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Emergency Management News
April 2021
WALGA
Issue 4

We're 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.

WALGA acknowledges the many traditional owners of the land on which we work throughout Western Australia. We pay our respects to their Elders, past, present and emerging.

In this issue...

Resources, upcoming events and contact:

Tropical Cyclone Seroja
WALGA would like to recognise the resilience of the Local Governments and communities impacted by Tropical Cyclone Seroja.
The extreme-weather event was a rare incident and reached parts of WA that have not experienced such an event before. More than 1000 residential and business properties across 35,000 square kilometres were damaged. Currently clean-up operations are underway across 13 affected Local Government areas. 

As such this edition of Emergency Management News contains a number of items for Local Governments impacted or looking to provide assistance, as well as information and resources on extreme weather events.
Resource Support for Local Governments Impacted by Tropical Cyclone Seroja
WALGA is seeking expressions of interest from Local Government staff who may be able to provide assistance to Local Governments impacted by Tropical Cyclone Seroja. 
A large number of Local Governments and their communities in WALGA’s Northern Country, Avon-Midland and Great Eastern Zones have been significantly impacted by Tropical Cyclone Seroja.

As these Local Governments move into what will be a long running recovery phase of this emergency, many will require additional support in order to manage recovery activities as well as deliver business as usual services.

WALGA is seeking Expressions of Interest from Local Government staff to assist these Local Governments over the coming months. A wide variety of skill sets will be required, including rates and finance skills, emergency management, community development, environmental health, building surveying, administration and others.

Email WALGA's Emergency Management team for further information.

Please find a link to a survey here where you can provide details of the assistance that your Local Government is able to provide.
WALGA's Role in an Emergency
As the peak industry body, WALGA advocates for Local Governments during emergencies and liaises with State agencies and stakeholders to assist Local Governments.
WALGA maintains situational awareness and communicates Local Government issues through attendance at All Hazards Liaison Group meetings, which are convened by DFES and involve all key agencies involved in emergency management response and recovery.

WALGA CEO Nick Sloan also attends State Emergency Coordination Group (SECG) meetings alongside senior State Government officials and key related stakeholders.

WALGA assists agencies and stakeholders in sharing information to and from local Governments during emergencies.
For more information, email Policy Manager, Resilient Communities Susie Moir or call 9213 2058 or email Policy Officer, Resilient Communities Cassandra Mora or call 9213 2044.
Resources for Work Safety in Cyclone Affected Areas
Work and community safety during the clean up and recovery in impacted areas from Tropical Cyclone Seroja is well underway, with asbestos garnering significant media attention.
A range of hazards can arise as a result of a cyclones, and associated events such as flooding and fire. Some hazards pose an immediate threat following a natural disaster, such as downed power lines and unstable structures, and more arise following an event, including asbestos, mosquitoes, water contamination, and waste.

The Department of Health has a suite of information available on their website here regarding a number of hazards communities may face during an emergency. 

The Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety also have an information sheet on cleaning up after cyclones, storms and floods and preparedness for associated risks

The Red Cross also have some helpful tips and information on their website here
Donations for Cyclone-Affected Communities
In the aftermath of Tropical Cyclone Seroja which has caused extensive damage in mid-west WA, Local Governments may be fielding enquiries from their communities on how to help.
When Local Governments are responding to an emergency, managing donations of goods creates additional work for staff and organisations already stretched undertaking response and recovery activities. 

Therefore it is recommended that Local Governments invite their communities to donate to the Lord Mayor’s Distress Relief Fund instead of donating goods.

This fund, activated the second time this year, provides financial assistance to individuals for the alleviation and relief of distress, suffering and personal hardships, brought about by any disaster or emergency within Western Australia. As of Tuesday, 20 April, the Fund had raised $3,400,407.

