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Disaster management arrangements

Queensland's whole-of-government disaster management arrangements are based upon partnerships between government, government-owned corporations, non-government organisations (NGOs), commerce and industry sectors and the local community. These arrangements recognise each level of the disaster management arrangements working collaboratively to ensure the effective coordination of planning, services, information and resources necessary for comprehensive disaster management.

The Australian disaster management arrangements are formed around three levels of government, Local, State and the Australian Government. The Queensland Disaster Management Arrangements acknowledge these three levels of government, however are based on a four tiered system to include an additional State government tier, between Local and State Governments and known as Disaster Districts, to enable a more efficient and effective operational service delivery in support of local communities.

The disaster management arrangements in Queensland are made up of several key management and coordination structures through which the functions of disaster management for Queensland are achieved.

The principal structures that make up Queensland’s disaster management arrangements are:

  • Disaster management groups operating at local, district and state levels and which are responsible for the planning, organisation, coordination and implementation of all measures to mitigate/prevent, prepare for, respond to and recover from disasters;
  • Coordination centres at local, district and state levels that support disaster management groups in coordinating information, resources and services necessary for disaster operations;
  • State government functional agencies through which the functions and responsibilities of the state government in relation to disaster management are managed and coordinated; and

State government threat-specific agencies responsible for the management and coordination of combating threats.


Queensland Disaster Management System

Local Government

  • The functions of a local government under the DMA are to:
  • ensure it has a disaster response capability (as outlined under s80 (2) of the DMA);
  • approve its local disaster management plan prepared under part 3 of the DMA;
  • ensure information about an event or a disaster in its area is promptly given to the District Disaster Coordinator (DDC) for the Disaster District in which its area is situated;
  • perform other functions given to the local government under this Act.

Local government is best situated to provide first-hand knowledge and understanding of social, economic, infrastructure and environmental issues within their respective communities and are ideally placed to support their community from a disaster management perspective.  This is achieved through the Local Disaster Management Group (LDMG) where Local Governments coordinate their response to a disaster.

Local Disaster Management Groups

Local Groups are established to support local government disaster management activities.  The Local Group is supported by the relevant District Group if and when disaster management activities exceed the capacity of a Local Group.   
The functions of the Local Group include (but are not limited to):

  • develop, regularly review and assess effective disaster management;
  • assist local government for its area to prepare a local disaster management plan;  
  • ensuring the community is aware of ways of mitigating the adverse effects of an event, and preparing for, responding to and recovery from a disaster;
  • identify, and coordinate the use of resources that may be used for disaster operations;
  • manage disaster operations in the area under policies and procedures decided by the State Group; and
  • ensuring disaster management and disaster operations in the area are consistent with the State Group’s SPF for disaster management for the State;

The Mayor, or another elected member of the council, is the chairperson of the Local Group. 

District Disaster Management Groups

Established under the DMA; District Groups comprise representatives from regionally based Queensland government agencies which can provide and coordinate whole-of-government support and resource gap assistance to disaster-stricken communities. The District Groups perform a 'middle management' function within the disaster management arrangements by coordinating the provision of functional agency resources when requested by Local Groups on behalf of local governments.

The District Groups carry out a number of functions relating to disaster management.  The primary functions are to:

  • Ensure the disaster management and disaster operations in the Disaster District are consistent with the State Group’s strategic policy framework for disaster management for the state; and to
  • Develop effective disaster management for the district, including a district disaster management plan and to regularly review and assess disaster management arrangements.
  • Ensure the community is aware of ways of mitigating the adverse effects of an event, and preparing for, responding to and recovering from a disaster.

State Disaster Management Group

The State Group is established under the DMA and is the peak disaster management policy and decision-making body in Queensland, directly responsible for outcomes to the Premier.  Under the DMA, the main functions of the State Group are to:

  • develop a strategic policy framework for disaster management for the State;
  • ensure an effective disaster management system is developed and implemented for the State;
  • ensure effective arrangements between the state and the Australian Government on matters relating to effective disaster management are established and maintained;
  • identify resources within and outside the state that may be used for disaster response operations;
  • provide reports and make recommendations to the Minister about matters relating to disaster management and disaster operations; and
  • prepare a State Disaster Management Plan.

For more information regarding these arrangements, refer to: Queensland Disaster Management Arrangements Participant Guide (PDF / 8 MB)