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Queensland Disaster Management Alliance

Background

The Queensland Disaster Management Alliance is a joint initiative between the Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ) and the Department of Community Safety (DCS) in establishing a collaborative approach to disaster management planning, preparedness, mitigation, response and recovery in Queensland.

Aim of the Alliance

The aim of the Alliance is to ensure that changes to disaster management are implemented in an effective and efficient way that will result in improved community safety and increased community resilience.

The Alliance is focused on six strategic directions as follows:

  1. Enhance existing and, where necessary, develop new collaborative mechanisms, capacities and relationships to ensure relevant, cost effective and coordinated disaster mitigation and management at the local, regional and state levels.
  2. Enhance local governments' capacity, supported by State and Australian governments, to conduct local risk assessments and undertake disaster risk reduction and mitigation activities to improve community safety and sustainability while contributing to regional and State-level risk assessment, disaster mitigation and management.
  3. Enhance local governments' ability to conduct comprehensive emergency and disaster management planning and programming that enables effective readiness and improved community resilience commensurate with identified local risks and community need.
  4. Enhance local governments' ability to develop and provide effective response, relief and recovery arrangements commensurate with identified local risks and community need.
  5. Enhance state and local government capacity to participate in post emergency and disaster assessment and analysis to ensure continuous improvement in emergency and disaster management at the local and regional levels.
  6. Support emergency service volunteers to ensure they are resourced, trained, protected and supported to provide an effective local emergency and disaster response capability.

Drivers of change

The formation of the Alliance recognises that there are numerous drivers of change in Disaster Management both nationally in within Queensland. Key among these are the disaster reform commitments detailed in the Council of Australian Government (COAG) Report: Natural Disasters in Australia- reforming mitigation, relief and recovery arrangements. This report contained 12 reform commitments that emphasised:

  • Introduction of a systematic and rigorous risk assessment processes to support planning for disasters;
  • Improved land use planning, development and building control regimes that include measures to reduce disaster risk.
  • A need to develop disaster mitigation strategies across all levels of Government;
  • Implementation of mitigation initiatives that make infrastructure more resilient;
  • Improved community awareness, education, and warnings;
  • Support to emergency management volunteers to enhance their ability to support their communities; and
  • Improved collaboration and coordination in implementation of these reforms.

The Alliance is also focused on implementing reforms identified by the Queensland Audit Office Report No 2 - Audit of the Queensland Disaster Management System (2004). This report indicated that there is a need to give greater priority to risk identification, analysis, assessment, treatment, monitoring and review processes at all levels of government. The report also identified a need to improve governance and accountability within the Disaster Management System with emphasis on consistency, standardisation and monitoring of disaster management arrangements and plans.

These drivers of change led to the new Disaster Management Act, 2003 which seeks to provide a legislative framework to meet the above reform agenda. The Alliance, as a collaborative partnership, recognises the critical role that Local Governments play in planning for and managing disasters that impact on their communities.

By entering into the Alliance partnership, DCS and Local Governments now have a framework that fosters collaboration and coordination in achieving disaster management reform. In doing so, the Alliance seeks to ensure that all levels of Government are able to contribute to effective disaster management commensurate with identified risk and community needs.