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Emergency management

We coordinate efforts to respond to and recover from disasters and emergencies.

National Coordination Mechanism

As announced by the Prime Minister on 5 March 2020, the Australian Government has activated the National Coordination Mechanism (NCM) in response to the spread of COVID-19. The NCM will operate through the Department of Home Affairs and together with the states and territories will co-ordinate the whole of government responses to issues outside the direct health management of COVID-19.

The Department of Health will continue to lead on the health impacts and health system services such as hospitals, primary care and the aged care sector. The NCM will identify any issues that need to be addressed, and assess the capabilities available to meet those challenges within government, industry and the community.

The NCM will be supported by a Coordination Node within the Department of Home Affairs. The Node includes representatives from key agencies that cover the issues raised, and the capabilities available to address those challenges.

The NCM has already brought together crisis planners from Australian Government agencies including Home Affairs and the Australian Defence Force. The Node will support public messaging on the planning process and develop contingency messaging in anticipation of issues and challenges raised through that process.

The NCM will coordinate engagement with individual sectors such as education, public safety and policing, banking, transport, food, and agriculture through individual sector forums. 

Australian Government agencies that have responsibilities for individual sectors will be key to providing input from industry sectors to the planning process. This includes agencies such as:

  • the Department of Industry and Energy
  • the Department of Communication and the Arts
  • the Australian  Energy Market Operator
  • the Department of Education
  • the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development