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Emergency Management News
february 2020
Issue 2

We are keen to hear more from our Members so that we can showcase initiatives, learnings and case studies to further support the sector in their activities before, during and after an emergency. We encourage you to get in touch via email, and share what you are doing to create and support resilient communities throughout WA.

In this issue...

Resources, upcoming events and contact:

WALGA Hosts Emergency Management Roundtable
WALGA President, Councillor Lynne Craigie OAM and CEO Nick Sloan hosted an Emergency Management Roundtable on Wednesday, February 19 to capture learnings from the emergency events so far this season.  
Mayors, Presidents, CEOs and senior staff from Local Governments that have experienced emergencies over the summer months were invited to debrief their involvement in these situations, and offer insight into what they have learned. 

Participants shared what worked well, where there were opportunities for improvement and identified gaps in how the sector approaches emergencies. Overwhelmingly, the discussion demonstrated the pride the representatives had in how their Local Government and community had responded to each emergency, and also provided some points of advocacy and clarifications in policy for the Association to take up with the relevant State Government agencies to improve procedures and relationships going forward.  

The Roundtable concluded with discussion on WALGA’s activities in response to emergencies, and how Local Governments would like to be supported by WALGA when their community is affected.  A follow-up event for participants will be held in the coming months, to progress key actions and report back to the group.    
For more information, please email the Emergency Management Team.
COVID-19 Information and Resources for Local Governments
Western Australia is working closely with the Commonwealth, State and Territory jurisdictional governments to respond to the outbreak of a novel coronavirus that emerged in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China. 
WALGA has participated in three State Emergency Coordination Group (SECG) meetings to date, to discuss WA's response to novel coronavirus, now known as COVID19.

At a meeting held on Sunday, 2 February, it was agreed that all Local Governments would receive an information update on the disease from WALGA. This advice was sent out on Tuesday, 4 February. Information provided in this advice included:
  • up-to-date information is available on the HealthyWA website - this should be the main page to refer people to and has information for individuals, parents, schools and early childhood centres
  • Local Government Communications Officers are encouraged to monitor and share any HealthyWA Facebook posts about Coronavirus to your community (rather than writing their own as it is updated daily)
  • the Commonwealth has released numerous fact sheets to answer the many questions that are currently being asked by the broader community and different industries (for example, advice for hotels and hotel staff), and
  • the Coronavirus Health Information Helpline (Healthdirect) can be contacted on 1800 020 080 (24/7 queries) 
Local Governments with specific enquiries about management responses can contact their local Population Health Unit, Communicable Disease Control Unit (see below contact details for each region) or alternatively contact the Coronavirus hotline who will provide a contact to the most appropriate support officer.
All Local Government CEOs will also receive twice-weekly Agency Advisory updates from the WA Department of Health. The updates are shared on the WA Health website and can be accessed here
Registrations Open - Harnessing People Power: Increasing Local Government Support for Volunteers
WALGA invites you to attend this event, which will provide information to assist Local Government to effectively support, direct the efforts of and grow the community volunteer resource.
Date:      Tuesday, 24 March
Time:      9:00am to 3:00pm (registration from 8:30am)
Venue:   ONE70, LV1, 170 Railway Parade, West Leederville
Cost:      $99.00 (incl GST) Local Government. 
               Fees for other organisations can be found on WALGA’s website here.
RSVP:    Wednesday, 18 March

The event will showcase a number of approaches that Local Governments are using to successfully engage with volunteers.

Case studies will focus on volunteering programs in environment and sustainability, town planning, community development and emergency recovery. Information on volunteer insurance requirements, developing and nurturing partnerships, supporting community champions, and building the capacity of volunteers will apply to many volunteering areas.

Speakers include representatives from Volunteering WA, Local Government Insurance Scheme, South West Group, community volunteers, and the Local Governments of Cambridge, Cockburn, Harvey, Mosman Park, Stirling and Vincent.
Click here to view the program or register for the workshop.
Save the Date: WALGA Urban Forest Conference
WALGA, in conjunction with the Local Government Urban Forest Working Group, will host Trees in a Liveable City: An Urban Forest Conference on Friday, 17 April in Perth.

