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​Assurance directorate - update on activities


23 May 2017

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Policy and governance review activities


Various projects are underway to review the State emergency management (EM) arrangements. 


To begin discussions , a workshop was held early this month with a diverse range of high level EM stakeholders. The topics under discussion included the definition of an ‘emergency’ under the EM legislation, the connection between incident management and EM, and use of the term Controlling Agency.


Other projects about to commence include a review of local emergency management arrangements and the policy for evacuation and traffic management. The Assurance Directorate will consult with stakeholders to obtain their views when any changes in policy are proposed.


A stakeholder analysis and review of consultative mechanisms are also in the planning stages to ensure the State Emergency Management Committee (SEMC) and Office of Emergency Management (OEM) consultative mechanisms are best practice.


Rationalisation of the westplans


Work on Phase 7: Westplan Rationalisation is underway. This phase involves transforming all Westplans into State Hazard Plans and making them annexes to the overarching State EM Plan. The new State Hazard Plan template
is near completion and will be circulated to stakeholders soon.


Westplans for similar hazards will be combined into a single State Hazard Plan during this phase. A workshop has been held to progress amalgamation of the four ‘crash’ related Westplans (air crash, road crash, PTA rail crash and Brookfield rail crash).


The Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) has also been progressing the amalgamation of Westplans for the hazards of  flood, cyclone and storm, as well as earthquake and collapse. Phase 7 is expected to be completed by December 2017.


Lessons management framework


The OEM supports a culture of continuous improvement in the Western Australian EM sector. To ensure that lessons identified from emergencies are available across the EM sector, the development of a lessons management framework is underway. The framework aims to:


  • Encourage the sector to share lessons. This includes both positive actions to sustain high performance and areas where improvements can be made.

  • Encourage learning from both assurance activities and contemporary good practice.

  • Focus on arrangements, systems and processes rather than the performance of individuals.

  • Support agencies in their efforts to identify and implement sustainable solutions, recognising that this takes time, resources and opportunity.


The framework aims to capture the process from identifying to learning lessons as a “lessons management life cycle”. This will lead to a shared understanding of what lessons management means for the Western Australian EM sector.


The framework will complement and build on the work already being done by individual agencies and seeks to become another step forward to ensuring that Western Australia has a coordinated and well managed EM sector.


The framework will include processes to monitor and review recommendations from inquiries; for example, those made in Reframing Rural Fire Management: Report of the Special Inquiry into the January 2016 Waroona Fire and Appreciating the Risk: Report of the Special Inquiry into the November 2011 Margaret River Bushfire. Investigation is currently underway to design a database to support this monitoring activity.