26 September 2023

New Agency to take on Emergency Management

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Australia’s preparedness, response and recovery from natural disasters is to be strengthened with the establishment of a new organisation, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).

Welcoming the new Agency, the Minister for Emergency Management, Murray Watt said NEMA would bring together the capabilities of the Department of Home Affairs’ Emergency Management Australia and its National Recovery and Resilience Agency into a single Agency for the first time.

Mr Watt said the new organisation would lead the country’s disaster and emergency management efforts, in partnership with the States, Territories and the community.

“NEMA will do this by providing informed strategic oversight and guidance of how we will deal with and prepare for emergencies in this country,” Mr Watt said.

“Previously Australia’s disaster response and recovery Agencies were kept separate, but the new, single Agency will provide end-to-end support,” he said.

“It will lead the Commonwealth’s efforts to prepare for future disasters, respond when disaster strikes and remain deeply connected with communities during recovery.”

Mr Watt said this would ensure a much-improved response from the Federal Government in times of emergency and give people the support they needed to recover.

He said NEMA would also drive long-term resilience and preparedness, “which is increasingly important in the face of longer and more intense natural disasters due to climate change”.

“As well as costing lives and livelihoods, disasters cost Australia $38 billion per year on average, with that cost estimated to reach at least $73 billion per year by 2060,” the Minister said.

“The best way we can collectively deal with more frequent and severe disasters is to be better prepared and adapt to the effects of climate change.”

Mr Watt said the new Agency would provide national leadership and strategic coordination for emergencies and disaster preparedness, response, relief, recovery, reconstruction, risk reduction and resilience across all levels of Government and sectors.

Further information about the new NEMA can be accessed at this PS News link.

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