Queensland leading disaster management in Australia

A comprehensive program of reviews and assurance activities during 2016-17 has cemented Queensland’s position at the forefront of disaster management in Australia.

Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Services Mark Ryan said the Office of the Inspector-General Emergency Management had crafted a carefully planned program of initiatives and review activities during the financial year, designed to ensure the best possible disaster management arrangements were in place for all Queenslanders.

In tabling the Office of the Inspector-General Emergency Management 2016-17 Annual Report today, Minister Ryan said the essence of the suite of review and assurance activities was to enshrine a culture of continuous improvement within all segments of the disaster management system and maintain the State’s cutting edge position in delivering superior services and arrangements.

The Office of the Inspector-General Emergency Management’s schedule of reviews for 2016-17 included:

the commencement of a major review into the effectiveness of disaster management arrangements associated with Severe Tropical Cyclone Debbie

a review into the capability of the Mackay Disaster District to deliver effective disaster management outcomes

a review and assessment of the State Disaster Management Plan and its implementation, and

the commencement of a review of evacuation management arrangements to ensure community preparedness.  

In support of the reviews, Minister Ryan said a wide-ranging program of initiatives and assurance activities had also been undertaken as part of the on-going drive towards disaster management excellence and development of enhanced disaster management capability and effectiveness within the State.

These activities included:

facilitation of the rapidly-expanding Disaster Management Officers (DMO) Network, including a forum in Mackay in May attended by approximately 70 attendees

partnership with the Local Government Association of Queensland in delivering 10 disaster management workshops across the State following the local Government elections in 2016

the public release of a discussion paper on the review of documentation relating to 152 disaster management exercises conducted between 2010 and 2015

facilitation of a lexicon project to promote common language across the disaster management sector

completion of an annual assessment of local government and district group plans, processes and activities in achieving the key outcomes of the Queensland’s Standard for Disaster Management, and

workshops with key stakeholders including Queensland Health and the State Disaster Coordination Group to further embed the Emergency Management Assurance Framework and the Standard for Disaster Management into the disaster management sector.

On the basis of extensive stakeholder feedback, Minister Ryan said the Office of the Inspector-General Emergency Management had also driven the establishment of a research framework during 2016-17 to nurture partnerships, cooperation and understanding between academic institutions, government agencies and disaster management practitioners and significantly boost evidence-based decision-making in disaster management in Queensland.

As part of the broader work with the tertiary sector in 2016-17, the Office:

completed research on best practice emergency supply including guiding principles, lessons and an action framework, in partnership with Griffith University

developed a database of more than 70 university researchers specialising in disaster and emergency management to potentially work with disaster management practitioners

undertook a 10 week study into the potential use of immersive technologies in the disaster management sphere utilising a Queensland University of Technology intern

began scoping work with QUT to potentially undertake a proof-of-concept project using augmented and/or virtual reality regarding evacuation at the university’s Gardens Point campus, and

continued support of undergraduate studies and development of a statically robust database regarding disaster management topics with QUT.

Minister Ryan said the work of the Office and contribution to disaster management excellence had been reflected in 2016-17 customer satisfaction results where, overall, 87% of stakeholders were either “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with the services and advice provided by the Office.

“The Office of the Inspector-General Emergency Management is clearly driving significant improvement within the disaster management sphere within Queensland, year on year,” Minister Ryan said.

“Through the work of the Inspector-General and his Office, the Palaszczuk Government is committed to building safe, caring and connected communities and ensuring the best possible disaster management arrangements are in place for all Queenslanders.”

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