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Emergency Management News
May 2021
Issue 5

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:

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.

Please find a link to a survey here where you can provide details of the assistance that your Local Government is able to provide.

For further information, please email WALGA's Emergency Management team.
Federal Budget: Strengthening Disaster Resilience
The 2021-22 Federal Budget commits funding to improve preparedness and recovery from the impacts of natural disasters, which are occurring with increasing intensity and frequency.
The Commonwealth committed $615.5 million over six years for the Preparing Australia Grants Program to support disaster risk reduction activities. A further $209.7 million is allocated to establishing the Australian Climate Service. The Department of Home Affairs Emergency Management Australia division will receive $90 million to improve natural disaster preparedness and response.

The Commonwealth also launched a new National Recovery and Resilience Agency on Wednesday, 5 May to provide a national body to drive the reduction of natural disaster risk, enhance resilience against natural disaster, provide support during the relief and recovery phase, and administer the Preparing Australia Program. The Agency amalgamates the National Drought and Northern Queensland Flood Response and Recovery Agency and The National Bushfire Recovery Agency. You can view the Agency's first newsletter here.
More information on the Federal budget commitments is available here. Please contact ALGA is you require any further information about the 2021-22 Federal Budget.
Local Government Animal Welfare In Emergencies Webinar
WALGA and the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development will be hosting a webinar on planning for animal welfare in emergencies.
This webinar will focus on Local Government's role in safeguarding animal welfare during an emergency as well as activation of the State Support Plan on Animal Welfare in Emergencies. The webinar will provide an overview of the development and activation of a Local Plan for Animal Welfare in Emergencies (LPAWE), including an overview of animal welfare during the recent Wooroloo bushfires. 

Date: Tuesday, 22 June
Time: 10:30am to 12:00pm
To register visit the WALGA website. For more information please contact Cassandra Mora, WALGA's Emergency Management Policy Officer.
Field Tour on Bushfire Preparedness
WALGA and the City of Cockburn lead a Field Tour on Bushfire Preparedness.
DFES Fire Ecologist Dr Shaun Molloy discusses ecological burning principles at a recently burnt site at Bibra LakeThe field tour, held in mid-May, was at capacity with 44 representatives from Local and State Government attending. The City of Cockburn, together with partner organisations, showcased their tiered management system for reducing bushfire risk, which aims to protect community safety and the conservation value of reserves.

The resources from the event are available on WALGA’s website here.
For more information please contact Cassandra Mora, WALGA's Emergency Management Policy Officer.
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.
The review 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. 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.

DFES held a webinar with WALGA on Friday, 21 May to outline the consultation process and present the proposed changes. A recording of the webinar is available here.

A consultation package has been prepared to inform the proposed changes and seek feedback. The consultation packages is available below. Feedback is due Friday, 4 June.

Fire Weather Districts Review Approach
Webinar Information Slides
Feedback Form
For more information please contact Rachael Parkes, WA AFDRS Implementation Project Lead on 9395 9882 or at
Planned Burning 2021
The DFES Office of Bushfire Risk Management (OBRM) will host a day of presentations to share work and learnings.
The day will bring together people from across the bushfire sector to share information, stories and innovations. Presenters includes representatives of State Government, Local Government, Aboriginal corporations, not-for-profits, State infrastructure managers and the mining industry. There will also be opportunities to network with a range of stakeholders in fire management.
Date: Friday, 25 June
Venue: Bushfire Centre of Excellence, Nambeelup WA

This is a free event and RSVP are due by Friday, 11 June. The program is available here

For more information, or to RSVP please contact
Fuel Management Activities Summary 2019-20
The DFES Office of Bushfire Risk Management (OBRM) has released its summary report on WA land managers' fuel reduction activities for the 2019-2020 financial year. 
85 Local Governments contributed to the 2019-20 report. Some key findings and statistics from this report include:
  • case studies from Shire of Morawa, Shire of Broome and City of Albany
  • highlights the ongoing growth of fuel management activities
  • as of November 2020, 44 Local Governments have an endorsed Bushfire Risk Management Plan and 19 others are in the process of developing plans
The Report also identifies limitations on fuel management activities, lessons learned and, for the first time, measuring engagement with Traditional Owners.
The Report is available for viewing here and further resource available on the DFES website here.
2021 Resilience Australia Awards - Closing Date Extended
The closing date for submissions has been extended to Friday, 18 June 2021 and WALGA encourages Local Governments to apply for the Local Government Award.
The Resilient Australia Awards celebrate and promote initiatives that build community resilience to disasters and emergencies around Australia, as well as images capturing resilience in action. The awards recognise collaboration and innovative thinking across all sectors.
Local Government are encouraged to make a submission to the awards to highlight recent projects that have helped build community resilience to disasters and natural hazards in WA. This is an excellent opportunity for recognition of the great work being done in our local communities.
This year’s awards include a brand new category: The Resilient Australia Mental Health and Wellbeing Award; open to all projects focussing on the mental health and wellbeing of Australian communities before, during and after a disaster.
For more information about these awards, including submission requirements, please visit
Koolinup Emergency Services Centre Update - Emergency Driving Training
A new Emergency Driving Training Course at the DFES Koolinup Emergency Services Centre is now open to Bush Fire Brigade Volunteers.
The new course will be at the new Koolinup Emergency Services Centre in Collie and the Collie Motorplex with the aim of improving the safety of staff, volunteers and the community. The course will include an online assessment followed by two-day training in Collie focusing on hazard avoidance and a series of scenarios to simulate emergency situations. 