On Tuesday, 13 April the Fund for the Wooroloo and Hills Bushfire Appeal closed, reaching a record amount of $16,435,271. The City of Swan have received assistance from the City of Belmont for a Donations Management Support Officer
For more information, or to donate, visit the Appeals WA website
Local Recovery Coordinator Training
WALGA’s local emergency management training has been designed to assist Local Governments with the emergency management responsibilities under the Emergency Management Act 2005.
Recent national disasters such as the Gidgegannup bushfires and the cyclone in our mid-West stress the necessity for Local Government staff and Elected Members to be knowledgeable in emergency management.  These are the extreme of the types of disasters that many communities have to recover from.

Recovery Coordinators Course for Local Government - Two Days 28 & 29 April

Under current legislation (Emergency Management Act 2005) Local Governments must appoint a recovery coordinator to coordinate and manage the recovery process following disasters and emergencies. The Local Recovery Coordinator training course will teach you the following; 
  • prepare, maintain and test the Local Recovery Plan;
  • undertake the role of the Local Recovery Coordinator, including ensuring ongoing continuous improvement and redundancy to the position;
  • coordinate the establishment and activities of a Local Recovery Coordinating on Group (LRCG); and
  • coordinate local recovery activities following a particular event, as directed by the Local Government.
.
To enrol please email WALGA Training training@walga.asn.au or ring us for more information on 9213 2088. More informartion on training is also on the WALGA website.
Burn SMART Planned Burning Video Series Launch
The Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) has released a series of videos to help the community prepare for and conduct a planned burn.
The videos are a new addition to Burn SMART, a set of resources designed to educate landholders about planned burning, to improve the quality of planned burns on private land. The resources include:
  • Burn SMART - A planned burning guide for small landholders (Burn SMART Guide)
  • Burn SMART Checklist
  • Burn SMART Leaf moisture method
  • Burn SMART Planned burning fact sheet
The four-part planned burning video series covers the six stages of preparing and conducting a planned burn, as outlined in the Burn SMART Guide. The videos have been designed to be watched in conjunction with reading the Burn SMART guide to give landholders a visual understanding of all necessary steps.

Watch the planned burning how-to videos here.
To access the resources and for more information, visit dfes.wa.gov.au/plannedburning. For assistance, email the DFES Bushfire Centre of Excellence.   
State Bushfire Advisory Council (SBAC) Communiqué
SBAC had their first meeting for 2021 on Monday, 8 March at the new Bushfire Centre of Excellence. 
The SBAC was established under section 24 of the Fire and Emergency Services Act 1998 to provide advice to the Minister for Emergency Services and the FES Commissioner, on bushfire management in Western Australia. 
 
It brings together skills, knowledge and practical experience from across the bushfire management sector - from State agencies, Local Governments, organisations, volunteers and communities - to support high quality, credible decision making by State Government to improve bushfire management outcomes.

The March meeting Communiqué can be found here.
For more information about the SBAC, please contact Policy manager, Resilient Communities, Susie Moir.
WA Fire Weather Districts Review
The Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) is working with the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) to review WA’s current Fire Weather Districts.
This aims to improve how Fire Danger Ratings will be calculated, displayed and communicated as part of the new Australian Fire Danger Rating System (AFDRS), which is scheduled to rollout in June 2022.

Fire Weather Districts are designated areas that are set out to assist in communicating Fire Danger Ratings and fire weather warnings to communities. The review will address feedback and limitations associated with the current Fire Weather Districts, improve synergies with Local Government boundaries and consider fire behaviour influences relating to fuel type and weather influence.

During April and May, consultation will be facilitated at a regional level to ensure appropriate engagement with key stakeholders across DFES, Department of Biodiversity Conservation and Attractions (DBCA) and Local Government. To date, Local Governments have been engaged through presentations at each of the Rural and District Operations Advisory Committees (ROAC/DOACs).