The conference will showcase achievements of the organisations involved in growing Perth's urban canopy, including best practice examples and latest research, to provide attendees with the knowledge needed to make positive change through their own roles, organisations and communities.

The themes of the conference cover urban design and planning to better accommodate canopy, planting for biodiversity, improved data outcomes, trees in a changing climate, community perceptions and behaviour change to effectively engage community, and technical workshops to improve planting outcomes. 

The conference will be of value to Local and State Government across planning, urban design, environment, sustainability, infrastructure, community and engineering portfolios; developers; consultants; academia; and the broader community.
Information on the Conference is available on the WALGA website
Engaging the Community to Prepare for Bushfire
In recent months, communities across Western Australia have experienced large-scale bushfires that have burned through millions of hectares of land, threatening lives and homes and putting emergency services to the test. 

The Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) I AM FIRE bushfire awareness campaign prompts the community to take action in preparing themselves for bushfire. 

Over 90% of WA is prone to bushfires, and this campaign aims to educate and empower the community to recognise their personal bushfire risk. Viewers of the campaign are encouraged to access the Fire Chat website to make a plan before a fire threatens. 
Local Governments can contribute to the success of the campaign by sharing these campaign materials with the local community, staff and stakeholders, and by supporting your local volunteers to encourage residents to think about their bushfire risk and act for their own safety. 
To share positive stories about your community’s preparation efforts or suggestions for media opportunities to support the campaign, please contact DFES.
Knowledge-into-Action Briefs for Bushfire Recovery
The Australian Institute for Disaster Resilience (AIDR) is developing Knowledge-into-Action briefs for people who are supporting communities to recover from the bushfire crisis.

These short and sharp Knowledge-into-Action briefs aim to help those working in the the aftermath of the bushfire crisis to get up to speed with nationally agreed best practice and processes. The briefs are focused on community recovery and spontaneous volunteers and provide useful information and links to support those working in Local Government.
The briefs on Community Recovery and Spontaneous Volunteers are available on the AIDR website.
Construction of the Bushfire Centre of Excellence Set to Commence
To celebrate the milestone, a traditional smoking ceremony and turning of the sod was held on Thursday, 30 January at the future site in the Peel Business Park, Nambeelup in the Shire of Murray.   
Attendees included Premier, Hon. Mark McGowan MLA; Minister for Emergency Services, Hon. Francis Logan MLA; Minister for Local Government, Hon. David Templeman MLA; Fire and Emergency Services Commissioner, Darren Klemm AFSM and Member for Murray-Wellington, Mrs. Robyn Clarke MLA. 

The occasion also marked the release of the first concept images of the building.The building will consist of an administration wing and a training wing linking off opposite sides of a central foyer to form a boomerang shape. 

To view the concept images and for more information visit the DFES website
Ben Sign Update
The beach emergency numbers (BEN) system is a coding system that aims to improve emergency response times by installing signs with unique codes at public beach access points.
These signs provide specific location information, vital when emergency services are deployed in the event of a shark sighting, attack or other beach emergencies. DPIRD Provides an update on BEN sign activity each month. To subscribe to the updates, please contact BEN Sign Program Coordinator, Marion Massam.

Information from the most recent update included: 
  • as of January 2020, WA Police had logged 305 requests for police assistance (via 000 calls) where the use of BEN signs provided important location information. Only 12 requests were noted as shark-related
  • St John Ambulance had received 109 requests for ambulance attendance referencing BEN signs
  • the Cockburn Surf Lifesaving Club recently arranged for their Automated External Defibrillator (AED) sign to be co-located with the relevant BEN Sign (see image) and
  • Local Governments are encouraged to ensure that they are promoting the app SharkSmart WA app, rather than NSW. The app can be customised to display and push information about your favourite beaches, and will display the nearest BEN Sign if it is necessary to call for help or report a shark sighting.
Information and resources on BEN Signs can be found here. BEN Sign locations can be found on the SharkSmart website and app.
Consultation Open: State Hazard Plan HAZMAT Space Re-entry Debris
The State Emergency Management Policy Branch is seeking feedback on the proposed amended State Hazard Plan HAZMAT Annex B Space Re-entry Debris (SPRED).