The first run of the course is scheduled for Saturday, 3 July and Sunday, 4 July and will be running through July and August. Details on registering for the course are available in the Koolinup Centre Update.
For more information on the happenings at the Centre and the Emergency Driving Training, refer to the May update here
Bushfire Operations Committee (BOC) Communiqué
The Bushfire Operations Committee met on Friday, 26 March at Gosnells Emergency Operations Centre.
The BOC consists of Chief Bushfire Control Officers who are the chairs of their respective District or Regional Operational Advisory Committee (DOAC or ROAC) who gather to discuss common issues for their Committees.

Harvest Vehicle Movement Ban
The DFES Legal Services team presented on regulatory changes to Harvest Vehicle Movement Bans (HMVBs), providing clarification on activities that can be undertaken during HMVBs and Total Fire Bans (TFBs).

Out of Tender DFES Vehicles
Local Governments and farmers can receive advance notice of decommissioned DFES fire vehicles for sale by Pickles Auctions by registering for a Pickles Auction account.  Information was provided on how to register for an account. You can register your interest on the website to receive automated advice of new listings on My Pickles.

Further information on these topic are available in the March meeting Communiqué.
For more information about BOC, please contact Susie Moir, WALGA's Resilient Communities Policy Manager. 
Beach Emergency Number Signs Update
The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) has provided WALGA with a monthly update on the Beach Emergency Number (BEN) signs program.
The BEN sign program has been utilised for reporting incidents and hazards other than sharks. Most recently, a newly installed BEN sign assisted with two separate rescues on Rottnest Island one evening in the April school holidays.

The BEN sign program has been actioned (commenced or completed) in 38 Local Governments and delivered grants to 29 Local Governments. 
For more information on BEN Signs please refer to the SharkSmart webpage here.
Renew Launches Green Rebuild Toolkit
The online Toolkit has includes resources, articles and events to assist fire-affected communitites and households to plan their rebuild that suit a changing climate.
The Toolkit was developed in response to the 2019-20 bushfire season that destroyed more than 3,500 homes. The Toolkit is designed to act as a step-by-step guide for homeowners looking to rebuild sustainably following a bushfire and includes information and advice on:
  • designing for your local climate as well as bushfire and climate risks
  • sourcing appropriate materials and builders
  • rainwater and power system solutions
Renew are facilitating a series of webinars from Tuesday, 1 June to Thursday, 10 June as part of the launch of the Toolkit.
To access the Toolkit and find out more about the webinar series, go to Green Rebuild Toolkit.
Emergency Management Training and Events
AIIMS Awareness (Australasian Inter-Service Incident Management System)
Course available online now

ANU Workshop Series on Bushfire Royal Commission
Throughout May and June

Renew Green Rebuild Toolkit Webinar Series
Date: Tuesday, 1 June to Thursday, 10 June
Venue: Zoom Webinar

OBRM Planned Burning 2021 - Sharing Our Work and Learning
Date: Friday, 25 June
Venue: Bushfire Centre of Excellence, Nambeelup WA

2021 Disaster and Emergency Management Conference
Date: Monday, 12 July to Tuesday, 13 July
Venue: in-person Gold Coast and online

DFES Emergency Driver Training
Throughout July and August

2021 Southwest Emergency Management Conference
Call for abstracts open now
Date: Wednesday, 13 October
: Bunbury Regional Entertainment Centre
Member Representation
Month of May
  • Fire Weather Subcommittee
  • Smoke Management Liaison Group
  • Interagency Bushfire Operations Committee
  • IBOC - Bushfire Research Subcommittee
  • State Bushfire Advisory Council
Wooroloo Bushfire
  • Clean Up Advisory Group
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: .
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PO Box 1544, West Perth, WA 6872
Tel: (08) 9213 2000 | Fax: (08) 9213 2077
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