Wednesday, 31 August 2022
Media release

New agency to deliver support before, during and after disasters

Australia’s preparedness, response and recovery from natural disasters will be strengthened following the establishment of the new National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) on 1 September.

NEMA brings together the capabilities of Emergency Management Australia and the National Recovery and Resilience Agency into a single agency for the first time.

This change will deliver a more coordinated approach from the Australian Government, around response to emergencies and preparing for future hazards.

Minister for Emergency Management, Murray Watt said the new NEMA would lead Australia’s disaster and emergency management efforts, in partnership with states, territories and the Australian community.

“NEMA will do this by providing informed strategic oversight and guidance of how we will deal with and prepare for emergencies in this country,” Minister Watt said.

“Previously Australia’s disaster response and recovery agencies were kept separate, but the new, single agency will provide end-to-end support.

“It will lead the Commonwealth’s efforts to prepare for future disasters, respond when disaster strikes and remain deeply connected with communities during recovery.

“This will ensure a much-improved response from the Australian Government in times of emergency and give people the support they need to recover.

“NEMA will also drive long-term resilience and preparedness, which is increasingly important in the face of longer and more intense natural disasters due to climate change.

“As well as costing lives and livelihoods, disasters cost Australia $38 billion per year on average, with that cost estimated to reach at least $73 billion per year by 2060.

“The best way we can collectively deal with more frequent and severe disasters is to be better prepared and adapt to the effects of climate change.

“That goes for the Australian Government, just as it goes for disaster-prone communities.”

NEMA will provide national leadership and strategic coordination for emergencies and disaster preparedness, response, relief, recovery, reconstruction, risk reduction and resilience across all levels of government and sectors.

Concurrent with preparations for the establishment of NEMA on September 1, staff from both organisations continue to support the ongoing recovery from this year’s widespread floods.

They are also already working with state and territory disaster and emergency response services on preparations for the upcoming high risk weather season.