How good are your plans?

The 6th Australian and New Zealand Disaster and Emergency Management Conference will be held over the 22 – 23 May at The Star Gold Coast, Queensland.

Mr John Arrowsmith, Principal Program Officer, Inspector-General Emergency Management joins us in a few weeks to discuss ‘How good are your plans? – Benchmarking disaster management plans through annual assessment’.

At the core of every aspect of disaster management, from resilience to recovery, are plans.  They are found in council offices, underpin business continuity, are posted on State government websites, and are available nationally.  But how do we tell if they’re any good? And how do we know what can be done to improve them?

In Queensland, disaster management plans provide a basis for mitigation, prevention, preparedness, response, and recovery activities.  Since 2014, the Office of the Inspector-General Emergency Management has been tasked to undertake a legislated annual plan assessment process, and develop it to drive improvements, without creating additional bureaucracy.

The annual review of local and district disaster management plans now forms part of an assurance program carried out at three levels within Queensland’s disaster management sector.  It uses the benchmark of the Standard for Disaster Management in Queensland (the Standard).

In December 2016, the Office reported on the third annual review of plans. The first review, in 2014, assessed if plans complied with guidelines dating back two years or more.  Following the introduction of the Standard, the 2015 assessment moved from being compliance to outcomes-focussed.  This approach continues today.

One size certainly does not fit all communities in Queensland.  But many small and medium-size councils, remote from each other, share common issues. Sharing their solutions and good practice provides benefits to many.

This presentation will look back over the three years of combined assessments.  It will describe the collaborative evolution of the assessment process. It will show areas of strength in Queensland, those areas with opportunity for improvement and how these have changed over time.

For more information on the 2017 Australian and New Zealand Disaster and Emergency Management Conference and to secure your spot, visit