The Western Australian Police Force has completed a review of the SPRED, including proposed amendments. Local Governments and stakeholders are encouraged to comment on the amendments, to help identify and address any concerns prior to endorsement and approval from the State Emergency Management Committee (SEMC).

The SPRED provides an overview of arrangements for the management of space re-entry debris (emergencies in Western Australia, in accordance with the Australian Government Space Re-entry Debris Plan (AUSSPREDPLAN). It contains information on prevention, preparedness, response and initial recovery.

The consultation is being conducted via Social Pinpoint, and will close on Friday, April 3
Click here to view the document and provide feedback. 
WA Local Governments to Receive DRFAWA Funding for Tropical Cyclone Damien Damage
The Fire and Emergency Services Commissioner, Darren Klemm, has activated the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements - Western Australia (DRFA-WA) 2018 for the event ‘AGRN899 Tropical Cyclone Damien and Associated Flooding (4-9 February 2020)’
The Shires of Ashburton, Karratha, Meekatharra, Halls Creek and Upper Gascoyne and the Town of Port Hedland will be the Local Government recipients of this DRFAWA activation. 

Information on current and past events is located here
More information on eligible costs, the claims process and required documentation for Local Governments can be accessed here
AIDR Conference Call for Abstracts Extended
Due to a challenging start to the season, the Australian Disaster Resilience Conference is extending its Call for Abstracts to Friday, 28 February. 
The Australian Disaster Resilience Conference returns for its third year, hosted in Adelaide on Wednesday & Thursday, 26 & 27 August.

The conference will take a deeper look at what taking action on reducing disaster risk and its impacts looks like in practice in the context of a changing climate, and how reducing risk contributes to the resilience of our nation.

The conference will be an opportunity to learn from leading examples across multiple sectors with a focus on application and real world outcomes through the theme: Disaster Risk Reduction in Action: Pathways to Impact.
Click here for more information and to submit an abstract. 
Animal Welfare in Emergencies Factsheets for Owners and Carers

Emergency WA
 - Alerts and warnings about cyclones, fires, floods, storms, earthquakes, hazardous material incidents and more.

Main Roads WA Travel Map

Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA-WA)
Emergency Management Training and Events
Harnessing People Power: Increasing Local Government Support for Volunteers
Tuesday, March 24.
Please express your interest by emailing the Environment Team.

WALGA Urban Forest Conference
Friday, 17 April.
Please express your interest by emailing the Environment Team.

Participate in Local Government Emergency Management Preparation - One-day course
Thursday, 5 March 
Monday, 8 June
Monday, 21 September 

Manage Recovery Activities for Local Government - One-day course
Friday, 6 March
Tuesday, 9 June
Tuesday, 22 September 

Local Recovery Coordinator - Two-day course
Monday & Tuesday, 30 & 31 March
Thursday & Friday, 25 & 26 June
Monday & Tuesday, 26 & 27 October

Emergency Management Fundamentals
Available online

AIIMS Awareness
Available online

Who Should Attend WALGA Training? CEOs, Elected Members, Managers and Officers who would like to enhance their role in emergency management and/or learn more about the recovery requirements for Local Government.
Member Representation
Month of February
  • All Hazards Liaison Group Meetings
  • State Emergency Coordination Group 
  • IBOC Bushfire Research Committee
  • IBOC Fire Weather Subcommittee
  • National Disaster Risk Reduction Framework - WA Implementation
  • Committee for Animal Welfare in Emergencies
  • State Welfare Emergency Committee
  • WALGA Emergency Management Roundtable
If you have any questions or require more information, please email: Subscribe to our newsletters: .
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West Leederville, WA 6007
PO Box 1544, West Perth, WA 6872
Tel: (08) 9213 2000 | Fax: (08) 9213 2077
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WALGA · ONE70, Level 1, Railway Parade · West Leederville, WA 6007 · Australia