emergency Services and Local Governments and defines their roles. The State takes control when the event is beyond the capacity of the local or region authorities.

6 Local

7 Most emergencies are local, managed by local authorities Local Government must manage the recovery of their community, with assistance from State and Commonwealth authorities.

8

9 The stages of EM Prevent Prepare Respond and Recover

10 Preparation – the EMC SEMC DEMC LEMC and Local Govt

11 The EMC Establishes and maintains effective emergency management plans (ss 14-20; 32 and 39). The SEMC can direct other authorities and committees and set State wide policy (s 20).

12 Prepare – the Coordinator State, District and Local Emergency Coordinator. The State Coordinator is the Commissioner of Police (s 10) – others dont need to be police. Coordinators, at this stage, assist the EMC in preparing plans (s 11, 30 and 37(4)). The State Coordinator can enter into arrangements with those outside the State to assist when reqd (s 11(3)).

13 Response Who are the hazard management agencies? –Police and –FESA Emergency Management Regulation 2006 (WA) s 15.

14 Police (a)air crash; (b)road crash; (c)persons lost or in distress on land, requiring significant coordination of search operations; (d)persons lost or in distress on inland waterways within the limits of a port or in a fishing vessel or pleasure craft within the limits of a port or at sea; (e)radiation escape from nuclear powered warship; (f)space re-entry debris; (g)a terrorist act as defined in The Criminal Code section set out in the Schedule to the Criminal Code Act 1995 of the Commonwealth. Emergency Management Regulation 2006 (WA) s 15.

15 FESA (a) injury or threat to life of persons trapped by the collapse of a structure or landform; (b) cyclone; (c) earthquake; (d) flood; (e) storm; (f) tsunami; (g) actual or impending spillage, release or escape of a chemical, radiological or other substance that is capable of causing loss of life, injury to a person or damage to the health of a person, property or the environment. Emergency Management Regulation 2006 (WA) s 15.

16 Response – normal hazard Hazard Management Agency Combat AgencySupport Agency Coordinator

17 Emergency Situation Hazard management authority may declare an emergency situation (s 50). Hazard Management Officers are then given extra powers to control the hazard and its impacts (s 55 and Part 6).

18 Response – State of Emergency State Coordinator Hazard Management Agency Combat AgencySupport Agency SECGSDC

19 Recover This is a key local government responsibility (s 36(b)).

20 Local Government – s 36 It is a function of a local government (a)subject to this Act, to ensure that effective local emergency management arrangements are prepared and maintained for its district; (b)to manage recovery following an emergency affecting the community in its district; and (c)to perform other functions given to the local government under this Act.

21 Other functions Be represented on SEMC (s 13(2)); Perform such roles as allocated by the SEMC (s 20); Be represented on SECG (s 26); Be consulted (via LEMC) on chair of DEMC (s 31(2)) Develop Emergency Plan (s 41) Develop Recovery Plan and appoint Recovery coordinator (ss 41-43)

22 In short … Local government appoints the LEMC. Coordinates, via the LEMC the development of emergency plans – subject to direction by SEMC. Coordinates recovery post event.

23 Consequences? An action in tort does not lie against the State, a Minister, the State Emergency Coordinator, a local government or an official for anything done, in good faith, under this Act. (s 100(1)). anything done includes not doing something (s 100(5)).

24 Other tort issues You cant sue government authorities in negligence if that would be inconsistent with the Act.

25 This Act Provides for compensation to people affected by decisions (ss 78 – 83); Extends insurance cover to include damage done by responders (s 84) Provides for compensation to volunteers (s 101). (See Board of Fire Commissioners v Rowland [1960] SR(NSW) 322).

26 But if you dont … Political –Repercussions from the Community –Action under Local Government Act 1995 (WA) Other – Need to explain to the Royal Commissioner or Coroner –Your job

27 Any questions? Thank you for your attention. Michael Eburn P: (02) M: F: (02) E: W:


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