A consultation package has been provided through each ROAC, DOAC and DFES and DBCA regions for stakeholders to provide feedback and inform proposed changes to Fire Weather Districts within their region or Local Government area.
For more information, contact WA AFDRS Implementation Project Lead Rachael Parkes on 9395 9882 or at AFDRS@dfes.wa.gov.au
 
SEMC Funding Programs 2020-21
DFES has announce successful applicants for the following 2020-21 grant programs; Natural Disaster Resilience Program (NDRP) and All West Australian Reducing Emergencies (AWARE) Program.
The current AWARE program sets out to distribute $230,000 to WA local governments via a competitive grant round. A total of 16 projects have been approved for the AWARE Grant program. A list of successful Local Governments can be found here

Likewise, the NDRP sets out to distribute $1.4 million to WA via a competitive grants round that will support the priorities of both the State and Commonwealth governments. 9 projects have been sponsored as part of the 2020-21 round. More information on the grant program and successful project can be found here
More information on SEMC grant programs is available here.
DFES Mitigation Activity Fund Grants Program 
The Department of Fire and Emergency Services Mitigation Activity Grants Program for 2021/22 Round 1 is now open.
Eligible Local Governments have been sent an email with details of the grants program and have until 12:00pm on Thursday, 6 May 2021 to submit their application. Successful applicants will be notified in July 2021.
 
The Western Australian government established the Mitigation Activity Fund to provide on-ground bushfire treatment activities for extreme, very high or high bushfire risks. All Local Governments who have an Office of Bushfire Risk Management endorsed Bushfire Risk Management Plan are eligible to apply.
 
Since the inception of the Mitigation Activity Fund Grants, 43 Local Governments have received over $23 million in mitigation funding to undertake over 3000 treatment activities.
 
A second round of funding is expected to be open in late August 2021.
If you think your Local Government is eligible to apply and did not receive an email or you would like to learn more, talk to your Bushfire Risk Management Officer or email MAFGP@dfes.wa.gov.au.
Construction Begins on New $4.05 Million Tom Price Emergency Services Facility
On Monday, 19 April, Emergency Services Minister Reece Whitby and Fire and Emergency Services Commissioner Darren Klemm turned the first sod at the new Tom Price Emergency Services Centre in the Shire of Ashburton.
Construction on the new centre began this week and is due to be completed March 2022. The centre will be shared between the Tom Price State Emergency Service and Bush Fire Brigade to enable and encourage collaboration between the services.

$1.7 million is being contributed from the Emergency Services Levy, as well as $1.5 Million from Rio Tinto and $850,0000 from the Shire of Ashburton has allowed the facility. 

Local jobs and the local economy will be getting a boost from the centre with local builder, Pindan, to deliver the project. 
For more information, visit the Minister's statement here
Resources
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Emergency Management Training and Events
AIIMS Awareness (Australasian Inter-Service Incident Management System)
Course available online now

How to Use Economics in Natural Hazards - One Day Course
Various dates in April and May

Local Recovery Coordinator - Two Day Training Course
Wednesday, 28 April and Thursday, 29 April

Gender Justice in Disaster - International Online Conference
Throughout May
Member Representation
Month of April
  • Lessons Management Reference Group
  • Recovery and Community Engagement SEMC Sub Committee
  • Bushfire Operations Committee 
  • Response Capability Subcommittee
  • Fire Weather Subcommittee
  • SEMC Risk Subcommittee
  • Incident Support Group - COVID-19
Tropical Cyclone Seroja
  • All Hazard Liaison Group
  • State Emergency Coordination Group
  • Local Government Recovery Meetings
Contact the WALGA Resilient Communities Team
If you have any questions or require more information, email: Subscribe to our newsletters: .
WALGA
ONE70, LV1, 170 Railway Parade,
West Leederville, WA 6007
PO Box 1544, West Perth, WA 6872
Tel: (08) 9213 2000 | Fax: (08) 9213 2077
Email: info@walga.asn.au
www.walga.asn.au
© Copyright Western Australian Local Government Association 2014






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WALGA · ONE70, Level 1, Railway Parade · West Leederville, WA 6007 · Australia